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Romanian model Ioana Spangenberg recently become known for having an unusually small natural waist, measuring only 20 inches. Although the model claims she eats a lot, her body is not allowing her to put on weight. Pictures of her delicate body posted around the web seem to be the outcome of excessive photo editing and rarely taken at face value.
“Every day I eat three big meals and I snack on chocolate and crisps all the time. No one seems to believe that,” confessed the model to British tabloid The Sun.
Her regular diet is neither fatty nor extremely healthy. It consists daily of toast with jam or eggs for breakfast, in-between snacking such as chocolate or crisps, sausages, chicken or potatoes for lunch and finally for dinner, bread with meat or cheese. She admits that when she was a teenager her waist was only 15 inches and nowadays her waist is only five inches larger than a CD.
With a body mass of just 13.6 she is severely underweight according to the health range (from 18.5 to 24.9 BMI). At the Daily Mail, the nutritionist Helen Money explains that: ‘The diet she described contains foods that are very low in essential vitamins and minerals which together with her low body weight suggests that she must be very malnourished.” According to Money it is surprising the model has energy to work because with her weight and diet, she would expect her to be hospitalized.
Fashion has changed over the years and equally so has the concept of sex symbols. We used to have voluptuous stars such as Marilyn Monroe, Ava Garner, Elizabeth Taylor or Bettie Page. Sources on the web shows that in 1960, the average fashion models were about 1.7m and weighed approximately 129 pounds (58.51 kg).
Today, the average model is two inches taller and weight about 114 pounds (51.7 kg). In comparison, the former beauty ideal was forgiven in terms of curves, sizeable hips and waist. It was sexy to have a healthy-looking body but the ‘skinner’ trend began with the famous British model named Twiggy became an ‘it’-girl, leading the change with a weight of only 91 pounds.
A culture obsessed with being thin nowadays makes especially women believe that becoming thin equals beauty. Studies show that women tend to respond more positively to products advertised on skinnier fashion models. The emphasis on these products has been blamed for the continuous prevalence of eating disorders.
The causes of eating disorders are usually very complex but often linked to general understanding, or misunderstandings, of self-worth. Most sufferers of anorexia, bulimia or compulsive over-eating are women, but nowadays the number of affected men is increasing. Anorexia, which involves depriving the body of food, is more common in young people. Bulimia, characterized by a cycle of starving and bingeing is more likely in adults.
According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders:
However, Ioana has not always been happy with her body. She understands that her body is not compatible with the vast majority of women because no designer is going to use her for real clothes lines.
According to Ioana, she was never actively trying to get skinny. In her hometown, being overweight is traditionally seen as a sign that you are from a wealthy family. Because of her body, she shied away from an active social life in order to stay at home and work on gaining weight.