Health & Fitness

By Jasmin Guleria

And no, for you cynics out there, I don’t mean on celery sticks! The rumor that all models starve themselves for the runway is, in many cases exactly that – a rumor!

With New York City’s Fashion Week right around the corner, and my own disbelief at the idea that so many women swear off even the once in a blue moon indulgence of pizza and ice cream, I decided to do some digging into the ever-elusive backstage of the fashion runway.

When watching a fashion show, we see woman after gorgeous woman strutting the latest season’s designs. Everything works like clockwork. Model struts, model poses, and model walks off. Repeat. Behind this glamorous facade however, is a completely different story.

The backstage of a fashion show is similar to Times Square…on steroids…during rush hour. Anxiety and stress are at an all time high as the models go from hair to make-up, to sushi to cookies to runway. Yes, that’s right – Sushi AND Cookies. According to a source at IMG Models, “the idea that models starve themselves on the runway is farthest from the truth – in fact, they’re typically found stuffing their faces in between catwalks!”

As I did some more digging, I found that the dining spread at a fashion show depends completely upon the show’s designer. It can be as office-lunch blasé as sandwiches and cookies from the local Deli or as extravagant as having a chef on hand making fresh marinara sauce topped pasta. (Yes that’s right, models eat PASTA!)

Of course, my main concern was – how do they eat so much and not gain weight or look bloated on the runway? Well, apparently toting a bottle of Evian in the latest Fendi bag isn’t just a fashion statement. Models may eat a sodium-happy roast beef sandwich, but they’ll guzzle down 24 oz. of water to reduce that salty tummy bloat. Also, portion sizes are watched and workouts are a necessity. Sure, Gisele may have a slice or two of pizza – but she’s not eating half the pie and you better believe she’s working it off later.

Although I am convinced that models do indulge in ‘normal’ food from time to time – I can’t help but believe that starvation diets still reign supreme amongst many of the runway elite. Hopefully things will change. As the stigma of ‘stick-thin’ becomes more and more notorious in the media and public eye, the future of fashion could quite possibly be redefined into images of healthy women filling their plates (and their toned strong tummies) before strutting in Chanel’s latest and greatest.

Now that’s what I call beauty.

Originally published September 2007
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