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Oliviero Toscani Makes the World Think about Anorexia

NONE NONE NONE (September 28, 2007)
The famous Italian photographer drags the important problem of anorexia back to the spotlight for a discussion. A picture is at the center of a huge commercial campaign financed by an Italian clothing company.

While riding in the morning a crowded New York train to go to work, it is quite common for newyorkers to peek on other people's newspapers. Well, anyone riding a train last week happened to see large picture of a naked woman incredibly thin. The figure of this woman resembled the terrifying images we often see of people dying from starvation in Africa. The only difference is that she is not a refugee escaped from a war zone. She is a French professional model.

The picture is at the center of a huge commercial campaign financed by Flash & Partners, an Italian clothing company. It was taken by the famous Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani, and appeared in outdoors all over Italy and on the centerfold of top Italian newspaper 'La Repubblica'. The model on the picture, Isabelle Caro, is at an advanced stage of anorexia. She weights only about 68 lbs.

Doctors and experts believe that such a campaign against anorexia could backfire. Most of them believe indeed that many young women currently suffering from the disease could find in the model on the picture an image of somebody thinner than them and feel irresistibly compelled to keep loosing weight. On the other hand, top Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani believes that the image was "opportune", since it makes people face up to the dangers of anorexia.

Notwithstanding these contrasting positions, given that this image was seen in the New York City subway, thousands of miles away from where it was originally published, we can at least be sure that thanks to it almost the entire world talked and thought at least a little bit about the anorexia problem.