Size Zero: Victoire Dauxerre on her Life as a Disappearing Model
Scouted in the streets of Paris at 17, I had never dreamt of becoming a model. But it’s hard to resist when you’re promised millions, a dream body and 5-star hotels all around the world.
In 2010, I reached the top 20 most successful models, working with the world’s leading designers. But the reality is far from the sparkling pictures people admire in the magazines.
The reality is that you have to starve your body to match the fashion industry's absurd expectations to fit into a size zero when you are 5’10. The reality is that you are mistreated and viewed only as a clothes hanger. Being a model today means: Not being a human being anymore. You are not a person, not even a name. You are an age and a nationality. You don’t earn millions. You make millions for your agency. You are not beautiful. You are skinny and unhealthy.
I fell into anorexia after only 2 months, going from a size 8 to a size 2. I was applauded, even encouraged to lose more weight at the expense of my health. The thinner I got, the more jobs I got.
At New York Fashion Week, bloggers called me “The Catwalk Yeti”, because of the thick dark hair on my arms and thighs; a sign of anorexia along with the lack of menstruation and osteoporosis. I often fainted in between shows. I couldn't eat anything to fit into the clothes.
This happens to all of us models. We starve, throw up, use laxatives and enemas, and take coke. We pretend to eat in front of the cameras and on social media, because we are told to. We are young naive teenagers who are easily groomed to perfection.
But what is perfection? Should all women from 15 to 80 compare themselves to one idea of beauty? A skinny pale childish body?
I think women deserve better!
I think our body, in all its femininity, has the right to be celebrated with all its curves, and this has to be represented on the catwalk for the next generation of girls to empower themselves.
It’s time to break the code of silence.