Catwalk model Kira Dikhtyar has revealed the shocking lengths some models go to in order to maintain their catwalk-ready figures.
Each Fashion Week season the issue of models and their weight is brought to our attention. Whether it’s the latest industry initiative to stop designers using unhealthily thin models or society’s shock that underweight models remain the physique of choice for the majority of designers, you can guarantee that it will cause a furore one way or another.
As New York Fashion Week begins today, one model has spoken of the great lengths some models go to in order to achieve the sample-sized figure that they are required to have.
Russian model Kira Dikhtyar told Fox News that “packs of cigarettes, daily colonics, laxatives, Phentermine diet pills, Adderal, prescription drugs that suppress the appetite” are just some of the techniques employed by her colleagues to stave off hunger.
“I’ve heard stories that some modelling agents encourage girls to do speed and cocaine in order to speed up metabolism and eat less. And all kinds of injections are becoming more and more popular, from HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) injections that go with a 500-calorie diet plan to T3 thyroid injections that healthy models inject in an attempt to speed up their thyroid function, which results in a faster metabolism.”
HCG injections consist of a hormone which is produced during pregnancy and causes the uterus to be enriched with a thick lining of blood vessels and capillaries so that it can sustain a growing foetus. As a prescription medication, HCG injections are often used in fertility therapy, however, they have recently received attention for their use as a potential weight loss aid due to their ability to suppress appetite. Health authorities have advised against using them as a method of weight loss due to serious side effects such as gallstones, stroke and blood clots.
The 24-year-old model also claimed that some models resort to eating cotton balls in order to fill their stomachs, before saying that she has only been turned away by one designer – Elie Tahari – for the upcoming New York shows for being too thin.
Dikhtyar’s claims come shortly after two major initiatives were put in place to combat such behaviour. In January this year the CFDA released guidelines asking NYFW designers to, amongst other things, ask models for I.D., encourage those with eating disorders to seek help and to provide substantial amounts of healthy food backstage. Similarly, Vogue magazine launched ‘The Heath Initiative’ in June – a pact between 19 of the magazines’ international editors to encourage a healthier approach to body image within the industry.