emily wierenga (left) at age 29
with her oldest son aiden Grey.
anorexic emily at 11 years old.
angst through sketching and writing poetry. But eventually
even that ended, as my obsession with calorie cutting and rib
counting escalated, along with my anger towards my seemingly oblivious parents.
However, the truth was
my parents had their own
issues to deal with, and
the eating disorder wasn’t
their fault. There were
things they could have done
to help prevent it – things
like my pastor-father being
home more and not always
on church duty, him paying
more attention to me and
wanting to hang out with me,
and my mother being more
and joyful. She didn’t have to
dish up our meals all the time,
and she and Dad could have let
us make more decisions.
But, truly, it wasn’t their
fault. My brother and sisters
didn’t have eating disorders. I
And I didn’t really start again until I lay shivering from hypothermia on a hospital bed, four years later, at 13. The nurses
a model who’s done commercial, edi-
torial and runway work in New York and
Toronto. “They want womanly content
using children’s bodies.”
Smith is considered short at 5’ 9” and
now maintains a size six figure, but says
the ideal size can vary by market.
“In Toronto for commercial work girls
are between a size four and six, and for
editorials it’s between two and a four. In
New York you [have to] drop a size. The
runway stuff for fashion week tends to
be smaller in the competitive markets of
Milan and Paris.”
Models who can’t wear the sample
sizes don’t get work, so the pressure
faced by a 16 year old desperate for that
glamorous lifestyle is immense. Add to
that pressure those who insist she main-
tains the figure of a pubescent (Photo-
shopped) 14 year old, and it’s no wonder
this industry is so plagued by eating
disorders and other problems.
If these girl-models can’t maintain this
ideal, how are average-sized women sup-
posed to? “I became a workout and nutri-
tion fanatic, working out for over an hour
every single day and cut bread, dairy and
sugar completely out of my diet,” Smith
wrote on modellingtruth.blogspot.ca.