By Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi
It will come as no surprise to know that the world of modelling can be a sordid one: anorexia and other eating disorders are rife in an industry where being ultra-thin is the key to success; alcohol, cocaine, and other drugs are often abused to keep energy and confidence levels up; boredom and the need to be thin means most models smoke countless cigarettes. And even when the girls are simply naturally thin, healthy and confident, gruelling schedules mean time to fix nutritious meals and hit the gym is rare indeed.
No one knows all the pitfalls of modelling better than models themselves, and that’s why model Anne-Marie Van Dijk founded ‘Cleanse,’ an initiative that ‘aims to help models achieve their career goals in a healthy and sustainable way, along with pursuing the preservation and beauty of our planet’.
Van Dijk, an international model whose face has graced the pages of the likes of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Dior and Armani to name a few, seeks to welcome new models into the world of fashion and guide them through their career.
While it is true that agents are usually responsible for their models’ well being, Van Dijk says “they’re not psychologists, nutritionists, or personal trainers. They do their best, but it’s just not enough, especially when your profession is all about your physical looks.”
As a result, she took matters into her own hands and employed a team of health professionals, including top notch dieticians, personal trainers and therapists who coach the aspiring models in having a balanced lifestyle. Cleanse strongly believes that what we do to our body is a reflection of what we do to the earth and vice versa, so the company has partnered exclusively with local organisations in each city where Cleanse is active that offer natural or organic products, ingredients and raw materials; use renewable energy, and finance local communities.
Van Dijk clearly knows that millions of young girls worship stars of the catwalk, and so they should be true role models for health and sustainability–just like her.
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