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24-06-2010
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Is working in the fashion industry associated with increased risk of suicide?
In recent years, many renowned fashion professionals have ended their lives. From figures like the editor Isabella Blow and designer Alexander McQueen to top models like Ruslana Korshunova, Daul Kim, as well as, male Ambrose Olsen and, recently, Tom Nicon.
We know that each of these deaths had different personal factors, but there may be a constant related with fashion industry?

Due to the sensitivity of the topic I ask you to discuss it respectfully .


Last edited by Nicolasa; 24-06-2010 at 10:20 PM.
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24-06-2010
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I think it's not ... I think it's related to a tendency to self-destructiveness that a certain number of people in general have. I think that it could be related to creativity. Very creative, talented, and artistic people seem to often have a lot of challenges, sometimes including the strong temptation to self-destruct.

I don't really understand the trend with models, but perhaps all the pressure on people who are often still officially children is a big part of the problem.

My mother is a big collector of etiquette books and a proponent of proper behavior ... whenever she would quote Amy Vanderbilt to me, I would remind her that Amy committed suicide.

The impact on other people can really be horrific ... I always have great admiration for anyone close to someone who committed suicide who's really dealing with it well. One of my brother's former college roommates committed suicide--a really sweet but troubled person. A mutual friend came up to my brother after the funeral and said that he had had suicidal thoughts, but having been at this funeral would now never act on them.

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24-06-2010
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I really think it's not.Some of the people you mentioned are designers,they tend to be very creative and very sensitive.The sensitiveness of the designers might have to do something with suicide but as it could be with people who work in the fashion field it could happen with people outside it.

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25-06-2010
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I guess this then relates to the question if fashion has become too much business....and not enough art.

It does make you wonder when the designer most people would choose as the most creative ended it all the way he did. Does the tempo of the business destroy some of its more creative members, leaving only the hollow vultures and vampires? Ok, I am being dramatic...

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25-06-2010
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those people you mentioned are really only a small part of the population that suicided in our society and they just happens to be in fashion. there are many other non famous regular folks or people in other fields of work who have personal issues that ultimately led to suicide who has nothing to do with fashion. even within this billion dollar business with millions of people working in it, those people you mentioned are still a small percentage.
i think it is more of an issue of them as individuals that have trouble coping with this field of work, instead of this field turning their backs on them. even so, most likely their motivation for suicide is much deeper than fashion.

however, with any creative industry, it tends to glamorize decadence and many of the darker sides of life. you do have to be smart about it all, like with any tricks that throws your way in life, not just the ones in fashion.

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25-06-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iluvjeisa View Post
I guess this then relates to the question if fashion has become too much business....and not enough art.

It does make you wonder when the designer most people would choose as the most creative ended it all the way he did. Does the tempo of the business destroy some of its more creative members, leaving only the hollow vultures and vampires? Ok, I am being dramatic...
I suspect it didn't have much to do with fashion in his case. He had discussed years earlier in an interview with his mother that his greatest fear was that he would die before she did (I inferred that he meant in the way he did die). I am guessing he would have had the same challenges no matter what kind of artistic work he'd chosen to pursue.

I'm imagining that he and Isabella connected so strongly in part because they had this challenge in common.

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25-06-2010
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Well, I can see fashion bussiness is cruel and hearing times after times ``you are too fat here´´ or ``loose weight and you will get the job´´ or ``you are not pretty enough´´ comments, it is no wonder it breaks self-confident of 16 year old girl/boy. When your self-confident is broken it is hard to stay strong and not believe all the s*itt people say to you and get depressed, when you get depressed and start thinking suicide BECAUSE those comments, then I think fashion is related suicide.
also I believe that fashion bussiness is very lonely place to be and there are lot´s of drug/alcohol going on, that does not help at all.

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25-06-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fashionista-ta View Post
I suspect it didn't have much to do with fashion in his case. He had discussed years earlier in an interview with his mother that his greatest fear was that he would die before she did (I inferred that he meant in the way he did die). I am guessing he would have had the same challenges no matter what kind of artistic work he'd chosen to pursue.

I'm imagining that he and Isabella connected so strongly in part because they had this challenge in common.
Well, I am certainly not suggesting that his problems were due to the industry. Not at all. However, certain issues/diseases are not best treated by immense pressure and stress.

The question is this: Would Yves Saint Laurent have evaded the same fate had he been of McQueen's generation? With the added stress? I know it's ridiculous to make comparisons between the two because they are so different. Nonetheless, fashion, always unforgiving, has become so robotic. It seems to be all about suppressing your real self and at the same time imposing yourself on others.

Late 80s residue, I guess.

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25-06-2010
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at first i was like---'WHAT?!...what is this thread!!!???...this is a horrible topic...'
......

but then i realized...it's really not...

and the answer is simply no...
it's not related at all...
or a LOT more people would be jumping off of things, etc...

believe me...
a LOT of crazy people work in fashion...
but they would be crazy no matter where they worked...



if anything...
i think fashion almost keeps some people alive to a certain extent...
because these are people who don't fit into society as a whole...
and fashion at least gives them a place to express their feelings/emotions, etc...

:p

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Last edited by softgrey; 25-06-2010 at 12:46 PM.
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25-06-2010
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I believe it is somewhat related when it comes to models. Imagine a 16 year old being flown around the world sometimes alone sometimes with some not very trustworthy adults. The constant rejection which is more than most industries especially since its connected to one's appearance and lack of family structure plus the shortage of a modeling career all contribute to depression in models.
For the designers and other creatives I believe like someone mentioned before many creatives tend to have complex and sometimes very sensitive personalities. It might not necessarily be because of the industry they work in.

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25-06-2010
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^ I completely agree, Urban.

Depression doesn't discriminate, it can affect anyone regardless of the world and occupation they're in. Although I think specific occupations that demand and drain you so much emotionally and creatively might be a bigger burden for extremely sensitive people.

In the case of models, I definitely agree the circumstances probably contribute a little more, not just for the blatant rejection and the loneliness the job involves but also, these are people that are only coming of age and suddenly not just facing the complexities of their career but the difficulties of becoming an adult, too... most of my friends have in some way or another experienced the Quarter Life Crisis.. the feeling that you suddenly became an adult and have achieved around 1% of what you expected to have done by that age, probably based on silly childhood dreams but still, there's a sense of failure that eventually goes away but when it hits you the moment you reach your 20s, it's very very hard, it doesn't matter if you're about to graduate from University and have a perfectly fine life, there's still the sense that you messed it up in some way.. so, I can only imagine how a model, that lives against the clock, trying to keep up with extreme physical and mental demands, working in an industry that they probably weren't dreaming of or vocationally apt for, having chosen a life that ended up being more lonely and cruel than they probably thought, seeing their friends going off to college and carrying on with simple but perhaps more satisfactory lives, and on top of it all, seeing their modeling careers either on decline or just not achieving what other (perhaps younger) models have, it's not that hard to imagine some of them must wonder if modeling and being judged for it is what it all came down to when maybe they projected a completely different life for them, and if what they do now is irreversible and probably just a massive mistake... all questions that have easy answers and easier remedies but finding the answer in the wrong door instead of opting for a healthier change of landscape probably speaks more for the vulnerable state they're in and how far away they are from turning to their family and genuine friendships during very cloudy moments.

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Last edited by MulletProof; 25-06-2010 at 07:48 PM.
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25-06-2010
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And, let's face it, we all feel better when we eat and have normal blood sugar levels. I know some models just have amazing metabolisms (I remember having one of those myself, and being officially underweight even though I was not stinting on the food in any way), but some are surviving on coffee and cigarettes and the occasional lettuce leaf ... that cannot be good for your mental health.

Good points about the constant rejection, criticism, and the many unpleasant people hanging around models ...

I don't know, I'm wondering ... are male models treated in the same crappy way that female models are?

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25-06-2010
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It probably sounds too simple but it's absolutely true, I think being hungry is one of the most immediate ways of reaching a low emotional point and blurring the way you understand a situation, I was having this conversation with my mother not too long ago and she said that whenever she's gone too many hours without food (for either being consumed by work, being stuck on the road or an unfortunate mix of everything), she tends to feel on the verge of tears and often succumbs to it, which maybe sounds too dramatic but it totally totally happens.. it's just awful to imagine what going through that, plus jet lag, a tight schedule, homesickness, ridiculous demands and failing to see the outcome must do to your emotional state at the end.

What's sadder is that a lot of these kids are also persuaded by everyone (from colleagues to people back home) to continue in that career because it's an opportunity only selected people receive and they'd have to be crazy to turn it down or quit it. I have great admiration for models that despite having the fashion world on their feet, have had the courage to acknowledge it's not what fulfills their needs and have moved on either to continue education or find happiness in other fields.. unfortunately, what most of these models (like Johanna Stickland and Ali Michael for example) seem to have in common are solid family ties that obviously remind them that the world doesn't end if you stop in such a glamorised profession. It's sad that other kids go on a huge adventure such as modeling and have nothing to fall back on when things get start to fail, if only insinuations that they pretty much screwed both the opportunity of a lifetime and the life they could've led back home.

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26-06-2010
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I think it's so difficult to work in fashion because it's so lonely. People love you, but just as easy turn their back on you when business isn't going well.

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26-06-2010
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I think being in the Fashion Industry is a contributing factor but is not the main reason. Stress and Depression are experienced by people outside fashion which push them to take away their lives. I do agree with food being mentioned in relation to models. When you are hungry, when you deprive yourself of food you get depressed. It's true, eating sweets and chocolates release endorphins aka the happy hormone. Of course they avoid such. These models fight to remain in the standards that they are expected to be in or else they lose their job. The competition, the work load may be too much for these girls and boys. Oftentimes they have weak support system around them as well which doesn't help. I bet these publicized deaths are only a small portion of the real number of people around the world who work in the Industry who committed suicide.

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