Picture Perfect: Smoking Models
Smoking is bad for a lot of reasons. It causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema, and stroke. It’s a nightmare for athletes, or anyone who wants to lead an active lifestyle. But it’s also damaging to your looks, making it a real career hazard for those who earn their living in the modeling world.
How Smoking Affects Your Appearance
Tobacco products affect nearly every system and organ of the body, including the skin, nails, and hair. Despite being one of the number one promoters of premature aging, many models continue to smoke. In fact, some of the world’s top models have been seen on camera puffing on tobacco products. This is a problem for many reasons:
Smoking speeds up aging
For an industry that is all about youth and beauty, smoking seems very counterproductive. It not only leads to premature wrinkles and sometimes even skin discoloration, but it also reduces skin’s collagen production and can cause sagging and other signs of aging.
Smoking causes yellow teeth
Smoking eventually yellows the teeth and may even speed up tooth decay. While models have the resources to continuously whiten their teeth, smoking will eventually catch up to them.
Smoking causes disease
Models are not exempt from cancer, no matter how youthful and healthy they look. Being diagnosed with lung cancer or heart disease is a real risk with smoking, and both are potentially fatal conditions.
Why Models Smoke
Working crazy hours, being around others who smoke, and the stress of always maintaining a perfect appearance can take their toll. Models often smoke to reduce stress in order to cope.
It’s also well-known that some models smoke to reduce their appetites in order to eat less and maintain their slender figures. This is neither healthy nor overly effective, as studies have shown that smoking only hinders weight gain by a marginal amount.
According to model Kira Dikhtyar, many models will do just about anything to achieve the greatness that is a size zero for fashion shows. This includes daily colon cleanses, laxatives, drug use, and smoking pack after pack of cigarettes in order to avoid food. Maintaining a slender physique is everything in the fashion world, with Diktyar saying “I’ve heard stories that some modeling agents encourage girls to do speed and cocaine in order to speed up metabolism and eat less.”
What can be Done
As the fashion industry begins to shift in the direction of “healthy” models, some may feel less pressure to maintain that “perfect” size zero. But progress is slow moving, and it may take some time before attitudes change. The best way to prevent smoking and other risky behaviors is to educate young girls on the dangers of such actions long before they ever contemplate modeling in the first place. It’s easy for young women to get sucked into the lifestyle, especially when their paychecks and celebrity status depends on looking thin.
Over time, these deadly behaviors will achieve nothing but poor health and an older appearance. For these reasons, society should work toward changing the unrealistic standards of beauty, and aim to promote true health and vitality over a “thin” ideal.