Russian model Kira Dikhtyar has revealed the horrifying extremes employed by her peers in the fashion industry ahead of catwalk appearances.
As another round of New York Fashion Week gets underway, Kira Dikhtyar admits getting down to sample size-zero is no mean feat, and some girls are prepared to do anything to lose pounds quickly.
According to Kira Dikhtyar, 22, packs of cigarettes, diet pills, daily colonics and laxatives are the weapons of choice for many, while metabolism boosting injections have also crept onto the scene.
Disclosing what goes on behind-the-scenes, the 5′ 10″ beauty told Fox News healthy models turn to “HCG injections that go with a 500-calorie diet plan to T3 thyroid injections that… speed up their thyroid function, which results in a faster metabolism”.
HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin) is a hormone found in the urine of pregnant women that supposedly works as an appetite suppressant. It is typically injected into the thigh, or taken as a drop under the tongue, however there is no scientific evidence proving its effectiveness.
Kira Dikhtyar added that she has also heard of modeling agents encouraging drugs such as speed and cocaine in the run-up to shows in a desperate attempt to keep their money-making talent from gaining weight.
Fashion designer and former model Jackie Christie confirmed that models employ all kinds of dangerous techniques, such as hypnosis to control hunger and swallowing cotton balls, which enable them to get rid of excess fat or water before taking to the runway.
“I’ve seen models do ridiculous cleanses and diets – the lettuce soup diet, the lemon juice diet, extreme diet pills, etc. I’ve even heard of models detoxing a full month before a show and working out three times a day. It’s insane,” she said.
Nutritionists warn that limiting calorie intake in a short period of time can lead to nutritional deficiencies, which can in turn damage the immune system, cause dry skin and loss of muscle or bone density.
However, with many models wanting to boost their careers off the back of their stage appearances, the long-term health impacts of these unconventional weight loss methods can often be ignored.
Last year flame-haired model Coco Rocha spoke about the pressures on her to foster a malnourished look as a teenage model.
Coinciding with the launch of CFDA’s health initiative, aimed at protecting young women against eating disorders the size four Canadian told Vogue.com: “I was told: <<The look this year is anorexic. We don’t want you to be anorexic, just look it>>. This message was especially troubling given the fact that I was only 15.”
But commentators note that it’s not just the models who feel under pressure to be thin, and that the fashion industry as a whole including publicists, bloggers and editors have can be effected as fashion week looms.
Tweets about the #NYFW diet have been trending on Twitter this week. While many users humorously posted images of junk food others took to the social networking site demonstrating a more serious approach.
Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Spring 2013, begins today in New York and ends September 13.