Should this girl have been allowed to compete on Britain’s Next Top Model?

16 June 2009

In this week's issue of Grazia, we speak exclusively to Jade McSorley, a finalist on Britain's Next Top Model who recently admitted that she was a recovering anorexic. At her lightest, she weighed just 6st – dangerously low for her 5ft 9in frame – but now insists she's in recovery, and felt well enough to take part in the show. Most of us would imagine that taking part in a modelling competition and holding your body up to national scrutiny would be the last thing a recovering anorexic should do, but according to Jade, getting an objective view on her body has been key to her recovery. She was repeatedly told – by Lisa Snowdon, by model bookers, by other models – that she was too thin to be a model, and encouraged to gain weight.
'You might assume that being made to strip off would have brought back my insecurities, but, if anything, the experience made me see my own body clearly for the first time,' Jade explains. 'Being on the show has helped me see the truth – that I was too thin – and I've put on another half stone.'

The debate rages on over whether producers should have let Jade take part. One commentator called her an 'inappropriate' role model and Jade's photos have been posted on 'thinspiration' websites, where functioning anorexics post items to fuel their disorders. What do you think? Should Jade, and the producers, be commended for shining a light on anorexia and proving that you CAN be too thin for the catwalk? Or is allowing a recovering anorexic to succeed as a model sending out a negative message? 


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