What It's Like to Work in Fashion When You've Had an Eating Disorder

Jessica Schiffer

The fashion industry has received lots of flak for its promotion of extreme thinness and the unhealthy habits that often create it, and that flak is not unwarranted. But as someone who’s struggled with an eating disorder, I know that self-starvation and its counterparts have a lot more to blame than runway models and magazine ads.

For starters, the behaviours involved—that many assume are based entirely on personal choice—are actually the result of altered brain chemistry. Technically, these are mental illnesses, brought on by a combination of genetics and environmental factors (think family dynamics rather than fashion-world fads).

But just because fashion isn’t the ultimate culprit here doesn’t mean that its standards are making life (and recovery) any easier for eating disorder sufferers. And if you work in the industry, like I do, the triggers are that much more severe and the challenges that much harder to overcome. 

To give you an idea of just how hard it can be—despite my love for fashion, my job, and many aspects of this industry—I thought I’d give you an honest look at what a week in my life really entails.

Scroll down to hear more about my experience.

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