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So Ra Choi

luciole

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I am not comfortable admiring a model who spits in the face of health and achieves her body through disordered, almost macabre means. That she is aware of what she is doing makes no difference. Ours should not be a site that promotes (or tangentially endorses, or fetishizes, or smiles at, or is indifferent to) starving oneself for four weeks at a time eating only half a banana 'if she's really struggling.' No, no, no.
Nobody’s admiring her for her disordered eating. What we do admire is her honesty :meh:
 

espressoenthusiast

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I am not comfortable admiring a model who spits in the face of health and achieves her body through disordered, almost macabre means. That she is aware of what she is doing makes no difference. Ours should not be a site that promotes (or tangentially endorses, or fetishizes, or smiles at, or is indifferent to) starving oneself for four weeks at a time eating only half a banana 'if she's really struggling.' No, no, no.
I wasn't "promoting" anything....I was literally just copying and pasting what she said because people were curious about her routine...have you not read any of my other posts calling out that behavior? I'm honestly among the most "you need to eat healthy" members here. Maybe try looking around the forums before making some rash accusation that this site is promoting starvation.
 
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Yulia

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@espressoenthusiast I was not criticizing you in my post nor trying to imply that you approved of So Ra's 'eating' habits. I quoted your comment only so as to make clear the behaviors I was referring to. Having been a member quite a few years, I am familiar with your posts and generally agree with them. This is also why I find complimenting a model whose practices seem so antithetical to this site very troubling (again, you were not the one doing this). As I mentioned before, her awareness of what she is doing is, to me, immaterial. Maybe it allows us to not pathologize her (if she did not seem so 'in control' or 'honest' as @luciole said, we might view this behavior differently... but as I wrote, I do see it as disordered). But is that honesty really so worth endorsing? Do we make a habit of congratulating all those who eat literally nothing for weeks just because they are up front about it?

I get that we are all tired of hearing the 'naturally thin' rhetoric and that it's refreshing for someone to be open and honest about the hard work it takes to achieve a skinny aesthetic. But I don't think a girl who endangers her health to this degree (mouth sores, frequent fainting, discoloration on her skin) should be our poster child. In good conscience, she cannot, at least, be mine.
 
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espressoenthusiast

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@espressoenthusiast I was not criticizing you in my post nor trying to imply that you approved of So Ra's 'eating' habits. I quoted your comment only so as to make clear the behaviors I was referring to. Having been a member quite a few years, I am familiar with your posts and generally agree with them. This is also why I find complimenting a model whose practices seem so antithetical to this site very troubling (again, you were not the one doing this). As I mentioned before, her awareness of what she is doing is, to me, immaterial. Maybe it allows us to not pathologize her (if she did not seem so 'in control' or 'honest' as @luciole said, we might view this behavior differently... but as I wrote, I do see it as disordered). But is that honesty really so worth endorsing? Do we make a habit of congratulating all those who eat literally nothing for weeks just because they are up front about it?

I get that we are all tired of hearing the 'naturally thin' rhetoric and that it's refreshing for someone to be open and honest about the hard work it takes to achieve a skinny aesthetic. But I don't think a girl who endangers her health to this degree (mouth sores, frequent fainting, discoloration on her skin) should be our poster child. In good conscience, she cannot, at least, be mine.
I never once complimented her though? I think you are falling into the faulty logic that referencing something is condoning it. We post fat people on here all the time--are we "promoting" fatness? We post threads about different diets and veganism/keto/IF--are we explicitly "promoting" vegansim? A forum is a public space and so long as no one is blatantly saying "so ra is so skinny and pretty and eats only half a banana so i should too" we aren't promoting her behavior. If anything, I think the responses to her extremely restrictive diet on this forum (yours included) suggest that we are quite AGAINST her type of diet. Also, should we not compliment the photos or work she puts out because of her diet? That seems really illogical as well. She'd probably be just as good of a model with a healthier diet (probably better given that her skin would improve and her energy would as well). We have a much longer thread on Alesya Kaf who obviously has disordered eating and depression--should we not say when she looks good either? Should we never comment on people whose eating habits aren't approved by this site's standards? How about in an instance when a model was thin but ate total crap and was just blessed with a good metabolism? Or one who abused drugs? Do we have to not only know, but then assess the morality or sustainability of any models' eating habits before we post pictures of them? Seems like bullshit to me, especially if the post about her diet was prefaced with "this seems really restrictive and unhealthy." Also poster child? She's one of dozens of models with threads on this site, and her thread is very short....hardly a poster child.
 

bingeonvogue

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@Yulia I really love your posts and don't mean any of this personally. I do get where you're coming from but I still disagree with the substance of your posts. She literally says that that sort of eating is very extreme and that it's only during fashion week. You say that she is starving herself for four weeks at a time and seem to imply that her being honest about it makes no difference but I do think that honesty, along with one's overall mindset does make a substantive difference: after all isn't that the difference between certain *pro-ana* behaviors and spiritual fasting--which I do think are vastly different and should be looked at in very different ways? Even if both parties are not eating for a week, the mindset with which they go about it is extremely important, in my opinion.

Furthermore, in regards to "spit[ting] in the face of health," she is literally encouraging people multiple times not to engage in the same behavior as herself. It also seems important to note the context of her words, which is in an instagram post addressing the fact that she is very very often asked questions about how to lose weight and advice on dieting. The purpose of the post does not seem to me to be to glamorize her own lifestyle or to promote it, but rather to ask people to stop asking her questions on 'how to diet' since her own lifestyle is more extreme than most people who do not have as great a need to be skinny would have to adopt. (Also of note is that while I don't think the translation is that inaccurate, there are some nuance changes that make it seem a little more extreme.)

A final point I want to make is that during finals week, for example, I remember I also had kind of extreme eating rules for myself, just because I know that when I am in very stressful circumstances it is easy to overeat and it just becomes an added stress to try and actively regulate and balance my meals--I do find that it's easier not to eat than to eat just a little during such times. I honestly do not think that occasional less-than-"normal" food behaviors are equivalent to full blown eating disorders. Although that is not at all as extreme as Sora's my point is that I think many of us get engaging in behavior that is less than optimal for our health while trying to do something we value more such as our career/studies/etc. Was pulling countless all nighters during my senior year of undergraduate studies healthy? No. Was drinking insane numbers of sugar free energy drinks (that I have since cut out) healthy? Not at all. Moreover, rationally looked at, I could have technically achieved similar results by pacing out my studying and more strictly regulating my life. However there were a lot of things going on in my life at that point that were important to me and doing that would have seemed extremely difficult for me then. It seems impossible to me to so strictly police every model's methods and to regulate ourselves to only admire the work of those who perfectly tread that balance between clean eating and working out (which is extremely admirable and I do strive to emulate it but it is also very difficult).

Korea Times:
Choi So-ra, 25, one of the most popular runway models in the world, does not believe she is a gifted model although she has appeared in top campaigns, such as Louis Vuitton F/W 2016, Marc Jacobs S/S 2016 and Coach S/S 2016.

"I stand 179 centimeters tall (5 feet, 10 inches), which is just taller than the average female runway model," said Choi So-ra during an interview with The Korea Times on July 19. "I don't have a small face or good body proportions. The only reason I became successful abroad is because I tried out.

"My strength as a fashion model lies in the diversity of my face. It is like a plain sheet of paper, or I could say an ugly face. But that is a strength for a model. I can appear with any kind of hairstyle or makeup and because I have such a small body, I fit into all types of clothes. Western models have a comparatively large body structure and they have clear-cut features, which limits the images they can express."
"I love eating but I start fasting a month before the runway season arrives," Choi said. "I don't eat anything but only drink water. If I feel like I'm starving, I eat a little bit of banana. I kind of fainted three or four times a day on my way to work. But it is what I have to do, because, in the end, designers like skinny models and that is the only way I can walk on their stages."

The young model said she barely gets any sleep because she has to wake at 6 o' clock every morning and take on a schedule of 15 auditions. When she returns home, it is 2 a.m. and she receives calls from the agency to say she has to go to one last meeting. Then she sleeps for two hours and begins her daily routine again.

"I love this job," Choi said. "I cannot express it with words. When I get the cue sign and the stage manager pushes me to the runway and says ‘go,' I get goose bumps all over and my hair electrifies. I am happy in every show. One time a staffer saw me cry as I walked backstage and asked why. I told her because I am so happy."
I also do think that it's relevant that the concept of eating disorders is basically non-existent in Korean culture. While it might mean those suffering from them have fewer resources to turn to, just from my own experiences I do think this does also just cause there to be less of that mindset. Although I was always interested in being slim, I don't think I would have fallen into my disordered eating phase in high school if it hadn't been for my dalliance at American boarding school and the discovery of english pro-ana blogs.
 

luciole

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@espressoenthusiast I was not criticizing you in my post nor trying to imply that you approved of So Ra's 'eating' habits. I quoted your comment only so as to make clear the behaviors I was referring to. Having been a member quite a few years, I am familiar with your posts and generally agree with them. This is also why I find complimenting a model whose practices seem so antithetical to this site very troubling (again, you were not the one doing this). As I mentioned before, her awareness of what she is doing is, to me, immaterial. Maybe it allows us to not pathologize her (if she did not seem so 'in control' or 'honest' as @luciole said, we might view this behavior differently... but as I wrote, I do see it as disordered). But is that honesty really so worth endorsing? Do we make a habit of congratulating all those who eat literally nothing for weeks just because they are up front about it?

I get that we are all tired of hearing the 'naturally thin' rhetoric and that it's refreshing for someone to be open and honest about the hard work it takes to achieve a skinny aesthetic. But I don't think a girl who endangers her health to this degree (mouth sores, frequent fainting, discoloration on her skin) should be our poster child. In good conscience, she cannot, at least, be mine.
While I agree that a crash diet like that shouldn’t be promoted (as Sora said herself), I also think you’re really reading into everyone else’s responses way too hard. We applaud the fact that not only is she honest and not lying about her habits to creat some false fantasy, but she’s also telling others not to copy what she does due to the harmful effects even though short term. Nobody here is applauding her diet and nobody here encourages that sort of behavior. Although everyone on SG loves a skinny figure, we also love healthy, skinny figures. Don’t get that twisted.