About five years ago, my mother's friend Young-Jin Seo lost her only child, Mina Seo, to bulimia and depression (eating disorder). As Mrs. Seo said, "When my daughter died, friend of mine back home and said that she couldn't believe that someone in South Korea could starve to death." As my mother said, "Why don't you feed your daughter?" I think if bulimia and depression were easier to cure, Mrs. Seo would not have lost her daughter. There was a time, well before Mrs. Seo realized that Mina had an eating disorder, when she held similar views, "I had no idea what an eating disorder was." She always gets upset with my daughter for not eating any food, but she had no idea what was going on, she had no place to go, and no one to discuss this with.
Mina Seo always wanted be a fashion model and at the age of fifteen.
She went to the Seoul Academy (South Korean modeling agency) to express her potential abilities. What happened there, Mrs., Seo believes, is what caused Mina's eating disorder. "At the time I thought it would be beneficial because it would help to give her some self-achievement." Instead what she received was a list of cosmetic surgeons specializing in facial treatment. The agency told Mina that if her face was a bit skinner she may perhaps have some potential as a fashion model. "I just ripped the paper out of her hand and told her that until she was of age there was no way I would allow her to do model to herself," says Mrs. Seo, still obviously angry.
Mina became struggled with the modeling agency's advice. By trying to re-shape the way her face looked, her weight dropped to thirty six kilogram (approximely eighty pounds). I...