Models using heroin: The Reality behind the Barbie Doll Myth This essay is about how young women cope with the demands of fashion industry's as a model.

Essay by Ty_rexB, September 2002

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Introduction Models have been a constant in popular culture since the 1950s, but never have they enjoyed a more lofty status in the Nineties, with such superstars as Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer and Elle Macpherson hawking anything from denim to soda pop. They are less like flesh and blood women and more like the ideal of what women should be, with no visible flaws or frailties. These icons reminiscent of the "Barbie Doll" described in Marge Piercy's poem of the same name. The girl child was born as usual and presented dolls that did pee-pee and miniature stoves and irons and wee lipsticks the colour of cherry candy. Then in the magic of puberty, a classmate said: "You have a great big nose and fat legs". She was healthy, tested intelligent, possessed strong arms and back, abundant sexual drive and manual dexterity. She went to and fro apologizing.

Magazine and billboard advertisements feature teenage models with wide eyes and emaciated features that look more suitable for world hunger.

Since Kate Moss' gaunt figure burst on the fashion scene, androgyny has become the rage, especially among teenagers and young women in their early twenties, whom the fashion industry has been catering to of late, since they seem to occupy a large percentage of their market.

This new generation of models were born in the 1970s and strongly influenced by the technological immediacy of their times. This "live for the moment" mentality transcends everything, including lifestyle.

As a result of the fashion industry's fast living, heroin became the widely use drug of choice. On the surface, heroin would seem to perfectly complement the modelling. It is chemically treated morphine which makes it many times more potent than its derivative and allows the user to work faster and harder and feel energized, rather...