Health & beauty

Model Carré Otis Reveals The Truth About Model Diets

Healthy doesn't really apply here

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Model Carré Otis was one of the biggest catwalkers of the '80s. She had major fashion and beauty campaigns and dated movies stars (young, hot, Mickey Rourke, for one). But behind the gorgeous facade was a young woman struggling to keep it all together.

In a new column in Australia's Herald Sun, Otis went back into her archives and re-answered letters that were sent to her in the height of her modeling career. Fans asked about her diet, her hair, how to get her look. And she answered -- but often, not very honestly. She's making up for it now.

RELATED: The Physical Red Flags of Eating Disorders

One question was particularly heartbreaking: "I'm 10. What is your workout routine and what do you eat? I wish I had your body. What's it like to look like that? I would die to look like you."

Carré's response? "Whenever asked about my diet/workout, I would cite a healthy routine, the kind touted in women's magazines. 'Jazzercise three times a week and light weights,' I'd say. The heavily guarded truth was that I exercised a minimum of two hours a day, seven days a week. On days when I wasn't working, I did double duty, going to the gym twice in one day. I said I ate oatmeal for breakfast, chicken and veggies for lunch, and fish and salad for dinner, along with a healthy snack like yoghurt. But in reality, my big diet staple was four to six cups of black coffee per day, avoiding even a splash of skim milk since I was terrified of extra calories. And to stave off hunger, I went through a few packs of cigarettes daily. Cigarettes with coffee gave me an energy boost. And all energy boosts were welcome because my body was perpetually fatigued from little to no sleep, over-exercised muscles, starvation and the relentless stream of criticisms inside my own head.

Otis goes on to further explain how stringent her routine was, and the terrible impact it had on her health: "One morning, I was sent to the emergency room with heart palpitations and an irregular heartbeat -- a culmination of 20 years of starvation. Turns out I'd created three holes in my heart and I needed an emergency ablation surgery. In your letter you said you'd 'die to look like [me].' Well that's almost what I did. What did it feel like to look like that, you ask? It felt, quite literally, like heartbreak."

These days, Otis has devoted her life to preventing other models from making the same mistakes she did. She's on the board of the Model Alliance and serves as an ambassador on the National Eating Disorders Association. She's currently working on a book about her experiences.

The whole question and answer series is definitely worth checking out. [Source]

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