French model in anti-anorexia campaign dies

Isabelle Caro, a French actress and model whose emaciated image appeared in a shock Italian ad campaign and whose anorexia and career were followed by others suffering from eating disorders, has died at the age of 28.

Her longtime acting instructor, Daniele Dubreuil-Prevot, told The Associated Press that Caro died in November after returning to France from a job in Tokyo.



Dubreuil-Prevot said she did not know the cause of death but that Caro "had been sick for a long time," referring to her anorexia.



Caro was featured in an ad campaign by Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani in 2007 for an Italian fashion house. Under the headline "No Anorexia," images across newspapers and billboards showed Caro naked, vertebrae and facial bones protruding.



In later interviews, she said she weighed about 27 kilograms, or 59 pounds, when the photos were taken.



Caro said on her blog and in interviews that she had suffered from anorexia since she was 13. She wrote a book published in France in 2008 titled "The Little Girl Who Didn't Want to Get Fat."



The Italian ad campaign came as the fashion industry came under an unusually bright spotlight about anorexia, after a 21-year-old Brazilian model died from the eating disorder. Her agent, Sylvie Fabregon, told AP that it was intended "to show what it is like to be anorexic."



Some groups working with anorexics warned, however, that it did a disservice to those afflicted with the disorder.



Images of Caro appeared on so-called pro-ana, or pro-anorexia websites. On Wednesday, one posted a notice about her death and a photo of her, large blue-green eyes peering over a child-size upper arm, with the caption, "die young, stay pretty."



Her life and death drew other kinds of followers, as well.



Swiss singer Vincent Bigler and Caro had been working on a video for a song he wrote about anorexia called "J'ai fin," a wordplay in French that means roughly "I am the end" but is pronounced identically to "I am hungry."



Bigler said he penned the song after being so moved and worried by seeing Caro on television, and meant the lyrics to focus on hope and healing.



Caro "left me with many images, and much hope," he said by telephone, describing her different moods and ideas as they worked on the project together.



Caro herself spoke out about her anorexia and her efforts to recover, and the menace of eating disorders on the fashion industry.



Her acting instructor described years in and out of hospitals. Her death and her illness "are an absolute waste," Dubreuil-Prevot said.



Caro's Facebook page says she was born Sept. 12, 1982. She took violin lessons and then acting lessons in Nantes and Versailles, according to Dubreuil-Prevot.



The Italian ad campaign gained Caro widespread attention in media in countries around Europe and in the United States. She subsequently served as a member of the jury on Top Model France, and worked periodically as a film and television actress.



Caro's father alerted a few close friends at the time of her death, and a funeral service was held in Paris, according to Dubreuil-Prevot. Her family could not be reached for comment Wednesday.



In one online video, Caro ends with words of advice for aspiring models: "Believe in life."

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Arts and Entertainment
Cassetteboy's latest video is called Emperor's New Clothes rap
videoThe political parody genius duo strike again with new video
Sport
Seth Rollins cashes in his Money in the Bank contract to win the WWE World Heavyweight Championship
WWERollins wins the WWE World Heavyweight title in one of the greatest WrestleMania's ever seen
News
news
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
tvPoldark, TV review
News
(David Sandison)
newsHow living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Existing Customer Telephone Consultants

£13000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Every day they get another 1000...

Recruitment Genius: Contract Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrigeration, mechan...

Recruitment Genius: Technical Support Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading provider of refrigeration, mechan...

Recruitment Genius: 3rd Line IT Support / Senior Engineer / Support Analyst

£24000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor