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Sudanese model Alek Wek recently spoke out about an issue that has plagued the fashion world for years and continues to wreck havoc in the catwalk community. Coming from a war torn country with a long and tragic history of famine, she has a hard time accommodating the reasons behind anyone wiling starving themselves to maintain a thin frame.

The modeling world can be a cruel awakening to the ugly side of glamour. It’s not all about the designer clothes and exotic locations it’s also substituting a balanced diet with liquor and drugs. Being on a high can relieve the hunger pains which guarantee that you won’t pack on the pounds and your job as jet-setting model is intact.

Wek acknowledges that she is in an enviable position to use her high-profile status to spread the work about hunger in her country and also in the fashion industry even though both cases are vastly different. After attending the Refugee Congress in DC, this past summer, she was humbled by the stories she heard and more determined than ever to give this heart-wrenching issue the kind of attention it deserves. That’s also why she is revolted by the dietary practices of models who have access to food and are surrounded by abundance but prefer to starve.

But at the same time the fashion world is quite unforgiving, and the stipulations are almost unattainable so until the sizes become a little bit more flexible, it’s hard to see this problem eradicated anytime soon.

Hopefully more models like Alek Wek will step up and encourage the industry to re-think their stringent practices and adapt a more realistic forecast.

– Ezinne Ukoha

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