the karl of it all

Karl Lagerfeld Shares Thoughts on Anorexia

Oh, Karl.
Oh, Karl. Photo: Mathis Wienand/Getty Images

In a recent interview with the U.K.’s Channel 4 News, Lagerfeld — who’s faced criticism in the past for deeming Adele “a little too fat” — was baited with a question about fashion and body image. Unsurprisingly, he had a strong opinion on the matter: “I’m sorry to say that it’s a subject I consider ridiculous for several reasons; the story with the anorexic girls — nobody works with anorexic girls, that’s nothing to do with fashion. People who have that [anorexia] have problems to do with family and things like that,” he said.

He went on:

There are less than 1 per cent of anorexic girls, but there more than 30 per cent of girls in France — I don’t know about England — that are much, much overweight. And it is much more dangerous and very bad for the health … So I think today with the junk food in front of the TV it’s something dangerous for the health of the girl.

He makes a sound point that obesity affects far more people than anorexia. But it’s obviously absurd for him to think he’s never worked with an anorexic girl — secrecy being one of the hallmarks of an eating disorder. What’s more, while anorexia stems from much bigger issues than wanting to be model-thin, does he really think that today’s beauty standards have nothing to do with the compulsion to starve oneself? Anorexia can be caused by many things — misplaced perfectionism being one factor, usually — and the fashion industry’s ideals are hardly an innocent party.