Photographer defends images of nude anorexic woman


Oliviero Toscani
ROME, Sept 26, 2007 (AFP) - Photographer Oliviero Toscani on Wednesday, september 6th defended his images of a nude anorexic woman appearing in magazines and on billboards across Italy in a campaign to raise awareness about the disease.

Toscani, known for his hard-hitting ad campaigns for the Italian clothing company Benetton, dismissed suggestions that anorexic girls would look to the French actress shown in the photos, Isabelle Caro, as a role model.

"Looking at my ad, girls with anorexia would say to themselves that they have to stop dieting. My ad poses no danger to them," he told AFP.

The campaign launched Monday -- in the middle of Milan fashion week -- for another Italian clothing firm, No-l-ita, carries the slogan "No to Anorexia."

"When you do something extreme, there are always people who oppose it," Toscani said. "It shouldn't be the photos that shock, but the reality."

The Italian photographer said he became aware of anorexia while working in the fashion world.

"It's this milieu that influences women to go on diets, to become thin. I studied the disease while making a short film about a 16-year-old girl suffering from anorexia that was shown at the Locarno (Italy) film festival in 2006," he said.

Nevertheless, Toscani said he felt neutral towards anorexia.

"I'm neither shocked nor affected by anorexia. I'm just a witness of my times, a photographer. ... I'm not a missionary but a journalist doing my job," he said.ROME, Sept 26, 2007 (AFP)

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