National Eating Disorders Association

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Daughter in recovery wants to be a model

I have a 16 year old who has been hospitalized twice for anorexia. She was the most defiant and most difficult patient to treat for both hospitalizations. She willed herself to gaining the weight in order to dc but then dropped the weight again. She gained it back as we were getting close to a 3rd hospitalization. Once she was home, behavior was so bad, I was looking at a therapeutic boarding school. Then she got a job and she completely changed. She loved having her own money, helping others and the freedom to buy things. Lately, she has been talking a lot about getting into fashion and now its modeling. She keeps sending her pictures to scouts and agencies and signs up for expos without permission. I keep warning her about this industry and it is the last thing to pursue, but she is adamant. Has anyone dealt with this?She is only 9 months out from coming home from 2nd time and is convinced she can handle it. My feeling is a strong no, but she is relentless.


Hi kbeasenburg,
It sounds like your daughter and your family have been down a rough road. Eating disorders are so hard on the individual with it and on the families that love them. It sounds like she is making progress, I am glad that having a job is helping her.
I can see your concern about her being a model. I too would be worried if my daughter with ED wanted to do this. Is your daughter still seeing a counselor, maybe they could help talk to her?
Also my daughter and I took a DBT skills class. I saw such a huge improvement with my daughter. It not only helped her with ED, but with coping with stress, trauma, and fear in healthy ways. She can look at the bigger picture now. More cause and effect. How her choices really do effect her life, and she thinks through things better now.
I hope that things go well for your daughter.
I hope that you are doing well. That you are taking the time to take care of yourself and do things you enjoy. I struggled doing that for almost a year, when my daughter was going through hospitalization and then when she came home. I look back and see how lost, devastated, exhausted, and fearful I was. I did not have ED, but I sure let it take over my life. I convinced myself if I did everything right my daughter would win her battle with ED. My life focused on saving her, keeping her alive. I found a great therapist for me, who helped me find a lot more balance in my life. I hope that you can find joy and peace each day, and that you can take moments for yourself,