Fiona Geraghty

Last year, 14-year-old Fiona Geraghty hanged herself while studying at King’s College in Somerset, England. According to her parents, Geraghty had developed bulimia after peers mocked her for her weight. Her mother says, “Fiona appeared to have a real fear of puberty and the fear of growing into a woman. Fiona had a very poor body image.”

This week saw Geraghty’s inquest and the coroner, Michael Rose, placed the blame squarely on the fashion industry:

“The one class of person not here who I feel [is] directly responsible for what happened is the fashion industry. …The problems of eating disorders amongst young people, particularly girls, did not exist before the 1970s. From that period onwards the fashion industry and the magazines promoted thin models and the thin figure. I do ask, particularly the magazines in the fashion industry, to stop publishing photographs of wafer-thin girls. One magazine, I believe Vogue, has recently taken the decision not to do so. I do implore it, because at the end of the day for their benefit, families like this must suffer. It is, I am afraid, an increasing problem and until they control themselves it will continue.”

This strikes us as an obvious over-simplification but not without some truth. Unfortunately, we doubt he’s familiar with the realities of Vogue‘s health initiative.

Geraghty’s teachers claim this was not a case of bullying, one describing the issues as “rather a clash of personalities common in girls of that age.”