Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images
Ernesto Ruscio/Getty Images
Isabelle Caro bared more than her soul in an attempt to educate others about the disorder ravaging her body.
The French model and actress, who famously stripped naked in 2007 for an Italian ad campaign depicting the decidedly unglamorous and unhealthy effects of anorexia nervosa, died last month at 28 after "being sick for a long time," according to her acting coach.
Aside from the fact that Caro died way too young, here are five other things to know:
1. The truth of the situation: In later interviews, the 5-foot-tall Caro revealed that she weighed approximately 59 pounds when she posed for photographer Oliviero Toscani's "No Anorexia" campaign for the fashion house No.li.ta, which was featured in print and on billboards. Aside from the shockingly revealing photos, the campaign gained even more attention as it came in the wake of Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston's death from an anorexia-related infection in 2006. Caro said that she had suffered from the eating disorder since she was 13. "I said if I can put my years of suffering to good use then it will not have been pointless," she told CBS News in 2007. "I know it's a shocking photo, and I want it to shock. It's really a warning that it is a serious illness."
2. Reality bites: Caro served as a judge on France's Next Top Model and appeared on the second episode of Jessica Simpson's VH1 series The Price of Beauty earlier this year to talk about body image issues. "What you are doing right now makes you more beautiful and I hope women all over the world hear about the story," Simpson told Caro on the show. "And it is important to know that how skinny you are does not make you beautiful."
3. Nom de plume: Caro was an avid blogger and published author. In 2008, she penned the French-language book The Little Girl Who Didn't Want to Get Fat.
4. Possible side-effects: Confronted with the possibility that the "No Anorexia" campaign could turn into a point of pride for fellow sufferers of the disorder, Caro remained confident in its true message. "I don't think so," she replied when asked whether some girls would be inspired rather than horrified. "I hope not. To see my tailbone like an open wound, I show myself as I am. I'm not beautiful, my hair is ruined and I know I will never have long hair again. I've lost several teeth. My skin is dry. My breasts have fallen. No young girl wants to look like a skeleton...You couldn't believe anyone would want to look like that. I don't think there's any question about it."
5. Resting in peace: Acting coach Daniele Dubreuil-Prevot, who also called Caro's death "an absolute waste," said that the young woman's family only told a few close friends when she passed on Nov. 17. A small funeral was held in Paris.