Isabelle Caro (13 September 1980 – 17 November 2010) was a French model and actress from Marseille, France, who became well known after appearing in a controversial advertising campaign “No Anorexia” which showed Caro with vertebrae and facial bones showing under her skin in a picture by photographer Oliviero Toscani. Caro suffered from severe anorexia nervosa from the age of 13. Her anorexia was caused by what she called a “troubled childhood”. When she appeared on CBS’s The Insider, it was revealed that at the worst of her eating disorder, she weighed only 25 kilograms (55 lb; 3 st 13 lb) at a height of 1.65 metres (5 ft 5 in); her most recent weight was 33 kilograms (73 lb; 5 st 3 lb).
She appeared on C4’s Supersize vs Superskinny program which aired first on 11 March 2008. She has also appeared on Moroccan national television, speaking to journalist and actor Ilyass Derfouf about her anorexia. Caro was hospitalized for the first time when she was 20. At her worst (in terms of weight), in 2006, she slipped into a coma, weighing just 25 kg (55 lb). The doctor said she would not survive the coma but she did.
Caro was also interviewed in the second episode of the TV documentary series, The Price of Beauty, in which Jessica Simpson and her two best friends, Ken Pavés and CaCee Cobb, traveled the world to explore the meaning of true beauty. Simpson investigated the problem of how some female fashion models have become obsessed with being skinny. Caro talked about how she became anorexic and warned other girls about the affliction. Simpson was moved to say “What you are doing right now makes you more beautiful and I hope women all over the world hear about the story and it is important to know that how skinny you are does not make you beautiful.” It aired on 22 March 2010 in the USA and on 21 August in Japan. Caro also appeared on National Geographic Channel’s Taboo: Beauty. The show was filmed two months prior to her death.
Caro died on 17 November 2010 in France, after spending about two weeks in hospital with acute respiratory disease. The cause of her death is unknown, although was probably as a result of immunodeficiency due to anorexia. Caro’s acting instructor, Daniele Dubreuil-Prevot, told the Associated Press news agency that Caro had died “after returning to France” from a job in Tokyo, and that “she had been sick for a very long time” (in reference to her anorexia). Her family only reported Caro’s death to the media a month afterward, on 29 December 2010. Caro died in Paris and is buried in the Cimetière du Montparnasse. On 18 January 2011, it was reported that Caro’s mother had killed herself during the previous week.
- September, 12, 1980
- Aubergenville, France
- November, 17, 2010
- Paris, France