It has photos of the girl & Posh with it that I can scan if people want them.
Singer Jayne Gardham, 20, started dieting to look like her idol Victoria Beckham. Now in the grip of anorexia, she weighs just 5 stone.
It's the latest shocking celebrity trend - to shrink to a size 00 [A UK size 2]. But the terrifying effect it can have on impressionable young women is only too apparent, looking at the painfully thin body of 20-year-old singer & anorexia sufferer Jayne Gardham. Her bones protrude from her tiny 5'4" frame, her arms are so thin they look as if they could snap and her skin is covered with downy hair - a side effect of the disorder.
If she so much as climbs the stairs, her heart pounds so hard in her chest that she has to rest. Her internal organs are packing up.
Jayne, from Chesterfield, Derbyshire, is starving herself to death & weighs just 5 stone. She is little more than a walking skeleton. Ironically, it was a picture of Victoria Beckham at the time she was dubbed 'Skeletal Spice' that unwittingly sent her on the path to self destruction. Back in February 2000, while poring over magazine photos of ultra skinny Posh modelling hot pants on the catwalk, Jayne & her friends all agreed the ex-spice girl had never looked more fabulous.
While most people though she appeared unhealthily thin, the schoolgirls were so impressed by Posh's tiny frame that they made a pact to lose weigh together in a bid to emulate her look.
"We were just 15 & to us, skinny Victoria Beckham looked amazing." explains Jayne. "We wanted to be like her."
"At 8st I was naturally slim, but it seemed like a fun thing to do. I started by becoming a vegetarian, and quickly lost weight by cutting out junk food like burgers. Then, as the months went on, I stopped eating vegetarian meals too.
"I wouldn't eat in front of my mum. Instead I'd take my jacket potato to my room & throw it away. Mum could see I was losing weight & begged me to stop."
Despite her concerned mother's pleas, Jayne would refuse meals & pound away on her home treadmill for hours at a time.
"Even though I'd hear comments from passers-by about being too thin, I felt good about myself. I felt in control. I would ask my friends 'Do you think I'm as slim as Posh?' If they said yes, I was thrilled. I really want to win the pact we'd made."
But it wasn't long before the other girls forgot the dieting agreement.
"For the first month we'd ask each other: "How much weight have you lost?" "What have you eaten today?"
But it soon fizzled out. They started talking about boyfriends, clothes and make up, not losing weight. I was the only one who kept going.
"They kept telling me I had gone too far, but I couldn't stop. My dream was to be a successful singer, and I was convinced the only way I could do that was to be seriously thin," says Jayne.
By last October Jayne had started taking laxatives as well as avoiding meals. She now survives on a few squares of chocolate & some crisps each day.
Weighing just 5 stone, she can hardly find the strength to sing her favourite Corrs or LeAnne Rimes songs. And her attempts to launch her music career ended in disaster when, after just two gigs in local pubs, her singing coach was told by appalled audience members that she was simply too think to be on stage & that she needed help.
“It was thrilling to be singing in public, but I couldn’t ignore the stares & whispers. People clearly thought I should get help,” recalls Jayne. “I was devastated. This is what I had worked for since I was 16, training and practising for my big moment, and now it was being taken away from me.”
Jayne does admit her appearance can be shocking. “When I look in the mirror I see just skin & bone, and I understand why people don’t want to see someone in the grip of anorexia on stage,” she says.
“I’ve got a great voice, but not the right body to go with it, I wish the audience could just shut their eyes and hear me, but they can’t. I want to be a pop star but I’m not allowed to sing.”
Even though the disease is destroying her dreams, Jayne says she has struggled to accept the help she so desperately needs.
“I’ve seen councillors, but nothing works. I spent nearly a week in hospital, and they are looking at admitting me as soon as possible. I don’t want to go but I have to face up to the fact that it may be my only hope” she says.
“I know I’m too skinny now – the pact that I made with my friends has gone too far – but I’m also terrified that if I start eating again, I’ll get fat.”
Jayne’s anorexia has also taken a terrible toll on her body. She’s so agonisingly thin that she can circle the top of her arm with her forefinger and thumb. Unless she puts on weight she know she will die.
“I know I’m terribly thin. I haven’t had a period in years, and my memory is so bad that I can’t remember the smallest things,” she admits.
“I’m always cold – even on a hot summer’s day I have the heating on. And I have such bad fluid retention, the bottom of my legs swell and I have trouble staying upright. I know I can’t go on like this – I haven’t even got enough energy to sing. I would do anything to be normal. I don’t want to die.”
“My friends and family have said that I can’t survive for more than a few months like this. I want to get better. I’ve just moved into a new flat and I want to get back to my singing. But I know I have to get through anorexia to have a future. It’s going to take time but I’ll force myself to do it.”
Jayne believes that the skinny celebrities she once so admired should be more aware of the dangerous effects their image can have.
“They’re a bad influence on girls like me who take it too far and develop anorexia,” she says. “I wanted to look like posh spice but now it’s killing me.”
Should celebrities be responsible for the image they project? - & how largely responsible should they be? You can't introduce rules & regulations telling people how much to weigh, where they can be seen, how much they can drink, when they can be out until..
&& finally - do you think articles such as this one that appear in magazines are helpful in raising awareness or will the message be lost as the magazines introduce gimmicky slogans "weight shocker!" & "man-orexics!" being ones I've seen recently.. this article, in particular, appears in a magazine that is criticising both Britney Spears, for being pictured eating junk food [she's PREGNANT ffs, leave the poor woman alone o___0 ] Nicole Ritchie and Keira Knightly for being too thin, and is advertising a new "celebrity diet".
Take care. xx