"There was tremendous pressure to look the part, or, as hires were told by the human resources staff, to represent the magazine in our personal appearance. Our work ethic: Get thin or die trying."
To live up to those standards, "Self-starvation was a competitive sport. At staff lunches, the girl who ate the least won," Frankel writes. "During downtime, we'd sit in our offices smoking cigarette after cigarette (to quell hunger) and talking about who ate what, the calorie counts of our lunches, the latest dieting trends, who on the staff looked heavy."
Sure, I know that I'm doubly naive here - naive not to expect editors of a fashion magazine to have unhealthy body attitudes and naive to repeat Frankel's account when we all know she's in the process of selling her tell-all book and might be inclined to some dramatization. Yet, it does seem telling that the spokeswoman for Condé Nast (the publishing giant which published Mademoiselle and which still produces Vogue and Glamour) responded, "I'm sure her memories are her memories, but as to whether any of that was policy, I have no comment."
No comment on a policy promoting eating disorders, huh? Now that's a pretty chilling statement.