Former model Karin Bauman died Tuesday at the age of 35, after fighting against the anorexia nervosa eating disorder for over a decade.
Bauman was admitted to the intensive care unit at Tel Aviv’s Ichilov Hospital at the beginning of the week after her condition deteriorated due to a pneumonia infection.
Bauman first began suffering from the condition at age 22 and spent much of the intervening years receiving medical treatment, including frequent hospital trips.
“Karin was an inspiringly bright, smart and intelligent woman,” television presenter Ortal Amar, who became acquainted with Bauman and her family when they were the subject of a documentary about anorexia, told Channel 12 news.
She said she had spoken with Bauman’s mother Yehudit and that “she mostly cried on the phone. I think they knew it was coming to an end.”
Amar said Bauman weighed just 23 kilograms (50 pounds) and was on a ventilator.
“You want to believe and pray that she will come out of it but the doctors weren’t positive,” she said.
— ynet עדכוני (@ynetalerts) May 23, 2023
“I am saddened by the passing of the late Karin Bauman who bravely and courageously faced the cursed anorexia disease in the last decade,” Minister for the Advancement of Women May Golan wrote in a tweet that included a photo of Bauman with her mother.
“Dear girls and women, take care of yourself and above all love who you are – no matter what society or the media dictates to you,” Golan added.
כואבת את פטירתה של קארין באומן ז״ל שהתמודדה בעשור האחרון בגבורה ובאומץ עם מחלת האנורקסיה הארורה.
שולחת תנחומים מעומק הלב לאמה שטיפלה בה במסירות אין קץ ולכל משפחתה ויקיריה.
נערות ונשים יקרות, שמרו על עצמכן ובעיקר תאהבו את מי שאתן – לא משנה מה החברה או כלי התקשורת מכתיבים לכן.… pic.twitter.com/t5ttge1Qdp
— May Golan מאי גולן (@GolanMay) May 23, 2023
Yesh Atid MK Ran Katz, a member of the Knesset Health Committee, asked its chair MK Uriel Buso to hold an emergency meeting on beauty ideals and anorexia.
“We have the duty to remove the next contender from the cycle of anorexia,” Katz said in a statement.
In 2022, Bauman wrote to her mother saying “I have finally decided to finally stop attempting to fight the disease. I cannot fight anymore, I went through enough difficulties in life and still I am going through a journey of hardships and emotional distress.”
“I’m tired of conversations, tired of trying to find solutions to my situation, tired of talking and complaining. I think the time has come for us to give up the war, and for everyone to live their lives in peace and calm. The day will come when it will be better,” she wrote in the letter, according to Hebrew media reports.
Bauman came from a family that were top names in the fashion and modeling world. She has five siblings, four sisters Orly, Rene, Anna, and Natalie, and a brother Stephen. All of the sisters were also models in the past.
As the youngest sibling, Bauman began modeling at the age of 17 and in 2002 placed second in a national youth beauty contest.