Discovered at the age of 13, cast in 64 shows by the time she turned 15, and an Internet sensation at 19: that’s the unlikely trajectory of Missouri-bred Karlie Kloss, who is getting more attention this week for her jutting hip bones than strutting angel wings. The picture in question, a torqued vision of sinew that appears in the December issue of Vogue Italia, has been pulled down from the magazine’s website. And since its inexplicable removal, fashion news blogs like Fashionista have uncovered the shot’s popularity among pro-anorexia sites, while more than one outlet has alleged that the 19-year-old model struggles with an eating disorder.
Could it just be jealousy? Recently named the face of Christian Dior‘s spring 2012 campaign and reportedly the object of Leonardo DiCaprio and Joe Jonas‘ affections, the willowy teen seems to have cultivated a preposterous amount of success in a very short amount of time. Even veteran models, like Molly Sims, have predicted her longevity: “I think she’s the type of girl where, yeah, she’ll do good at 15, but she’ll also do well at 30,” Sims told New York. “[She] has a great classic look, [she’s] pretty, and can just last a long time.”
Though Kloss has yet to respond to the body brouhaha, she has taken to her Twitter account to discuss another passion of hers: food. Last month, she posted the following message: “After a long day of shooting in LA, what does a girl want?…in and out burger!!!,” with the hash tag, “#Midnight Cravings.” She has also defended her lean muscle mass, crediting years of ballet training. “Ballet is a beautiful thing that teaches you how to use your body and move,” she told New York. “It was really great training.”
And while fellow models Miranda Kerr and Anne V. are unabashed about their rigorous prep routines, 5’11” Kloss told Fashionologie that she wouldn’t be doing anything “out of the ordinary” to prepare for the Victoria’s Secret fashion show. “Maybe an extra couple of butt lifts in the last couple of weeks, but just my regular biking, running, ballet,” she said before adding, “My butt will be shaking out there, and I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.”
*Update: After this story is published, Kloss addresses the topic: “To be honest, I don’t know why [Vogue Italia] pulled it off. I thought it was a beautiful photo,” she tells StyleList. “We were creating art.” She goes on to say that like her, the images have staying power. “I think that they’re photos that are hopefully going to become iconic.”