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Mother's internet warning after daughter, 13, who felt 'fat and ugly' kills herself

Posted on 3:06 PM by Sameer Shah

A girl of 13 committed suicide after becoming convinced she was fat and ugly.

Imogen D'Arcy hid her angst from her family and scoured websites for information on eating disorders and suicide in the weeks before her death.

Her heartbroken mother has attacked the celebrity culture glorifying skinny women and urged parents to monitor what their children read on the internet.

Susan D'Arcy said: 'Young girls should not be subjected to images of celebrity women who are so thin. It's unrealistic for girls to have these women as role models.'

Imogen was found hanged by her father Paul in the bathroom of the family home.

He gave his daughter the kiss of life and she was taken to hospital but a decision was made to turn off her life-support machine eight days later.

Mr D'Arcy, 51, said he found a note in Imogen's handwriting on the toilet seat.

He said: 'It appeared Imogen had a problem with her body image, she felt fat and ugly. This is not true, she didn't have an ounce of fat on her.'


Her parents, both chartered surveyors, said their daughter was of average height and weight and had no reason to be concerned about her appearance. Imogen was one of five sisters aged between 18 and three.

Mrs D'Arcy, 40, said they had no idea of her anguish.

Recording a verdict of suicide, coroner Melanie Williamson told an inquest in Leeds that Imogen was a 'fit, healthy and popular young lady' who fitted in well at school.

'She was a perfectionist and like so many others she was affected by her shape, weight and size,' she said.

On December 1, 2007, Imogen was told off when she refused to tidy up the children's toys, the inquest heard.







Later she was left at home to look after her then two-year-old sister Rachel while the rest of the family went shopping.

When her father returned to the house in Adel, Leeds, he found the toddler watching TV.

He asked her where Imogen was and Rachel replied: 'Immy is lost.'

Mr D'Arcy found her in the bathroom.

After the hearing Mrs D'Arcy said her daughter was a 'shy, gentle and kind-hearted girl' with no history of depression.

Mrs D'Arcy said that last year Imogen took a close interest in the soap Hollyoaks in which one of the young female characters had anorexia and bulimia.

She had a picture of the actress Emma Rigby who played the character as the screensaver on her computer.

Liberal Democrat MP Greg Mulholland has backed a campaign to crack down on pro-suicide websites.

He said he was 'very moved' after the teenager's mother visited him to discuss the danger of the websites.

He said that an amendment to the Suicide Act could help prosecute those shown to be actively encouraging others to take their own lives.

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