Having your fingers measured to see if you're fat. Preyed upon by predatory photographers in an industry that encourages paedophilia. One ex-model lifts the lid on the story the fashion industry DOESN'T want you to read. Sitting on the sofa in the Paris apartment I shared with several other models from various corners of the world, I was feeling a little homesick. As a skinny 16-year-old from North London, securing a contract with one of the world's leading modelling agencies had seemed like a dream ticket to a world dripping with glamour - but just occasionally, the loneliness would creep in. Having never worried about my weight - I was a naturally skinny size 8 - I left my apartment in the premier arrondissement in search of a treat: a little comfort food. I wandered to the shop to buy a packet of chocolate chip biscuits and took them back to the shared flat. What a mistake. The other girls glared at the shiny packet as if it was a radioactive grenade. But to my relief, as I tucked in, one of my flatmates - a long-limbed blonde girl from Texas - came over and asked if she could have one. "Of course!" I replied, excited to have an ally. She took a biscuit from the pack, churned it around her mouth for a second then spat the half-chewed remains into the bin. "I just wanted to taste it," she chirped, giving a little shrug of her shoulders. This sort of thing - I would soon come to realise - was standard model behaviour. So when I heard the news last week of the first ever Model Health Inquiry - backed by the British Fashion Council, The Work Foundation, The London Development Agency and Marks & Spencer - I was initially pleased. It's high-profile and being fronted by Baroness Kingsmill (an oddly apt name given the carbohydrate-phobia that permeates the modelling world) with input from fashion designers, psychiatrists, doctors and the model Erin O'Connor. Having modelled for seven years and seen firsthand the insidious pressure on young women to remain thin, I welcome any investigation aiming to improve the wellbeing of young models. But this inquiry is ultimately doomed to fail. Four months of research by some of the British fashion industry's leading lights will result in toothless recommendations that no fashion designer or modelling agency will be under any legal obligation to adhere to. The Model Health Inquiry will be about as protective as a cardboard umbrella. Baroness Kingsmill launched the inquiry by ordering the fashion industry to "just grow up". It made me think of a parent addressing a child showing off at a birthday party. Does she not realise that an industry that prides itself on rebellion; an industry with nonconformists such as Kate Moss as its icons, will not respond to such a gentle ticking-off - even though the aims of the inquiry are important for those young women who have been privy to the dark side of the fashion industry. Women like me. I began modelling at 16 by way of a nationwide competition run by a prestigious London modelling agency. When I found out I would be taken on, it felt as if all my Christmases had come at once. My mum and stepfather were excited for me, it all seemed so glamorous. It was only when I began to subject them to a barrage of tearful phone calls from various hotel rooms that they began to wonder if it was a healthy industry for a teenage girl to be working in. Though it may sound trite, being skinny had been the bane of my life at school. I was naturally slim but, believe me, there were so many times I wished wasn't. At 15, I was 5ft 10in and weighed around 8st, which appalled the boys and amused the girls. On a good day my nickname was 'golf club' on account of my stick-like legs and bulbous size 7 feet; on a bad day it was "Annie" - as in the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. Hard though it may be to believe given the current celebrity penchant for a "size zero" figure, I embarked on a fattening-up regime. Mars bars, protein shakes - I tried everything aimed at aiding weight gain. Nothing worked. Then, all of a sudden, I was catapulted into my career as a model, and my size 8 frame became my greatest asset. I found it difficult to adjust my mindset though - still eating cheeseburgers, but all the while watching with a sense of bemused horror as my colleagues wrestled to reduce their featherlike weight. It stands to reason that if a prerequisite of your job (and thereby your livelihood) is maintaining a skeletal body size, you do everything in your power to attain it.