Instagram Model Dies at 24 After Battle With Anorexia

Josi Maria

Instagram Josi Maria

Josi Maria, a German Instagram model who opened up about dealing with anorexia and shared photos of her extremely thin body, has died at the age of 24. According to DE24 News, Maria’s mother said she’d just flown to Gran Canaria for a vacation but died of heart failure shortly after the flight.

Her parents both posted on Instagram about her death, which occurred earlier this month. According to her mother, Maria died in her friend’s arms, falling asleep and never waking up. She wrote in a comment on Maria’s last post, “The day before I held you dear Josi in my arms, we went shopping and you are looking forward to Christmas and your vacation. The following night you fell asleep peacefully in your girlfriend’s arms on Gran Canaria. Your little heart just stopped beating.”

DE24 News reported that Maria developed circulatory problems on the flight to Gran Canaria, and she had poor health due to anorexia. Maria had been open about her experiences with the eating disorder and frequently spoke about it in the final years of her life.

Maria was traveling with her friend Vanja Resova, a fellow German model, DE24 News reported. In an interview with German tabloid newspaper Bild, Resova said the two struck up a friendship last year over the internet.

“We spontaneously agreed to travel, we were in Miami together last year and this year. During the lockdown we booked a one-way ticket to Gran Canaria at the end of November to see the island,” she told Bild.

Resova told Bild that at the time of their flight, Maria had had two coffees but “hadn’t eaten for two days.” Resova said she tried to persuade her friend to eat once they’d arrived at the hotel, but Maria chose instead to lie down.

“Josi asked if I could give her a brief hug and lie down with her for a moment. I then did that in the hope that she would eat something. I fell asleep shortly after her,” Resova told Bild. “When I woke up shortly after midnight, I noticed that she was no longer breathing. I tried to wake her up. When it didn’t work out, I went down to reception to get help.”

In an Instagram tribute to Maria, Resova called her late friend “an angel on earth.”

The full post translated into English reads:

Josie was an angel on earth. She has motivated many of you every day to see the positive in everything and to stay strong.
As God wanted, she is now upstairs with the angels and looks down at us.
It leaves a great void.
Your message that we should never forget:
“It is important that you stand by yourself and say yes I need help.” Accepting
help is a sign of strength.
Together against bullying for Josie ✨ ✨✨✨💖
Together against pointing the finger at others.
Together for mental health # EinLichtfürJosie 2222


Maria Wrote Just a Few Weeks Before Her Death That She Didn’t Want to Die of Anorexia

Maria, who was from Kiel in northern Germany, had often posted about her experiences with anorexia in the past few years and warned others about the disorder. On November 11, she posted about an interview she’d done and wrote, “I don’t want to be one of the 10 to die of anorexia.” According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the estimated mortality rate of anorexia nervosa is 10%.

In the same Instagram post, Maria added, “I hope that with the video, many people finally learn and realize that anorexia is not a matter of weight but of the head! That it’s not always just the will to be thin, but it’s much more behind it.”

Maria said that she’d been struggling with the eating disorder since she was a child but it had gotten especially bad in the past two years. She wrote, “This is not the way to go on. It will not continue like this. Finding the path to my positivity again. The will is there.”

On August 5, she said she would stop writing posts about anorexia to focus on her health. She said, “I need to distract myself to get healthy. … I really need to think about my health right now. Last chance. And if this last attempt to do it alone fails, I will go to a clinic. This is what I put as an ultimatum.”


Her Parents Both Wrote About Her Death & Many of Her Friends Shared Tributes in Comments on Her Photos

The Instagram model had about 130,000 followers at the time of her death, and many posted about her death in the comments of her final posts. Her parents also commented, with her mother writing, “I miss you so much my angel. You are such a valuable person. Gave us a lot of positive energy and made us laugh… I love you so much and will always carry you in my heart.” Her father wrote:

The coming time without your zest for life will be unbearable for us ..! I know that you still absorb these words in you and carry them with you! You leave a big void in our family but you will always be with us! You will also bring joy to everyone where you go! Your family will always be with you in thought! Your dad who loves everything about you and is deeply sad!

Her mother first posted on her own Instagram account about Maria’s death on December 4, sharing a German poem by Peter Streiff that says, in part, “Death is a horizon and a horizon is nothing but the limit of our seeing. When we mourn someone, others rejoice when they see them again beyond this line.”

If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, you can find help at the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) helpline at 1-800-931-2237. For crisis situations, text “NEDA” to 741741 to be connected with a trained volunteer.

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