In keeping with the theme of yesterdays blog post, I very happily welcomed the sight of this news on the NY Times Runway Blog. Vogue are also now setting the standard for what is acceptable in the image we portray to the younger generation of women. Health is Beauty!
Beginning with their June issues, the editors of the 19 international editions of Vogue magazine have made a pact to stop using models under age 16 or those who, from the viewpoint of the editors, appear to have an eating disorder.
In a somewhat unusual announcement, unusual in that the magazines are wading into a controversial issue, the Condé Nast International chairman, Jonathan Newhouse, said on Thursday, “Vogue editors around the world want the magazines to reflect their commitment to the health of the models who appear on the pages and the well-being of their readers.”
For decades, fashion magazines have been criticized for upholding an unrealistic standard of beauty, and even more so with the widespread use of digital retouching that often results in images of models and celebrities that have no basis in reality. While Vogue editors like Anna Wintour, of the American edition, and Franca Sozzani, of Italy, have participated in recent efforts by the Council of Fashion Designers of America to promote healthier behavior in the modeling industry, the magazines have not typically issued their own standards.
The fashion council released its own guidelines to designers and modeling agencies last season, asking them not to use models younger than 16 on their runways, and most have complied. The designer Marc Jacobs, however, disagreed with the council on that point and did use some models under that age, represented by Ford Models, in his show.
The Vogue announcement included the following six-point pact.
“1. We will not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder. We will work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image.
“2. We will ask agents not to knowingly send us underage girls and casting directors to check IDs when casting shoots, shows and campaigns.
“3. We will help to structure mentoring programs where more mature models are able to give advice and guidance to younger girls, and we will help to raise industry-wide awareness through education, as has been integral to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Health Initiative.
“4. We will encourage producers to create healthy backstage working conditions, including healthy food options and a respect for privacy. We will encourage casting agents not to keep models unreasonably late.
“5. We encourage designers to consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes of their clothing, which limits the range of women who can be photographed in their clothes, and encourages the use of extremely thin models.
“6. We will be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image.”