Skeptics doubt intentions behind Vogue's vow
BY LEANNE ITALIE Associated Press
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
5/08/12 at 6:29 AM
NEW YORK - Lip service or sea change? Skeptics wonder whether Vogue magazine's vow to ban models younger than 16 or those of any age with visible signs of eating disorders is more hype than health.
The 19 editors of Vogue around the world made the promise Thursday, beginning with June issues and including editions in America, France, Britain and China. They also encouraged fashion designers to reconsider "unrealistically" small sample sizes that make ultra-thin models necessary in the first place.
Vogue didn't address the widespread industry practice of digitally altering photos that critics believe promotes an impossible standard of beauty.
While the new initiatives are certainly good news for models, Susan Linn of the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood said Vogue didn't go far enough.
"If Vogue was really concerned about the well-being of girls in terms of their health, then they would have done what Spain and Italy did and use only girls who have what has been deemed a healthy Body Mass Index."
The health of models, especially their weight, has been in the spotlight over the past few years, especially after the death of two models from apparent complications from eating disorders in 2006 and 2007, but the focus, until now, has been on runway fashion shows.
The primary fashion organizations in Italy and Spain banned catwalk models who fall below a certain BMI level. Israel's government passed an anti-skinny-model law earlier this year.
The Council of Fashion Designers of America adopted a voluntary initiative in 2007 emphasizing age minimums and healthy working environments during New York Fashion Week. London Fashion Week designers signed a contract with the British Fashion Council to use models who are at least 16.
Anna Wintour, Vogue's U.S. editor-in-chief, was instrumental in crafting the CFDA's guidelines.
Still, there is persistent criticism that the fashion world creates a largely unattainable and unhealthy standard that particularly affects impressionable young girls.
Original Print Headline: Is the Vogue vow more hype than health?
Skeptics wonder whether Vogue magazine's vow to ban models younger than 16 or those of any age with visible signs of eating disorders is more hype than health. Associated Press File