Thursday, May 03, 2012

The skinny on Vogue's new policy about healthier body image

In what may be a tipping point in the fashion publishing industry, Vogue publisher Condé Nast International has announced a policy promoting a healthier body image in the pages of its magazines and in the wider fashion industry.
According to a story in Women's Wear Daily, Health Initiative applies to all 19 international editions of Vogue and the editors have all signed a six-point agreement focussing on promoting a healthier approach to body image: translated, they may use models who look more like real women.
 Among the points that form the pact are that the editors will not knowingly work with models under 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder; that they will ask casting directors not to knowingly send underage models to their magazines; they will help structure mentoring programs so that more mature models can advise their younger counterparts; they will encourage designers to “consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes,” and that they will encourage show producers to create healthy backstage working environments for models.

Eighteen of the 19 Vogue editions will run features about the initiative in June issues; Vogue Japan will do so in July. British Vogue, for example, will run a feature in its June issue that examines women’s attitudes to nutrition, and polls models including Stella Tennant, Lily Cole and Adriana Lima on the subject.
Jonathan Newhouse, chairman of Condé Nast International, said in a statement: 
Vogue believes that good health is beautiful. 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.”
The wording of the pact is somewhat imprecise, but should still have a major impact since Vogue is such a thought leader in the industry. However, we should wait and see if size zero mannequins become an endangered species on the runways and on the pages of magazines.
Last month, Israel banned models with a body mass index of less than 18.5 unless they have a doctor's note. 



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