Its no secret that fashion revolves around thinness– from the models who walk the runways to the clothing with shape-wear made to “instantly slim you!”. Recently, this obsession with skinny has gone to the extreme, with the average runway model having measurements around 32-23-33: a waist size of 23 inches is listed on many child size garments. Models also start working at incredibly young ages (some as early as 12 or 13) because their bodies haven’t had the time to develop curves, etc. When they do start to hit puberty and start developing, many girls have to resort to very unhealthy measures to keep their figures, sometimes even developing eating disorders.
Recently the CFDA released a list of guidelines for the fashion industry to follow regarding model size and age. More specifically, that designers shouldn’t use models under the age of 16 for their shows, campaigns, etc. (Above is the image they paired with their statement, showing a healthy and muscular model, Bar Refaeli)
The initiative also stated that coordinators should provide healthy foods backstage at shoots, shows and events, and make sure models eat. Just a few weeks ago, all the editors of Vogue magazine worldwide, released their first ever Health Initiative, in hopes that it will “encourage a healthier approach to body image within the industry.” It states that casting agents should not be casting models who are under 16 years old or who appear to have an eating disorder. They also urge designers to increase the size of their sample size, which is now a 0.
These measures could pave the way for models who don’t quite fit the current mold, and its starting to work. Recently, Lily Cole, a high fashion model, was listed at 34-26-37 on her comp card, which is much larger than the norm.
This is a step in the right direction, but there is more to be done, and I hope the fashion industry continues to embrace all sizes of beauty! Check out my blog later this week for a look at what I aim to do as a designer to combat this issue 🙂
xo, Lucie Jane