As Vogue goes, so goes the fashion industry.
The chatter about the use of pin-thin models has grown to a roar in the past few years, with some models shrinking to such gaunt proportions that it’s not entirely unusual to hear that they are being banned from appearing in some circumstances. As a result, Condé Nast International, the publisher of Vogue, among other titles, is launching a Health Initiative to “encourage a healthier approach to body image within the industry. Vogue is uniquely placed to engage with relevant issues in order to make a difference.”
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The Health Initiative is an agreement between all 19 of Vogue’s international editions and includes six points, including not knowingly working with models under the age of 16 or with those who appear to have an eating disorder, and having more mature models mentor those just starting out. The agreement also asks editors to encourage designers to “consider the consequences of unrealistically small samples sizes.”
Of course Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it’s doubtful that plus-size models (who aren’t A-list celebrities) will grace many Vogue covers, and designers will start making a size 10 into standard sample sizes. And since there’s no litmus test for determining at first glance if someone is suffering from an eating disorder, it’s unrealistic to think that some sickly models won’t slip under the Health Initiative’s radar. But it’s a first step, and a significant one considering the weight Vogue carries in the fashion industry.
The chairman of Condé Nast International said: “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 Health Initiative will launch in June.