Joke’s on us: Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) recent move: releasing an updated set of guidelines to ensure the health of runway models during the upcoming New York Fashion Week, Feb. 9-16.
As a former Elite model I can tell you this will have LITTLE to NO effect on designers choice of using ultra-thin, skeletal models on their runway. This is a sad attempt (which seems to have tricked the N.E.D.A) at playing ‘nice’ when in reality most designers have little interest in using realistic, diverse body-types on the runway. It’s a ploy that was used years ago and nothing has changed. (see Teen Vogue’s 2012 idea of “athletic models” for their Sport issue – it boils my blood)
Some of the new guidelines include educating the industry to identify early warning signs in an individual at risk of developing an eating disorder and encouraging models who may have an eating disorder to seek professional help in order to continue modeling.
From my experience in the modeling world, agencies and designers KNOW DARN WELL when a girl has an eating disorder. They turn a blind eye (in most cases) as long as she’s booking jobs. I’ve been in the Elite agency in Miami when I heard an agent ONCE tell a girl she’s lost too much weight. To them it was about earning $$ and she’d stopped.
If Auschwitz-thin models book the runway jobs then agents will keep their lips sealed. One of my many roommates earned over $200K a year and her agents knew damn well she was wracking her body to stay thin enough to book catalog jobs.
When I interviewed designers for Cover Girl Culture, every one of them said they can tell from looking at a model that she has an eating disorder, they see it far too often. One designer told me she wished to use healthier models and has tried but the other designers stick with thin models. She got harassed about it and received the ‘message’ that if she wishes to continue to show she better shape-up. Some designers DESIRE to be part of the solution….they need our help. We have to take action.
Guidelines and tips to help the fashion industry detect eating disorders is like telling a vampire that humans are food. They already KNOW perfectly well.
Teen Vogue released their MARCH 2012 issue with an “athletic’ editorial spread. It infuriates me. NONE of the models have muscles visible, they are shapeless insect-like sticks that girls around the world will see and believe they should be that thin if they are into sports.
The Teen Vogue stick model on the rings is obviously standing on a box for this shoot. Simple physics dictate she couldn’t hold herself up in that pose with her shoulders cocked and wrists limp. The other two women are REAL athletes with strong physiques who COULD have been used for this issue.
Teen Vogue’s idea of athletes are anorexic looking girls with as many muscles as Iraq had nuclear warheads. Our girls need to see a TRUE representation of ATHLETES. Not phony, unhealthy ideals perpetuated by an industry hell-bent on keeping girls in a body-hatred matrix. If you subscribe to Teen Vogue – rip it up, toss it out, call up and cancel your subscription. We outnumber them — your $$ is your VOTE. We ARE THE CHANGE.