Beginning with their June issues, the editors of the 19 international editions of Vogue magazine have decided to stop using models under the age of 16 or those who, from the viewpoint of the editors, appear to have an eating disorder, in their magazines.
For decades, the magazine has been criticized for upholding an unrealistic standard of beauty and has also come under fire for their widespread use of digital retouching.
This won’t mean much of a change in the pages of American Vogue, which tends to work with slightly older, more established models, but for Vogue Paris, Vogue Japan, and particularly, Vogue Italia — regarded as prestigious launching pads for new face models, some of whom are as young as 13 or 14 — it is kind of a game-changer.
Jonathan Newhouse, the head of Condé Nast International, said in a statement:
“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.”
Every editor of Vogue also agreed to the following six-point pact:
1. We will not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder. We will work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image.
2. We will ask agents not to knowingly send us underage girls and casting directors to check IDs when casting shoots, shows and campaigns.
3. We will help to structure mentoring programs where more mature models are able to give advice and guidance to younger girls, and we will help to raise industry-wide awareness through education, as has been integral to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Health Initiative.
4. We will encourage producers to create healthy backstage working conditions, including healthy food options and a respect for privacy. We will encourage casting agents not to keep models unreasonably late.
5. We encourage designers to consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes of their clothing, which limits the range of women who can be photographed in their clothes, and encourages the use of extremely thin models.
6. We will be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image.
All in all, I do believe it is a step in the right direction. Let’s see how long this will last.
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