Join Date: July 2005
Fashion still starving its models
A damning new article at the British newspaper The Independent
confirms everybody's worst expectations -- the fashion industry has done nothing to reform itself, nothing to combat its propagation of eating disorders.
The British Fashion Council was yesterday criticised by eating disorders campaigners for being too slow to implement recommendations made by the Model Health Inquiry chaired by Baroness Denise Kingsmill.
"We want the fashion industry to put its words into action, to just get on with it," said Susan Ringwood, chief executive of the eating disorders charity Beat. "But there has been little evidence so far of any direct action."
As the fashion houses prepare for London's spring fashion show early next month, the row has reignited the debate over the use of size zero models by some couture houses.
The toxic aspects of the fashion industry need to be addressed, said Ms Ringwood. She called on the fashion industry to "acknowledge that it does create an aspiration – that there is only one [so-called] 'ideal' shape, very tall, very thin...that [is] harmful and unhealthy..."
Only four out of 14 recommendations from the Kingsmill inquiry have been put into practice and doubts are now being expressed about just how committed the fashion industry is to improving the health of models, amid concerns over those suffering from eating disorders like anorexia..."We've offered our expertise and submitted proposals on how we could help to implement the recommendations and we are still waiting for a response," said Ms Ringwood.
The very nature of the fashion industry will make change difficult. The top model Erin O'Connor, a member of the MHI panel, said: "In the industry, unfortunately, there's no such thing as having an eating disorder." Speaking in a film made by the BFC, she admits "it's pretty tough" for models who aren't thin and says: "Nobody ever told me that I was f**, but I was made to feel uncomfortable about not meeting the requirements of the clothes and how they'd been cut."
Dr Adrienne Key, an eating disorders specialist based at the Priory clinic in west London, who also sits on the MHI Panel, comments: "There are definite sections of the industry that continue to promote unhealthy body images – androgynous underweight appearances. This is at the cost of the health of some of the models concerned."
[W]ords are not enough, said the 28-year-old model Tarryn Meaker from London. She began modelling at 16 and suffered from [an eating disorder] for three years under the pressure to be thin. "I don't see a lot being done," she said.
"I see people saying things and then passing the buck," added Ms Meaker...
"People who question the status quo risk losing work. The model industry is all about hype and spin so of course they'll say whatever is going to keep them out of trouble, but so far all I've seen is a lot of well-intentioned talk."
Every negative thing that has ever been said about the fashion industry is true, and then some. They just want to keep using starving models, they want to keep fostering anorexia in young women, and they don't care who dies, or how many tens of thousands of young girls have their self-image shattered, or how much misery they inflict upon millions of women. They don't care, and nothing, not even the death of their own models, will make them grow up and stop hurting society.
Obviously, as everyone predicted, "recommendations" and "suggested guidelines" are useless
in combating this problem. They don't understand what these people (the people who run the fashoin industry) are like. Only strictly-enforced government regulation can even begin to cause a change in this poisonous industry, and more specifically, in the people who govern it.