The latest ineffective half-measure to combat the epidemic of negative body-image that's assaulting society seems to be the government "charter" - a voluntary (and therefore useless) "suggestion" to the fashion industry to perhaps, if you could, please start being just a wee bit less discriminatory?
It's like asking a drug trafficker to please start peddling a tiny bit less crack. Good luck.
The intentions may be good, but the people who organize these things are naive about how fanatically committed the people who run fashion today are to promoting emaciation.
Here's an article about the character that was introduced in Quebec a week ago:
Christine St-Pierre used the backdrop of Montreal Fashion Week to launch a voluntary charter to help fight extreme thinness in the fashion industry.
St-Pierre said she hopes the resolutions will foster a healthier society by reducing the incidence of eating disorders in Quebec.
I wish I could believe that this will have an impact, but past experience has proven that it will not.
On the other hand, the article is illustrated with a picture of a horribly corpse-like androgynous model. That alone should spur some readers into realizing that more stringent measures are necessary.
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The second such charter was announced today, in Australia:
Says the report:
THE fashion industry, magazines and advertisers would be required to use models who were over 16 and had a range of body shapes and sizes under new voluntary industry guidelines aimed at boosting a positive body image in the community.
And the industry would also be encouraged to use natural and realistic images of models and disclose when images had been digitally manipulated.
Contained in a report handed to the Rudd government yesterday, the guidelines could become mandatory if the industry fails to sign up to its standards.
The words "required" and "voluntary" in the first paragraph are contradictory. More promising is the point in the third paragraph, that the guidelines "could" become mandatory if the industry fails to act (which it obviously will). Let's hope that they do
But is this actual progress? Hardly. Listen to this:
Ms Ellis said the government was not "going to war" against skinny models or trying to promote so-called plus-size models.
"It's about diversity," she said.
However, Ms Ellis was forced to fend off criticism that she selected only skinny women to be part of her national advisory group on body image, reinforcing stereotypes that the report tried to tackle.
The word "diversity" should send warning bells. Anytime someone uses that politically correct term, it means that, at best, a lone full-figured model will be tucked into the corner of a magazine somewhere - typical tokenism - along with images of old models, or ethnic models, or homely models.
More offensive is the organizers' need to stipulate that they will not be promoting plus-size models - as if this is something to be proud of. This is like Brigitte's pathetic move to use so-called "real women" instead of full-figured models. So instead of size-0 models this charter wants size-4 "real" women? How futile.
This is no victory for size celebration, nor does it increase the likelihood of seeing any young, beautiful, plus-size goddesses in fashion. Ergo, the public will still associate "beauty" with "emaciation," and will still fail to rediscover timeless beauty.