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Old 23rd March 2010   #1
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Join Date: January 2010
Posts: 188
Default Wintour, Kors, etc. - Excuses at Harvard

It never ceases to amaze me how the people from the fashion industry will do anything - anything - about eating disorders, except the one and only thing that matters, the one and only thing that would actually curb anorexia, and that is to use fuller-figured models.

They'll talk about it, participate in panels about it, wring their hands about it, apologize, concur with the criticisms - but they won't change the model/sample sizes.

It is exactly as if a nation were waging war on a people, building on their lands, killing their inhabitants, and kept apologizing for it, expressing "regret" about the timing - literally anything and everything except stopping the oppression.

Here's an article about Anna Wintour, Michael Kors, etc. speaking at a Harvard event concerning eating disorders:

Listen to this, for example:

For Vogue Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, long overdue reforms in the fashion industry haven’t come fast enough, and she brought this message to Boston on Monday night.

Excuse me? Reforms don't happen like the weather, where you simply have to wait for it to change. Reforms happen because individual fashion editors (like Anna Wintour) make them happen. Or don't.

But it gets better (i.e, worse). To be fair, the ban on tobacco mentioned below is an excellent move, and one wishes that plus-size companies (e.g. Elena Miro) would adopt this policy at its fashion shows too. But the rest is another dodge, another mere evasion:

The CFDA is now encouraging a minimum age requirement for models, a limit on working hours and a ban on tobacco and alcohol, and is pushing for an alert system between designers and agents so models showing the first signs of anorexia can be treated, Wintour said.

However the issue cannot only be solved by awareness, she said.

“We want healthy-looking girls, the readers want healthy-looking girls.” Wintour said.

“Except it is not always easy to dress them.” [!]

And by that, Wintour means the clothes literally don’t fit, forcing models to lose weight in search of work.

The panel explained that for photo shoots and fashion shows, designers send samples that are most of the time ridiculously small, coming in size 0 and sometimes, even 00.

What??? If designers send such "ridiculously small" samples to a magazine, then just DON'T USE THEM. Reject those samples.

As an editor, Wintour could simply say: "This magazine will not accept any samples under a size 8." That's it. End of story.

Instantly, the designers would be forced to create larger samples.

And if they didn't change their sample size, then their clothing wouldn't be seen anywhere.

What a joke: "The clothes literally don’t fit." Clothes don't spring from the ground in only one size, like diamonds. They are sewn by human beings. And here's the funny thing about clothing: It can be sewn in any size.

It's not the clothes that are somehow making themselves a certain size. It's specific, criminally irresponsible individuals - anorexia peddlers - who are making them that size.

It's those designers who must be told: "YOU don't fit" (i.e., in the magazine), and you won't until you make larger samples.

If the designers' clothes don't fit, then get different designers.

As for the models:

(a) The age thing is a canard. It excuses nothing. Tyra's "Fiercely Real" contest proved the obvious: that there are just as many plus-size teens as there are emaciated teens. In fact, there are more. So age has nothing to do with size. It doesn't matter if a model is age 14 and a size 0 or age 34 and a size 0. Both create equally harmful images. If the industry wants to use teen models, fine - but select teens who are fuller figured. There are plenty of them out there.

(b) The attention to models' health is welcome - indeed, necessary - but the real damage that the fashion industry does is to the millions of young women who are not models, but who develop disordered eating because of their desire to emulate the girls whom they see in the magazines. That's where fashion causes it's real, widespread harm.

- - - -

The bottom line is this: discussion panels and age requirements are fine; a tobacco ban is excellent; but ultimately, none of it matters, compared to the one and only thing that really would make a difference, something that is entirely within the power of people like Wintour to enact:

Use larger models.

Only accept samples that fit on larger models.

This is the one and only problem in fashion that matters. Correct this, and every other issue will be solved. Models wouldn't poison themselves with drugs and other substances if they could eat. Young women nationwide won't develop anorexia if they don't see anorexic-looking models. Teen girls would be able to work as much as any designer would like, if doing so didn't mean prepubescent starvation.

Use larger models.

That's the one and only solution.

How appalling that the industry seems willing to do everything else, except adopt this one, truly necessary fix.
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