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Old 26th June 2010   #1
Meredith
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Join Date: January 2010
Posts: 188
Default Australian body-image code

Last year, there was a provocative discussion on this forum about a proposed voluntary charter, or code, that the Australian publishing industry would be adopting to promote improved body image.

According to this article, that code will now formally be instituted:

http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/na...6-1225884711475

Here are the most pertinent points:

Quote:
A big tick to women's morale

Caroline Marcus
From: Sunday Herald Sun
June 27, 2010

A FASHION, advertising and media code of conduct will be introduced by the Federal Government in which organisations can apply for a "body-image-friendly" symbol similar to the Heart Foundation's tick for approved foods.

The Sunday Herald Sun can reveal exclusively the details of the voluntary code, which will be launched by Youth Minister Kate Ellis this morning.

The announcement follows an almost two-year consultation process that began in October 2008, when Ms Ellis announced she wanted to curb the glamorisation of unhealthily thin women, which has contributed to children as young as six counting calories and developing eating disorders.

The key principles of the code include:

NOT running advertisements for rapid weight loss, cosmetic surgery, excessive exercise or other commercials that may promote a negative body image...

REFRAINING from using models who are very thin...

DISCLOSING when images have been retouched and refraining from enhancing photographs in a way that changes a person's body shape, for example lengthening their legs or trimming their waist...

STOCKING clothing in a wide variety of sizes in shops to reflect the demand from customers.

USING a broad range of body shapes, sizes...in editorial and advertising.

The Government has also committed $500,000 in funding to develop education programs, together with the eating disorder group The Butterfly Foundation, to promote the code.

The school program will see 2500 educators trained to teach 100,000 students aged between eight and 18 about positive body image, covering topics such as media literacy and self-esteem.

This is undoubtedly a positive step, but two things are regrettable.

1. The word "voluntary." As we have seen, most of fashion's designers and editors never voluntarily improve their models' sizes. Rather, unless government legislation mandates the use of fuller-figured models, fashion will always revert to featuring anorexic models. If this code had been mandatory rather than voluntary, I would have more hope of it effecting actual change.

2. The absence of any reference to plus-size beauty. If the emphasis on presenting a "broad range of body shapes" results in pretty-faced, young, emaciated models alongside matronly, unattractive, old fuller-figured models, it could do more harm than good. Only if the aesthetic standards are as high for the curvier models as they are for the skeletal models will this "broad range of body shapes" do any good. Otherwise, young girls will see a false dichotomy of "skinny = young & pretty" and "plus = old & homely," and be as negatively inclined towards curves as ever.

All in all, I'm somewhat optimistic about this code, but with definite reservations about its efficacy as it is currently formulated.

Last edited by HSG : 23rd November 2010 at 09:40. Reason: URL edited
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Old 7th December 2010   #2
HSG
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Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default Re: Australian body-image code


The code's key principles are all extremely commendable, and so self-evidently necessary that one certainly wishes that they were mandatory rather than voluntary.

Honestly, though, isn't it appalling that every member of the fashion industry doesn't follow the code's principles instinctively, without needing any external encouragement to do so?

One would think that the code's recommendations, which boil down to, Stop promoting harmful and potentially fatal behaviours, would be the most basic tenets of running any responsible industry

Imagine having to draft the following rule for any industry other than fashion: "Don't kill your employees or customers." To actually spell out such an obvious policy would be ludicrous. Yet astonishingly, in the degenerate fashion world, which has normalized what should be criminal practices, such a code actually is necessary--desperately so, acutely so.

Furthermore, Meredith makes a vital point:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Meredith
If the emphasis on presenting a "broad range of body shapes" results in pretty-faced, young, emaciated models alongside matronly, unattractive, old fuller-figured models, it could do more harm than good. Only if the aesthetic standards are as high for the curvier models as they are for the skeletal models will this "broad range of body shapes" do any good. Otherwise, young girls will see a false dichotomy of "skinny = young & pretty" and "plus = old & homely," and be as negatively inclined towards curves as ever.

Exactly. This can never be said often enough: the problems in fashion arise derive from aesthetics, therefore they must be fought by aesthetics. A degenerate aesthetic can only be by a superior, wholesome aesthetic; modernity can only be overcome by timeless beauty.

Political and social efforts, such as this code, which are based on reason, can be beneficial, but ultimately they are powerless compared to the irresistible pull of aesthetics. Reason merely appeals to the mind, but aesthetics appeal to the heart, and between those two forces, the heart will always win.

Young girls cannot be reasoned into finding ugliness appealing. Only when they see full-figured models whom they immediately recognize as being empirically more beautiful than the androgynous waifs will they shun pro-anorexia propaganda and rediscover the full-figured ideal.

Such a turn in thinking will never happen if the girls are lectured to favour "unconventional" beauty, or "mature" beauty, or "diverse" beauty, or any of the other politically correct platitudes that are dragged out to recast what is physically unappealing as being somehow attractive. Such indoctrination will have no more effect upon them than the Marxist sermons in the former Soviet Bloc nations did in persuading the people that they should prefer their drab, dreary, grey existences to the bright lights and glamour and excitement of the West. One walls and barbed wire could keep these populations from escaping their grim, socialist dystopias for the lure of Western glitz.

The simple fact is that the human psyche craves beauty, as much as it craves bread and water. A young girl will not learn to appreciate natural feminine fullness through political sermonizing or social activism. But she will appreciate such fullness if it belongs to gorgeous plus-size supermodels such as Shanon Marie and Kelsey Olson. Indeed, she will find herself preferring the timeless ideal when she sees such goddesses captured via the most artistic fashion photography and wearing the most appealing, feminine clothing.

It was the distortion of beauty that created the aesthetic crisis of the modern age, and it will be the restoration of true beauty (in the form of the most gorgeous plus-size models) that will set our culture right.

Last edited by HSG : 15th April 2013 at 20:24.
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