Target: Kirstie Clements, former editor of Vogue Australia
Goal: Give applause for disclosing poor health of fashion models and for encouraging the fashion industry to take responsibility to stop the promotion of eating disorders.
In her new book, The Vogue Factor, Kirstie Clements, the former editor of Vogue Australia, revealed the disturbing and dangerous practices of fashion models who are encouraged to be impossibly thin in order to work in the industry. Clements worked for the popular fashion magazine Vogue for twenty-five years and has written a tell-all memoir that reveals the ‘ugly truth’ behind the industry that influences consumers’ perceptions of beauty. The former editor describes the implications of promoting an unhealthy standard of beauty to consumers and suggests that all leaders in the fashion industry should be held responsible for the negative impact on models’ health.
By glamorizing dangerously underweight models in widely publicized magazines, advertisements, and fashion shows, the fashion industry sends the message to society that thinness equates to beauty and success. Consumers are negatively affected by the use of underweight fashion models who promote an unhealthy obsession with thinness, as the industry’s ideal is far off from the average woman’s body type, fueling poor self image, eating disorders, depression, and self-harm.
In the fashion industry, extreme thinness is constantly requested and celebrated by those who make hiring decisions. Clements admits that magazine editors often perpetuate this unhealthy standard by portraying thinness as ideal. She reveals that many female fashion editors who make decisions to promote dangerous levels of thinness also have eating disorders themselves and ‘support’ one another’s body dysmorphia by admiring and encouraging those who reach an unhealthily low weight.
The fashion industry demands that its models be thin enough to fit the creative vision of designers, photographers, stylists, and editors without regard for the health of models who often cannot meet body expectations without dangerous starvation diets and extreme measures, including plastic surgery. Clements brings forward the disordered eating habits of the models she has encountered, claiming that some eat tissue paper to keep their stomachs feeling full without intaking calories so that they can starve over longer periods. Some models often stay on hospital drips after a period of starvation in preparation for a fashion show or photo shoot and are obviously weak with hunger.
It is about time that the leaders of the fashion industry be held accountable by others in the business for their influence on the health of models and consumers. Please sign this petition to commend Clements’ bold critique of the fashion industry.
Dear Kirstie Clements,
I would like to congratulate you for publishing your new book, The Vogue Factor, and for speaking out against the use of unhealthy underweight fashion models. Your eye-opening account of your many years of experience as a fashion editor for the magazine Vogue reveals harmful practices endured by models who are desperate to work in the industry, and the casting agents, designers, photographers, stylists, and other editors who celebrate and enable extreme and unhealthy thinness.
Thank you for criticizing the fashion industry at large for promoting an unhealthy standard of beauty. Using models who have starved themselves, undergone risky plastic surgeries, and other dangerous means to attain their level of thinness sends a harmful message to society, conflating unhealthily low weights with beauty and success. The fashion industry’s promotion of unhealthy models has negatively affected consumers who feel that the inadequate representation of the average sized woman is because they are less valued than ‘rarer’ body types. This dysphoria fuels self image problems and maladaptive eating behaviors.
By bringing attention to the hidden practices of models striving to meet the demands of the fashion industry, you illustrate that extreme thinness celebrated in high drama photo shoots and the fashion runway is dangerous and should not be the goal of models nor consumers. Please continue your efforts to increase awareness of this issue.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Duy Truong via Flickr