Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Modeling, now that would be a political matter...

Please note: I understand that these images are the extreme and not all models are like this. There is also the possibility that these photos are photoshopped. If they are offensive to anyone please let me know and I will remove them.

The Australian government have stepped in and brought in a new strategy which will award fashion professionals that choose not to hire thin models. The Youth Minister Kate Ellis has devised a "tick of approval" that she will reward magazines, model agencies and designer labels that adhere to the following rules...

*State when photos have been retouched and refrain from airbrushing (and what not).

*Only hire models who are of the age of 16 and over to model adult clothes for the catwalk and print.

*Refrain from using models who are too thin and male models who are too muscular.

*Stock clothing in a wide variety of sizes in shops to reflect consumer demand.

*Use a broad range of body sizes and shapes and ethnicities in editorials and advertising.

*Do not promote rapid weight loss, excessive exercise, cosmetic surgery or any editorial or advertisements that may promote a negative body image.

I am very pleased with this turn of events, even though I am not in or from Australia. I think it is a bold move by the Australian government to officially tackle the fashion industry that is a little set in their ways as a whole. I am in particular thrilled about the rule about clothing sizes in shops considering my rant a few days ago.

I do not believe that it will make a world altering difference because there are many people in the fashion industry that cannot change their minds over the weight issue(unfortunately). But I do believe it is such a positive turn and I really hope that it does make a difference (however small it may be).

The Irish Department of Health state that up 200,000 people are affected by an eating disorder in Ireland, roughly 400 new cases emerge each year and there are 80 deaths annually. I am not saying that the fashion industry/media are directly responsible for eating disorders and poor body confidence but I believe that they certainly are a part of the problem. I hope that other countries take a leaf out of Australia's book, because body confidence is a more serious issue than people think.


  1. AnonymousJune 30, 2010

    I think Ellis is a genuis, I myself try or possible to refrain from using images of girls who are too thin (the time I posted on Alexa Chung as a style crush there were so many lovely oufits that were passed over as the girl was sickenly thin in the pic) and given the rise of incidence of eating disorders in young children more actions like this need to be taken x

  2. I think ideally change in harmful societal attitudes and practices should come about naturally as the society evolves... but that isn't always the case unfortunately. Or sometimes the process of such "organic" change simply isn't fast enough, hence the need for a little nudge along, be it by law or activism.

    Also, those pictures are definitely photoshopped, having seen the originals. Many years ago I used to belong to a messageboard where girls with various eating disorders congregated, and there was a rather shady male character there who specialised in taking images of models or celebrities and altering these to make them look skeletally skinny, much like in the two above photos (in fact, I strongly suspect that the second picture is one of his making!).

  3. elle s'ennuie: You are so right! It is a shame that society cannot accept any other body but the "perfect" body sooner... And thank you for letting me know about those photos... I suspected they were, but I still do feel they get the point across