Vogue bans too skinny, underage models
Vogue magazine, perhaps the world's top arbiter of style, is making a statement about its own models: Too young and too thin is no longer in.
The 19 editors of Vogue magazines around the world made a pact to project the image of healthy models, according to a Condé Nast International announcement Thursday.
They agreed to "not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder," and said they will ask casting directors to check IDs at photo shoots and fashion shows and for ad campaigns.
"Vogue believes that good health is beautiful. Vogue editors around the world want the magazines to reflect their commitment to the health of the models who appear on the pages and the well-being of their readers," said Condé Nast International Chairman Jonathan Newhouse in a statement.
The move is an important one for the fashion world, said former model Sara Ziff, who was discovered at 14 and has since founded The Model Alliance, dedicated to improving the working conditions of models and persuading the industry to take better care of its young.
"Most editions of Vogue regularly hire models who are minors, so for Vogue to commit to no longer using models under the age of 16 marks an evolution in the industry," she said. "We hope other magazines and fashion brands will follow Vogue's impressive lead."
Ziff said the age restriction is important for other reasons, too.
"The use of underaged models is linked to financial exploitation, eating disorders, interrupted schooling, and contributes to models' overall lack of empowerment in the workplace," she said.
"We simply believe that 14 is too young to be working in this very grown-up industry, and we're glad that Condé Nast International is making this commitment.
In addition to agreeing not to knowingly work with models under 16 or with eating disorders, the Vogue pact says the magazines will help "structure mentoring programs" for younger models and raise awareness of the problem of model health.
The magazines said they would encourage healthy working conditions backstage and encourage designers "to consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes of their clothing, which limits the range of women who can be photographed in their clothes, and encourages the use of extremely thin models." - AP
Published May 4, 2012