Vogue, the glossy editorial that is every woman's inspiration and scourge, has revamped its guidelines for selecting models.
- We will not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder. We will work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image.
- We will ask agents not to knowingly send us underage girls and casting directors to check IDs when casting shoots, shows and campaigns.
- We will help to structure mentoring programs where more mature models are able to give advice and guidance to younger girls, and we will help to raise industry-wide awareness through education, as has been integral to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Health Initiative.
- We will encourage producers to create healthy backstage working conditions, including healthy food options and a respect for privacy. We will encourage casting agents not to keep models unreasonably late.
- We 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.
- We will be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image.
The overarching debate centered around the female body ranges from Photoshop use, to false accusations of plastic surgery, to such rampant "thinspo" image bookmarking that Tumblr, Pinterest and now Instagram have updated policies and terms of service to discourage self harm. This vaguely-worded, six-point promise seems inadequate to change society's standards.
And though most women seem to want beautiful but normal women gracing a magazine's pages, the decisions ultimately rest with each editor-in-chief — the same ones who have served as arbiters of taste for decades. Some have proven vocally anti-ana, but others are rail-thin themselves.
Do you expect to see a change?