The end is nigh for the skinny catwalk model

It is just possible that the designers and purveyors of high fashion may actually let out their seams a bit and allow for a few extra pounds and curves – heavens, even a bulge or two – in the models that have dominated the catwalks since the early ’90’s. They may even start making clothes that a healthy person can wear instead of creating apparel that seems designed for the emaciated only.

The editors of Vogue magazine, nineteen of them in all, have agreed upon a ‘pact’ that calls for some alterations in the way models are chosen, and alterations in the clothes presented as the latest fashions ought to follow along in due course. The Vogue editors say they will no longer hire models under the age of 16 or models who ‘appear to have an eating disorder’.

The fashion industry has quite often been accused of dealing in unreality when it comes to the general public. Part of the blame lies with the designers who send samples of their new creations for display on the runway; often the samples are in sizes so small that only a model with absolutely no extra flesh anywhere on her bones can put them on and walk in them.

The biggest complaint is that the fashion industry is holding up an ideal of feminine beauty that is unattainable for about 99% of the female population. Many critics believe that this practice has led to serious health problems for many women as they develop all sorts of eating disorders up to and including anorexia in their efforts to reach an impossible ideal.

Alexandra Shulman, editor of UK Vogue, has been in the forefront of the call for ‘healthy’ models; she says that the “Health Initiative” is a good starting place but the industry is not likely to change in a hurry.


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