It might sound like common sense, but the pledge by all 19 international editions of Vogue to never knowingly use models under 16 was unparalleled in the industry. There's a lot of talk about using healthy, happy models both on the runway and off, but more often than not, it's just talk.
Condé Nast, however, sounded serious, and even assured us that casting directors would card all models as an extra precaution. Such a promise by a print giant felt like proof that fashion was finally moving toward a healthier, more realistic image for the millions of women who see those cover stars and, subconsciously or otherwise, internalize things like extreme youth as the ideal image of beauty.
Sadly, it really was too good to be true. The mag already broke its promise once when Vogue China cast a 15-year-old model to grace its pages, and now Vogue Japan marks a second transgression with the inclusion of 14-year-old Thairine Garcia. Before you wonder aloud if Vogue actually knew her age, know that Garcia has been booking major spreads and covers since she was 13, and appeared on the cover of Vogue Italia just before the pledge was announced. Aside from the obvious disappointment and sadness we feel, we're also confused: Why would Condé Nast make such a big, well-publicized deal about this new initiative if it wasn't going to make an honest effort to keep an eye on things?