Did we just witness the first truly eventful step toward industry-wide responsible editorial casting? Condé Nast International has just released a statement effectively and almost immediately banning models either under the age of 16 or suffering from an eating disorder from appearing in 19 international editions of Vogue (including Anna Wintour’s U.S. title).
Undersigned by Chairman Jonathan Newhouse, the six-point statement seems to have a great deal of force behind it. Though phrases like “knowingly” and “appear to” dull its sharpness, the pact could represent a welcome attitude adjustment for the world’s preeminent (and perhaps most criticized) fashion title. Proposing the use of verifiable I.D.s for young models, better working conditions, and various support programs is particularly laudable.
The statement also reads, “We will be ambassadors for the message of a healthy body image,” and, “We will work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image.” Encouraging, yes. But it seems the power to craft a title’s particular concept of a, “healthy body,” and decide which models, “appear to have an eating disorder,” remains with the very editors who may be responsible for perpetuating the problem the pact addresses. Anna Wintour, for example, may still determine U.S. Vogue’s physical ideal.
Only time — and many Vogue issues — will tell if she and the hundreds of Vogue editors around the world will rise to the challenge of this statement. But it’s a good start and, maybe, a good day for fashion. (New York Times)
Photo: Via Vogue.