Thứ Hai, 28 tháng 5, 2012
Taking a Stand: International Vogue Editors Join Forces to Support the CFDA's Health Initiative
Taking a Stand:
So it's with great pleasure that I can state that what started locally has now gone global. The eighteen other international Vogue editors and I cosigned a letter that furthers the CFDA's amazing work by launching a worldwide health initiative, where we've committed ourselves to depicting healthy body images in our magazines. Many of my colleagues have been steadily working toward this already. I’m thinking of Italian Vogue's Franca Sozzani dedicating whole issues to curvy and vivacious girls to encourage the idea that beauty comes in myriad forms; of Alexandra Shulman at British Vogue, who chastised designers for making the “samples” (the clothes shown on the runway that we also use for our shoots) so ridiculously small they fit only a few of the tiniest models; and of Emmanuelle Alt, who has recently put the likes of shapely actress Laetitia Casta and model Doutzen Kroes on the cover of French Vogue. Kroes has been, like her sisters in modeling, vocal about the challenges that she has faced, having been rejected in the past for not conforming to some inconceivable and offensive idea of how she should look and what she should weigh. For the record, the five-foot-nine Dutch model wears a 4. Yet to some in fashion, she is far too curvaceous. To everyone else, Kroes looks like exactly what she is—a particularly glowing and radiant example of gorgeousness.
I've learned that when the fashion industry comes together, real and lasting good can come out of it: The success of ventures like 7th on Sale, for instance, which was created in 1990 to raise funds for HIV and AIDS sufferers, simultaneously destigmatized discussion in our industry of this illness. Or Fashion's Night Out, which was designed to get us all out shopping at a time when the economy was struggling, the industry was suffering, and we needed to be reminded that fashion was a vibrant and fun component of our lives. Adopting a global strategy on model health carries the same urgency. At Vogue we’ve just finished a commemorative book that will come out later this year to celebrate our 120th anniversary, and I was startled to see how many of the wonderful models we've worked with over the years—the super era included—would be considered far too big by today's standards.
Of course, oversimplification of this crucial issue doesn’t help. Fashion has often been (wrongly) held up as an active agent in making women want to be excruciatingly thin, ignoring the complex genetic and psychosocial factors that contribute to eating disorders. Knee-jerk condemnation of many of the girls working today who are naturally blessed with slim bodies and exercise and eat well to maintain them is to be scrupulously avoided. So, too, is ignoring the way that obesity levels are rocketing upward, especially among the young, paving the way for all sorts of problems in the future. Making a stand with the Health Initiative signals renewed efforts to make our ideal of beauty a healthy one.
Anna Wintour's letter from the editor in the June 2012 issue.