Model Health: Toward New Body Standards
In the second half of the 20th century, models striving to become as thin and elegant as possible began to manifest eating disorders, they were noticed in substance abuse, because for many women it is simply genetically impossible to be very thin.
Diane von Furstenberg, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America, has created model health guidelines for the New York Fashion Week. Models had to provide documents on the day of the show to confirm that they are 16 years old. “We have an impact on women’s lives, and we can show a strong example of a well-balanced life,” she writes.
Von Furstenberg was the initiator of the introduction of the definition of BMI (body mass index) models participating in the shows. In 2006, Madrid became the first city in the world where models with a BMI of less than 18 were forbidden to perform. The event was attended by doctors who checked the girls. This year, Letizia Moratti, mayor of Milan, did the same to find an alternative to using “sick” models.
But the most advanced in this matter was Israel. He became the first country to legally limit the minimum weight of professional models, and introduced the obligation of written disclosure of information on a digital medium. Only then can photos of the model be used by the press. According to authorities, a BMI below 18.5 indicates an inadequate diet for the girl. In Israel, about 2% of girls between the ages of 14 and 18 have severe eating disorders, and these statistics are similar to statistics from other developed countries, said The Telegraph anthropologist Segal Guldin, who studies eating disorders. Proponents of the law said they hope this will help to use healthy models in local advertising and raise awareness of digital tricks that will transform skinny women into completely illusory ones. According to Adi Barkan, who was an agent of Israeli models for many years, over 30 years of work he saw many times how young women become skinny and sick, struggling to conform to forms that the fashion industry considers attractive.
“The ideals of beauty have changed at all times,” says Lidia Sokolova-Serbskaya, fashion historian, doctor of historical sciences. – In ancient Egypt, a lean figure was valued, in the culture of ancient Greece and Rome there was a cult of a healthy body and natural proportions, in the Middle Ages the figure was pulled into corsets and so on. In the 60s of the last century the phenomenon of the English fashion model Twiggy arose, which, with a growth of 178-79 cm (according to various estimates), weighed 38-40 kg. Appearing on the cover of a fashion magazine, she soon became a trendsetter and the highest paid model in the world.
We, in the USSR, also had our “Twiggy”, which, with a weight of 25 kg or less, perished. However, already in the 1970s, another model appeared – Florent Hatten, not tall, with crooked legs. She had not very thick hair and teeth with a crinkle, but did not cause an inferiority complex among consumers, was like everything that made her a very popular model and a rich woman.
Yes, clothes look sharper on a thin figure, ”the expert says. – But anthropologists claim that more than 40% of residents of Moscow and the Moscow region, crossing the border of 40 years, become owners of sizes 52 and above. “In my opinion, more clothes should be modeled on standard figures. And I am pleased that designers began to use large-size models in their shows. ”
Meanwhile, many designers who sew catwalk outfits believe that their clothes will look good only on thin girls. Therefore, selecting models for shows, they themselves stop at the worst, and agencies often can not do anything about it. According to Tatyana Naimushina, manager of the I MODEL model agency, the new model standards that Vogue and other magazines are trying to promote are undoubtedly relevant, given the many negative facts of excessive thinness. “But I can definitely say: in the near future, not everyone will agree with this initiative. If we take designers, then about 30% of them at the castings only girls with anerexic appearance are selected, ”says a representative of the modeling agency. “We constantly monitor this issue, try to adhere to the“ golden mean, ”if our models strive to lose weight, then only together with the gym, with a well-formed diet, where there are all the vitamins and necessary substances.” But it would be more correct if glossy publications began to publish not just a new image and parameters, but how to achieve a beautiful body, otherwise women who do not take care of themselves will completely relax. ”
“In the 90s, we had an extreme – anorexia. But now we see another extreme – on the television screens and in glossy magazines, girls begin to appear, let’s say, with forms that are far from an ideal fit body, ”the expert says. – Where is the “golden mean” when the body of the model is in good shape.