The Vogue Health Initiative: 19 editors and a 6 point pact

posted on: Thursday, 3 May 2012

It has just been announced that the editors of Vogue, 19 international editors to be exact, have come together to launch The Health Initiative. This is a pact between all the editors to promote a healthier, more positive body image within the industry. It is a MASSIVE step and definitely one in the right direction for the future. Unless you live under a rock on a deserted island, you'll know that we have a serious problem on our hands these days, ladies. Self deprecation has reached dizzying heights and young girls growing up today are finding it increasing difficult to like the way they look. Who can blame them as they flip through glossy magazines that showcase nearly anorexic supermodels who have been airbrushed into a look that is absolutely unachievable in reality.

So what's ahead? Well, the June issues of Vogue will launch The Health Initiative globally, so keep an eye out for this editorial in your glossies around the globe. However, British Vogue have been kind enough to share with us the six point pact that the global Editors of Vogue have agreed. It reads as follows:

1. We will not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating
disorder. We will work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy
body image.

2. We will ask agents not to knowingly send us underage girls and casting directors to check IDs
when casting shoots, shows and campaigns.

3. We will help to structure mentoring programmes where more mature models are able to give
advice and guidance to younger girls, and we will help to raise industry-wide awareness through
education, as has been integral to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Health Initiative.

4. We will encourage producers to create healthy backstage working conditions, including healthy
food options and a respect for privacy. We will encourage casting agents not to keep models
unreasonably late.

5. We encourage designers to consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes of
their clothing, which limits the range of women who can be photographed in their clothes, and
encourages the use of extremely thin models.

6. We will be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image.

I do think this is a step in the right direction. There is lots more to do but we all must start somewhere and I'm pleased to see Vogue is leading the way forward. 

I would, however, like to pay particular attention to point 5 in which small sample sizes are addressed. What Vogue is doing is fantastic but truly they have to hire models that will actually fit in the clothes they are provided for shoots, so in order to really make a change I propose a pact between designers, magazines and the general public. How about we up the sample size? If the designers do this, the magazines will be forced to hire healthier models and in return the public will begin to see a more average sized woman displayed in their favourite glossy magazines. It's a small step that will make a massive difference and have an immediate impact on the current body image problem circling the globe.