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Progress To Prevent Eating Disorders In The Modeling Industry

Art By: Cate Parr of Silver Ridge Studio
Art By: Silver Ridge Studio/ Cate Parr www.etsy.com

As Social Networking  has boomed in past years so has the campaigning
and advocacy for social justice causes, such as eating disorders. The work of
many activists has been best seen this past week at New York Fashion Week where
the treatment of models has changed drastically.

 

Steven Kolb, the chief executive of the fashion council,
noted that designers have met behind the scenes with agents, casting directors
and models to promote healthy behavior and prevent eating disorders. Guidelines
include educating the industry to recognize the early signs of eating
disorders, supplying healthy snacks backstage and not allowing models under the
age of 18 to work past midnight at fittings or photo shoots. Nevertheless, when
asked to grade the modeling industry’s performance, he replied, “I’m going to
give us a ‘B.’ ” Noted fashion leader Diane Von Furstenberg had another statement
about the changes “If we haven’t done anything else we certainly have created
awareness.”

Some nutritionists and eating-disorder specialists disagree
saying the fashion councils decision to promote guidelines are an ineffectual
response to a dire problem. However, five years after the industry first took
that position, even some of the most vocal critics of the council now
acknowledge that American designers, through their outreach, have perhaps
played a greater role in combating eating disorders among models than the
weight rules in Europe have. Madrid, where rules are strictly enforced, plays a
small role in international fashion. In Milan, there is very little evidence
that rules, which many designers have found confusing, have been followed at
all. On Monday, the National Eating Disorders Association released a statement
thanking the C.F.D.A. for updating its guidelines to include clearer language
on education and for checking models’ identification. The Victorian is also
thankful for the work done by the fashion council. We hope it doesn’t stop
here, but continues to improve and protect the women and men who represent
them.

Happy Recovery,

Irvina