THE HEALTH INITIATIVE, a pact between the 19 international editors of Vogue to encourage a healthier approach to body image within the industry, is unveiled today in the June issue of Vogue.
"As one of the fashion industry’s most powerful voices, Vogue has a unique opportunity to engage with relevant issues where we feel we can make a difference," editor Alexandra Shulman explains in her editor’s letter, adding that the Initiative will "build on the successful work that the Council of Fashion Designers of America with the support of American Vogue in the US and the British Fashion Council in the UK have already begun to encourage a healthier approach to body image within the industry".
In line with the Health Initiative, the international issues of Vogue jointly pledge - among other things - to “work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image” and to “be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image”.
Among the points that form the pact are that the editors will not knowingly work with models under 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder; that they will ask casting directors not to knowingly send underage models to their magazines; they will help structure mentoring programs so that more mature models can advise their younger counterparts; they will encourage designers to “consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes,” and that they will encourage show producers to create healthy backstage working environments for models.
The new initiative builds on the steps that the Council of Fashion Designers of America and U.S. Vogue have taken, such as the launch of a mentor program for models in 2011, and those of the British Fashion Council and British Vogue, such as the launch of the BFC’s Model Health Inquiry in 2007 and the establishment of a model advisory panel, a meeting of casting directors, stylists and booking editors to discuss model welfare.