Vogue magazine is one of the biggest fashion magazines worldwide, and June’s issue was really good so I thought I’d write about it. It focuses on the Olympics and the Jubilee, but the reason it was so good was because it was a body special that celebrated “sport, style and shape”.
Firstly, Alexander Shulman (The editor) outlined the new Vogue initiative:
As one of the fashion industry’s mot powerful voices, Vogue has a unique opportunity to engage with relevant issues where we feel we can make a difference. This month we announce the Health Initiative, a pact between the international editors of Vogue, now published in 19 countries, to build on the successful work that the Council of Fashion Designers of America Health Initiative in the US and the British Fashion Council in the UK have already started, to encourage a healthier approach to body image within the industry.
Fashion is an inspiring and creative force, and fashion models are also role models for many women. because of this, it is important that we do all we can to ensure that they are well cared for and educated in ways that will encourage and help them to take care of themselves. We also recognize that there are many different types of body which are healthy – thinness itself is not an indication of ill-health, and obesity is also pressing issue. This programme aims to address as many of the issues as we realistically can.
- 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 promote a healthy body image.
- We will ask agents not to knowingly send us underage girls and casting directors to check ID’s when casting shoots, shows and campaigns.
- We will help 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 CFDA Health Initiative.
- We will encourage producers to create healthy backstage working conditions, including healthy food option s and a respect for privacy. We will encourage casting agents not to keep models unreasonably late.
- We consider 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.
- We will be vocal ambassadors for the message of healthy body image, both within the magazine and outside
The Editors of Vogue
Signed by the editors from US, UK, Italy, France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Brazil, China, Greece India, Japan, Korea Mexico, The Netherlands, Portugal, Russia, Taiwan and Turkey.
So this means there is now a powerful voice who is well renowned within the fashion industry (Vogue is the biggest, most highly regarded fashion magazine) fighting against size 0, eating disorders and underage models, meaning things should start to change as smaller magazines will look up to Vogue and follow suit. And because all the Vogue editors have signed it, this will hopefully be a worldwide shift.
On page 138 where the photo spreads are they’re was a 20 page spread titled London Pride which showed the styles of different celebrities, but rather than being just models there were sports stars, actors and people of all different ages which was nice to see as people tend to forget with the focus always being on youth and looking younger how nice and refreshing wrinkles and crows feet are.
This was followed by a 16 page spread of photos of Olympic athletes (and two pages of signed pictures of all of them) called Sporting Gods that aimed to “pay tribute to the versatility, beauty and brilliance of the human body”. The pictures were pretty impressive as they focused more on the muscle and power of the body than what they were wearing, showing off the tough legs of sprinter Jodie Williams, rather than trying to make them look long and spindly, the impressive sporting stature of Euan Burton rather than trying to create a pin-up sex icon of them. Looking at their bodies you could see the hours of training, pain, dedication and hard work that had gone into it. Yes, they weren’t your typical beautiful bodies, but they were beautiful because of the love, dedication and pure drive they emulated, as well as being mighty impressive.
Heptathlete: Louise Hazel
Then came National Treasures, an 8 page spread of England’s “great Britons” featuring Helena Bonham Carter (Actress 45 years old), David Attenborough (Broadcaster and Naturalist 86 years old), Damon Albarn (Musician (Blur) 44 years old), Kate Moss (Model 38 years old), Penelope Tree (Model and Campaigner 62 years old) and Patrick Moore (Broadcaster and Astronomer 89 years old) and a 4 page spread about Queen Elizabeth II. Seeing different people celebrated was a lovely sight, Helena Bonham Carter is known for not following fashion, and still featured, Patrick Moore’s suit didn’t fit him and he was nothing like the normal men in Vogue, but it was nice to see the industry reaching out and accepting everyone, every shape, every style, every personality (Penelope Tree had a coat hanger on her head).