News__ Vogue: Good Health Initiative
May 10, 2012
With the Good Health Initiative the editors of Vogue (above) have made a vow to not use underage and underweight models Confession: This morning, when I woke up at the guy’s house that I’m dating, I somehow secretly ended up in his bathroom weighing myself on his scale. I looked down at the number and instantly began the sick cycle of obsession. Even though the number I was staring down at hadn’t gone up in nearly a year, I still obsessed over it. Obsessed over the number itself. Obsessed over what the number meant. Obsessed over why, as a fairly rational woman, I still cared what the number meant, especially when I had a guy in the other room and people in my life who couldn’t care less about what the number was or meant. I snuck back to bed and, as I have done for most of my life, smacked some sense into myself and pushed my foolish obsession far out of my mind. It’s no secret that the media’s fascination with all things young and bony has gotten worse over the years. The “perfect body” has morphed from Marilyn’s curves to Kate Moss’ lack thereof. And while “bootylicious” may be in vogue as of late, women like Beyonce and Kim Kardashian aren’t landing on the covers of your favorite fashion mags without a health dose of photoshop. Waists, arms and thighs become slimmer and trimmer all while celebrating the beauty of the booty. The media’s manipulation of the female form is at an all-time frenzied high, and it seems unlikely that anything could derail it from its course. However, last week, the high priestesses of fashion journalism, Vogue, issued a statement in which they pledged to “not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder.” With 19 of Vogue’s international editors committed to what the publication is calling their “Good Health Initiative,” it seems that fashion media may finally be making steps to focus on a positive body image. The fashion bible says, “good health is beautiful. Vogue Editors around the world want the magazines to reflect their commitment to the health of the models who appear on the pages and the well-being of their readers.” Vogue will also implement a mentoring program for young models, pairing them with seasoned veterans who can healthily guide them through the evils of the fashion industry. While this does seem like bold and encouraging news coming from what is arguably the fashion industry’s single biggest trend-leader, I can’t help but think back to my morning confession. Even though I appear to have a healthy body to any outsider, my secret internal obsession has always focused on numbers. And from teeny tiny sample sizes to pre-pubescent models and photoshopping mayhem, Vogue seems to have mirrored, if not fueled, my number-focus as well. Which begs the question-- can Vogue, like me, brush this obsession aside and actually practice what they preach? Or will that old thing always come creeping back? Let's hope what Anna says—good health—goes.