The fashion industry is buzzing at the moment due to Fashion Week's kicking off globally, providing us with spectacular shows, beautiful people and jaw droopingly expensive clothes. However, the striking garments aren't the first thing that people are commenting on but once again it's the models weight instead.
Models that are deemed "too skinny" have been a cause for controversy for many years, as it is thought that hiring tiny models to strut the runway is helping promote an unhealthy body image to impressionable individuals and therefore increasing the risk of eating disorders.
Many campaigns have being launched to help this cause. For instance the "Say No to Size Zero" campaign was started by Katie Green after she won a Wonderbra competition, the prize was to be signed by Premier Model Management. However, the agency is alleged to have asked her to lose weight otherwise they would not represent her, Green was a size 12. Considering the average size of a British woman is a size 16, Green would typically be considered slim but apparently not in the fashion world.
Another is the shock Italian campaign 'No Anorexia', where Isabelle Caro, a French actress and model, appeared on billboards naked so people would realise the effects the illness has physically, sadly she died not long after at just the age of 28 due to suffering the condition herself from the age of 13.
Eating disorders are extremely serious, with the mortality rate associated with anorexia nervosa being 12 times higher than the death rate of ALL other causes of death for females aged 15 - 24 years old and staggering figures such as, approximately 7 million girls and adult women in the world right now are suffering from eating disorders, prove the seriousness of these campaigns. Positive steps, such as changing the images of women in the media, are not only going to help these females but hopefully stop the progression and expansion of these mental illnesses.
Positively, this year the fashion world seemed to be taking healthy steps towards change, there were less gasps of horror as instead of skeletal teenager strutting down the catwalk there were some 'plus-size models' taking to the runways of some of the most famous labels in the world including Zac Posen, Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier. Many other fashion labels including Prada, Versace and Armani have now also agreed to ban size zero models from their catwalks too. As well as Milan and Madrid banning all models who have a BMI below 18% off catwalks completely.
Hopefully this work continues to help those suffering and finally fashion can be about what it is supposed to be, the clothes.
Sources: Wikipedia, http://www.mirasol.net/eating-disorders/information/eating-disorder-statistics.php and http://www.state.sc.us/dmh/anorexia/statistics.htm