It’s the recurring fashion industry debate: the “skinny model”. Governments have taken a proactive step towards redefining the conception of perfection. A new code of conduct will be initiated to encourage the representation of healthy sized models and to stray from using digitally enhanced images.
But what would a fashion magazine be without the skinny, airbrushed model? Federal Youth Minister Kate Ellis has said the voluntary code of conduct will help to reshape young people’s perception of body images. The code will insist that designers refrain from hiring models with a dangerously low body mass index or use male models that are “excessively muscular”. Models under the age of 16 aren’t to be featured on catwalks or in editorials. They should probably tell designers which fabrics, colours and styles they should be using as well – just to be safe.
Magazines will be encouraged to feature women of various shapes, sizes and ethnicities, and advertisements for rapid weight loss diets and cosmetic surgery should be phased out. Fashion retailers will also be advised to stock a range of sizes to reflect the demand from consumers. A ‘Body Image friendly’ symbol will be awarded to industry companies who adhere to these changes, kind of like the Heart Foundation tick of approval.
The question is, will these initiatives really help those who need it? Let us know what you think. Should the government be regulating the fashion industry? And will a body image tick of approval sway your decision at the newsstand?