In the aftermath of recent Fashion Week shows around the globe, I’ve been seeing numerous articles around the internet debating whether or not lawmakers need to take a stand in the “too-thin” model controversy. Recent research speculates that by monitoring and regulating the size of runway models, many teen girls could be saved from lives of anorexia and bulimia.
Several countries in Europe have banned these waifs from walking their catwalks. In the United Kingdom measures are being put in place in both the modeling and advertising worlds to encourage designers to use “healthy” looking women to be role models for younger girls. How long until these laws are seen being researched and enacted in the United States?
Studies show that presenting younger girls with more realistic models could reverse the rapidly expanding epidemic of eating disorders. Models have become little more than walking clothes hangers for designers to show off their wares. Many of these women speak little to no English (or the language in which they are being communicated to in) and many who also come from underdeveloped nations and because this is their way out of previous circumstances, they have no say in what they are being encouraged to do to their bodies.
Is it solely the fashion industry’s job to present young girls with a healthy ideal? No. Should families and friends encourage healthier ways of life for these adolescents? Yes. Will the fashion industry be swayed by these public outcries? Probably not, but hopefully. For now we have to hope that other designers will follow suit with those that have already made the socially conscious choice to use “healthy weight” models in their runway shows.