The idea of specifically paying tribute to healthy models sounds like an odd concept and a trend that should be a given, but the fashion industry being what it is, Vogue Italia Editor Franca Sozzani thinks it’s absolutely necessary.
Sozzani recently delivered a speech on body image and eating disorders at Harvard University and she admitted that the image of thinness pushed upon young girls by the fashion industry has a lot to do with the widespread growth of anorexia, and for that reason she said, “We will release another issue dedicated to health, that is to say featuring curvy and not curvy women, but all healthy.”
The fact that an issue featuring healthy models who more accurately represent consumers is in fact “special” and not the standard speaks volumes on the problem itself, and Sozzani says it’s not enough that a few magazines celebrate “real women” every now and again. We need to figure out how we developed our current standard of beauty.
“What lead us to establish that thin is beautiful and that thinness is the aesthetic code we should follow? Why the age of supermodels, who were beautiful and womanly, slowly started decreasing and we now have still undeveloped adolescents with no sign of curves? Why is this considered beautiful? Marylin Monroe, Liz Taylor, and Sophia Loren today would appear in our Curvy channel and be defined shapely. Yet they are beauty icons still today. What has really happened? Trends change also regarding aesthetics, and today we accept such standards as the most normal thing. And this is a negative example.”
Many would argue that the fashion industry set this trend in place, most likely as an antithesis to the curvier models of years past. Every so often the industry makes some obscure physical quality, like models with gapped teeth, the it thing for a season and everyone embraces it, but for some reason extreme thinness has stuck—and even the boundaries of that small frame keep getting pushed.
Sozzani has always been a pioneer with Vogue Italia, instituting the first “black issue” a few years back, and on the issue of healthy body images she said, “We will do our best, but it will be impossible to fight this widespread idea of thinness all by ourselves.”