Monday, March 16, 2009

LTTE Vogue Magazine - Extremely thin models

Dear Ms. Wintour,
As pleasing as your plea to all designers to: "consider athleticism and vitality as assets in the wearing of great fashion," sounds, we both know the fashion industry better.
My Mother, who worked on Seventh Avenue for 25 years often said: "designers will always want models who look like 'human hangers' because the clothes hang better on them.
After College, my first job in 1983 was working for a popular, well loved designer as an order clerk/receptionist/house model. At 5' 10" tall, I started the job weighing 136 pounds. One year later, I weighed a mere 118 pounds. I was offered an entree into the runway business if I would lose 15 more pounds. I also had an offer in Paris, but knew the unspoken, unwritten rule was "once over the pond, under 100 pounds." I thought seriously about both offers and passed on both having been told by the persons offering me these positions that I was not going to be able to eat anything, ever. Ever. Ever.
Twenty-five years later, this international, "under 100" silent rule has simply traveled across the pond to the USA. There undoubtedly is and will continue to be an unspoken, unwritten pressure within the fashion industry for models to be extremely thin.
Governments, Prada wearers and TV show personalities cannot regulate weight for models. Only we the general public can be definitively responsible for what we will tolerate and what media we will purchase, watch and subscribe to for our enjoyment and escapism.

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