Remember the years you imagined being a model but found out you would have to starve yourself to achieve the stick thin look that seems to be so coveted on the runways? Did you watch “The Devil Wears Prada” and felt terrible when you understood that getting a job in the fashion industry would require you to be a few sizes smaller than what you are now? You really were not alone in that. We have all been terribly disappointed when we got on the scale and realized we were not only too short, but too heavy to be a model. Yet times are changing it seems and the modelling world has begun morphing its laws into something that is less detrimental to the health of its employees.
While in France the reaction to the law stating that everyone working has to be over a certain BMI was adding weights in the hair instead to make themselves heavier, the British are being a bit more civilized with the whole thing and forcing models to eat meals. It is a rather positive alternative to the BMI factor, for some have low BMIs but are still very healthy and eat normally, while others with higher might be starving themselves as well. Which brand is forcing its models to eat?
UK clothing line Rose & Willard simply cannot abide with the starving to death situation, an epidemic that has taken the lives of many models over the years. Instead, they not only expect their models to eat full meals, but will watch them do so, ensuring that the ladies do not get away with munching on a slice of cucumber or throwing the meal away. No bulimia will be tolerated either. Those who fail to comply with this rule will not be compensated for their work.
While this may seem harsh and a little over the top, it is meant to protect the vulnerable young girls. “Yes, it’s a form of nannying but we feel we have a responsibility to protect these young women from an industry which we believe can leave them exploited and puts them under pressure to starve themselves and damage their health and well-being,” states brand founder Heidy Rehman in her article for Huffington Post. She has seen what hunger does to the girls and would rather avoid that entirely. It is hard to watch a starving model become delirious and start talking gibberish because she has not eaten normally in weeks.
Some of the most disturbing things that caused the brand to issue such a rule included noticing models eating tissues to prevent stomach rumblings from bothering the shoots. The models will join the staff at lunch to eat whatever they please, from small, nutritional meals to all-out pizzas, whichever is preferred.
This is a clause that both the company and the models agree upon when drawing up the contracts, and it allows everyone to feel more at ease with one another. Here is to a healthier fashion industry, where women are no longer forced to starve themselves in order to fit the criteria required to become a model. We are so happy to see that some European brands have already begun this healthier body trend.
Photo courtesy of Vogue