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 Post subject: Even if Fashion Is an 'Illusion,' it Still Has to Face Reali
PostPosted: Sat Sep 07, 2013 2:43 pm 
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Even if Fashion Is an 'Illusion,' it Still Has to Face Reality

British Vogue has launched a new initiative meant to educate schoolchildren about the perils of comparing oneself to the images in fashion magazines. According to the magazine's Editor-in-Chief Alexandra Shulman, "The problem, if there is a problem, comes when people judge themselves and their appearance against the models they see on the pages of a magazine and then feel that in some way they fall short."

Her solution? An educational film, entitled It's a Look, meant to highlight how carefully constructed — and not real — fashion images are. It's a Look comes with an accompanying lesson plan, and it's targeted at high school girls aged 15-16. Says Shulman, "I decided it might be helpful to show what goes into the creation of a Vogue fashion picture, as a way of illustrating the skill and artifice that makes the final product." This endeavor is a result of the magazine's recent Health Initiative, a pact between the 19 international editors of Vogue to encourage a healthier approach to body image.

As well-intentioned as this idea is, will it really solve anything? Wouldn't a better solution to healthy body image come from, um, I don't know, hiring models who reflect reality — or at least come somewhat close to it? Or not photoshopping them into "perfect" impossibilities? Shulman seems to believe that everyone recognizes that the bodies in fashion editorials aren't realistic human bodies:

As editor of Vogue, I am frequently asked about the influence and messages the images in the magazine send to our readers about body image. Our mission in Vogue's fashion pictures is to inspire and entertain, while showing the clothes created by many highly talented designers. They are created with this intention in mind, not to represent reality.

To me, it seems fairly impossible to promote healthy body image while continuing to circulate images of an unachievable beauty standard. Claiming that fashion images are meant to be taken as mere entertainment fails to take into account the ubiquity of impossible beauty ideals (and the way those ideals affect women's conceptions of their own bodies). As Farhana Nazir asks at My Fashion Life, "Yes, magazines can be viewed as escapist outlets, but when they’re dictating what we should be buying, where we should be dining and whom we should be wearing, is it possible to dismiss the imagery — one of the strongest elements of a magazine such as Vogue?"

Via Jezebel


*note, this is just part of the full article. i didn't think the rest was relevant to eating disorders.

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