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Academy for Eating Disorders' guidelines for the fashion industry
Who wants to bet that the fashion industry will adopt the following guidelines voluntarily?
- Adoption of an age threshold requiring that models be at least 16 years of age so as to reduce the pressure that adolescent girls feel to conform to the ultra-thin standard of female beauty.
- For women and men over the age of 18, adoption of a minimum body mass index threshold of 18.5 kg.m-2, (e.g., a female model who is 5’ 9” [1.75 m] must weigh more than 126 pounds [57.3 kg]) which recognizes that weight below this is considered underweight by the World Health Organization.
- For female and male models between the ages of 16 and 18, adoption of a minimum body mass index for age and sex equivalent to the 10th BMI percentile for age and sex (weight below this is considered underweight by the Centers for Disease Control). For example, applying this criterion to a 16-year-old female model, the minimum required body mass index would be 17.4 kg.m-2, for a male model 17.7 kg.m-2. A 16-year-old female model who is 5’ 9” [1.75 m] must weigh more than 117 pounds [53.3 kg].
- Adoption of an independent medical certification affirming that students who are aspiring models do not suffer from an eating disorder and/or related medical complications (see below).
- Development of action steps to identify models in need of intervention and appropriate and sensitive procedures for detection and referral.
- Discouragement of all non-healthy weight control behaviors throughout the industry (e.g., self-induced vomiting, use of laxatives, diuretics and diet pills). Increased educational initiatives aimed at student models and professional models, their agents and employers to reduce the multiple health risks of various unhealthy weight control behaviors.
- Provision of educational initiatives aimed at aspiring and working student models, professional models, their agents and employers to raise awareness of the multiple health risks of low weight and restricted nutritional intake. These health risks include irregularity or cessation of menses, bradycardia (low heart rate)/irregular heart beat, electrolyte imbalances, dizziness/fainting spells, sudden cardiac death and long term health complications including osteoporosis, depression, and reproductive complications.
- Increased communication with advertising agencies to encourage the use of age-appropriate, realistic models in ad campaigns and reduction of unrealistic computer enhancement in preteen and adolescent advertising campaigns.
- An overall ban of the use of photographic manipulation techniques that artificially slim images of fashion models throughout the entire fashion industry.
- Inclusion of models of varying weights and body types on both the catwalk and in fashion magazines so that these images - and the message that women and men of differing body types can look good in a variety of fashions - become part of our collective view of what constitutes beauty.
- Promotion of awareness in students, models, and the general public about advertising industry tactics, such as computer enhancement, used to falsify the appearance and actual size of models used in advertising.
- Collaboration with politicians, stakeholders, and eating disorder organizations to develop ethical self-regulatory codes for the fashion industry.
- Collaboration with politicians, stakeholders, and eating disorder organizations in widening the availability and affordability of effective eating disorders treatment, which must be made readily available to people in the fashion industry.
Collaboration? The typical gay fashion designer reading the guidelines above is likely saying to himself, “Get infected with the bug scum!”
Here is a cool statement from an eating disorders “expert”:
Dr. Cynthia Bulik, distinguished professor of eating disorders in the department of psychiatry and director of the Eating Disorders Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine, urges the industry to open a dialogue with the AED stating “adherence to the AED Guidelines will save lives.”
Dialogue? The guidelines, if implemented in their entirety, will make it quite difficult for high-fashion models to approximate the looks of boys in their early adolescence. Will the gay-dominated fashion industry want a dialogue with these people? These eating disorder “experts” should get a clue.