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03-05-2012
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Vogue Adopts a 16-and-Over Modeling Rule *No Weight Talk*
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Vogue Adopts a 16-and-Over Modeling Rule
By Eric Wilson

Beginning with their June issues, the editors of the 19 international editions of Vogue magazine have made a pact to stop using models under age 16 or those who, from the viewpoint of the editors, appear to have an eating disorder.

In a somewhat unusual announcement, unusual in that the magazines are wading into a controversial issue, the Condé Nast International chairman, Jonathan Newhouse, said on Thursday, “Vogue editors around the world want the magazines to reflect their commitment to the health of the models who appear on the pages and the well-being of their readers.”

For decades, fashion magazines have been criticized for upholding an unrealistic standard of beauty, and even more so with the widespread use of digital retouching that often results in images of models and celebrities that have no basis in reality. While Vogue editors like Anna Wintour, of the American edition, and Franca Sozzani, of Italy, have participated in recent efforts by the Council of Fashion Designers of America to promote healthier behavior in the modeling industry, the magazines have not typically issued their own standards.

The fashion council released its own guidelines to designers and modeling agencies last season, asking them not to use models younger than 16 on their runways, and most have complied. The designer Marc Jacobs, however, disagreed with the council on that point and did use some models under that age, represented by Ford Models, in his show.

The Vogue announcement included the following six-point pact.

“1. We will not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder. We will work with models who, in our view, are healthy and help to promote a healthy body image.

“2. We will ask agents not to knowingly send us underage girls and casting directors to check IDs when casting shoots, shows and campaigns.

“3. We will help to structure mentoring programs where more mature models are able to give advice and guidance to younger girls, and we will help to raise industry-wide awareness through education, as has been integral to the Council of Fashion Designers of America Health Initiative.

“4. We will encourage producers to create healthy backstage working conditions, including healthy food options and a respect for privacy. We will encourage casting agents not to keep models unreasonably late.

“5. We encourage designers to consider the consequences of unrealistically small sample sizes of their clothing, which limits the range of women who can be photographed in their clothes, and encourages the use of extremely thin models.

“6. We will be ambassadors for the message of healthy body image.”
new york times, on the runway.

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03-05-2012
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Any news on which editions will adopt this rule??

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03-05-2012
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^All of them according to the article.

Thanks for posting it HeatherAnne. While everything does sound great in the article, it remains to see if they'll actually follow these guidelines...

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03-05-2012
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Just the fact that they're establishing such a policy is a step in the right direction

I wonder if the establishment of the Model Alliance has had an impact on this... they seem to be making a lot of noise in a good way.

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03-05-2012
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I'd love to see how many Vogues will cope with this new rule. Does this count for younger celebrities who do editorial work in Vogue?

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03-05-2012
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I love this new direction, time to embrace the new and leave the old fashioned fashion industry practices in the past

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03-05-2012
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New policy sounds great. No need for models under 16 in a women's fashion magazine when there are so many great models 16+ or even 18+

The only Vogue models under 16 belong in is Teen Vogue.

Still though, I'm sure it's gonna get violated at some point..... some 14 year old model lying about her age and Vogue editors turning blind eye to it. The whole "knowingly" part offers a major loophole.

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03-05-2012
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Now lets just see if everyone is applying the rules.

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03-05-2012
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This sounds like a fantastic idea! It's high time that they start taking initiative and enact change. Now, it'll be interesting to see if they actually follow through on their statement. I wonder if the editors will face repercussions if they allow a model under 16 to be published in the magazine? Maybe the head of Condé Nast gave them a stern talking too? Hopefully now that Vogue has taken a step in the right direction other magazines will follow suit.

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03-05-2012
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it's a step in the right direction, however, the pessimist in me doesn't think this rule will be followed by some vogue editors. if someone like meisel really likes a model under 16 and thinks she will be the next big thing, i'm not sure certain editors will say no to not working with her. but i hope things really do change.

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04-05-2012
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I hope Vogue really sticks to it's word on this, if they do there is strong chance other magazines will be pressured to follow suit. However, all of you, bring up some good points/potential issues. I also wonder if models won't be more inclined to start lying about their age in the opposite direction that they do now -- younger girls will start lying about being older instead of older girls lying about being younger. Tricky issue for sure, but I'm glad somebody's finally taking it on. Kudos to Vogue.

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04-05-2012
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^Maybe models who are suspected of being 16 or under will be forced to show them their birth certificate or social security card? That would be one way to regulate someone's age. Because you can get into major trouble if you fake those. But I have a feeling that some model is going to lie/get away with being underage and in a few months we will be talking about what a major scandal it is. However, I really, really hope this doesn't happen.

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04-05-2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenna16 View Post
New policy sounds great. No need for models under 16 in a women's fashion magazine when there are so many great models 16+ or even 18+

The only Vogue models under 16 belong in is Teen Vogue.

Still though, I'm sure it's gonna get violated at some point..... some 14 year old model lying about her age and Vogue editors turning blind eye to it. The whole "knowingly" part offers a major loophole.
Yeah, I also took notice of the word "knowingly". I feel like if a model they want to work with lies about her age, they won't really put much of an effort into making sure she's actually 16.

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04-05-2012
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Yep, I think the use of the word "knowingly" is a big red flag here. Things are not as they want them to appear.

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04-05-2012
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I'm not overly concerned about a 15-year-old model doing a chaperoned photoshoot, I'm concerned about the constant sight of 50-year-old women airbrushed to look like they have the skin of that 15-year-old model.

Digital improvement in moderation makes for a better image, but not to the point where it looks more like an avatar than a person. Sure, you can hire a different sort of model and request a different size of clothes, but if all that real-world work goes through the same old photoshop filter where the thighs are whittled away, or a head gets transposed onto a different shot of the body, what sort of improved situation are you really providing to consumers?

So a magazine shouldn't get brownie points just for talk about booking models, when images are altered so much after a shoot happens. The principle behind this has to be carried right through every process of creating the final image that the public sees.

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