Much like the fashion show organizers in Madrid who only use models with healthy BMIs, the higher powers at London Fashion Week have taken steps to make the event (somewhat) healthier by electing to eliminate models under the age of 16 for their Fall 2007 event.
14 and 15 year old models tend to be thinner and bonier than their older counterparts, as many of these girls have yet to fully develop and create an even more unrealistic perception of what a body should look like.
While England is showing some effort in eliminating these prepubescent girls from their runways, they have yet to ban size zero models. Women 16 and up whose ribs and collar bones protrude will be free to grace the runways. These bone-thin models advertise clothing designed for women who are realistically, at least 10 years older than them and have fuller, more common body types. So why would organizers at London Fashion Week want to use teenagers and uncommonly thin women to advertise clothing aimed at a completely different demographic?
Many argue that the clothes just “look better” on skinnier models.
While this may be the case, the clothing won’t be worn by women with modelesque body types, negating the positive appearance it has on the runway. Consumers may flock to the designer’s stores to try on pieces that had looked tempting on the runway, but when they realize the clothes look extremely different on their own bodies, they probably won’t make the purchase.
There are many women who happen to be naturally thin, but it seems like almost half of professional models are plagued by some type of eating disorder. The public exposure of these abnormal body types sets unrealistic standards for women who expect models to set the definition of a proper appearance.
The good news? The fashion world is taking steps toward creating healthier body images for women internationally. The bad? It’s probably too little too late.