But not Coco Rocha, a 21 year old model, self described as “6 inches taller and 10 sizes smaller than the average American woman, came forward to have her say during NY Fashion Week 2010;
“This issue of model’s weight is, and always has been of concern to me. There are certain moral decisions which seem like no brainers to us. For example, not employing children in sweatshops, and not increasing the addictiveness of cigarettes. When designers, stylists or agents push children to take measures that lead to anorexia or other health problems in order to remain in the business, they are asking the public to ignore their moral conscience in favor of the art.
Surely, we all see how morally wrong it is for an adult to convince an already thin 15 year old that she is actually too fat. It is unforgivable that an adult should demand that the girl unnaturally lose the weight vital to keep her body functioning properly. How can any person justify an aesthetic that reduces a woman or child to an emaciated skeleton? Is it art? Surely fashion’s aesthetic should enhance and beautify the human form, not destroy it.”
Then came the inevitable jabs from the NY Times Fashion Freaks in an article titled A Model’s prospects: Slim to none, which insinuated that Rocha is no longer desirable because she is too fat, and therefore speaking out (which is a pile of BS BTW);
“A lot of designers no longer hire her for their runways. They consider her a veritable behemoth in a business that makes a fetish of being what the actress Emily Blunt once termed “edge of ill” thin.”
The good news in all of this is the Council of Fashion Designers of American (CFDA) has finally come out of their coma to address these issues (I was stalking them way back in 2008 on this topic – even went undercover to their offices to expose how clueless they were). Supposedly their goal is to increase the sample size and to book models over the age of 16 (I”ll believe it when I see it, but hey at least they are pretending to care now).
Coco Rocha went on to say;
We need changes. I’d prefer that there would be no girl working under the age of 16, but if that has to be the case then I’d love to see teens escorted by a guardian to castings, shows, and shoots. The CFDA has set codes in place for their members and I’d love to see the entire industry follow. Society legislates a lot of things – no steroid use in sports is one example – its only reasonable that there be rules of conduct to keep the fashion industry healthy.
My sincere hope is that through our efforts young models will one day be spared the humiliation, the risky weight loss, the depression that comes along with anorexia and the misery of abandonment by an industry ashamed to see them turn into actual women.
There are natural human standards in how we treat one another and how we treat children. There are those who continue to trample on these standards but there are also champions of a better way. I hope that the continued efforts of the CFDA and all those who hold these values in regard will sway the opinion of those on the opposing side of the industry to ensure a true change for the better.