The Guardian has published an excerpt from former Australian Vogue editor Kirstie Clements' new memoir, The Vogue Factor. Clements focuses on fashion and body image in the chapter, and while many outlets will no doubt focus on the "shocking" details she shares (fashion models who are regularly fed by I.V. drip because they pass out at work, or who eat tissues to feel full), her overall argument is that, as a system, the modeling and fashion industries are pretty fucked up.
It sounds as though the experience of editing Australian Vogue was a humbling one, and Clements acknowledges some mistakes — like an April, 2007, cover featuring then-15-year-old model Katie Braatvedt (above), which was criticized for sexualizing a child. "I lamely debated the point, claiming that the photographs were meant to be innocent and charming," writes Clements, "but in the end I had to agree wholeheartedly with the readers. I felt foolish even trying to justify it." Clements says she supports, at least in main, Vogue's subsequent international commitment to not use models under the age of 16, or who have eating disorders. "The first part you can police. The second is disingenuous nonsense, because unless you are monitoring their diet 24/7, you just can't be sure."