British Fashion Council Discovers Airbrushing, Becomes Appalled

Illustration for article titled British Fashion Council Discovers Airbrushing, Becomes Appalled

The British Fashion Council, the governing board behind London Fashion Week, has come out against the overuse of airbrushing in England's magazines. (Dear BFC: we could have told you about this a long time ago.) BFC reps tell the Telegraph that it is writing a letter to the British Society of Magazine Editors and others about "digitally-enhanced body images and the part it plays in magazines in perpetuating an unachievable aesthetic." The Council is also concerned that the health guidelines for models that they recommended earlier this year are "not being implemented." The Guardian says that "the recommendations include a ban on models under the age of 16 and non-smoking and drug free backstage environments."


English fashion authorities aren't the only international groups getting upset about the current state of the celebrity-industrial complex. The Women's Forum in Australia released a report in August called Faking It: The Female Image in Young Women's Magazines. And guess what they found? The tyranny of perfection perpetuated by women's magazines makes everyone hate themselves!!

Considering the fashion industry's widespread apathy about anorexia (according to the Guardian, Karl Lagerfeld said the models just had "skinny bones"; Dolce & Gabbana said that anorexia had "nothing to do with fashion"), it's hard to believe that the BFC's suggestions will be truly heard. But who knows? Maybe at some point a faux-celebrity's photographed cellulite won't cause a major media outcry. Fingers crossed!

Magazines criticised for airbrushing models [Telegraph]
Model health recommendations 'not being implemented' [Guardian]

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Jenna Sauers

@Miss Smith Drank Your Vodka: That happens really commonly. At one of my recent jobs, the client rep was actually concerned about my ribs, because I was posing topless wearing denim, and he knew as well as I did that they'd have to airbrush my ribs out. He also however knew I don't have an eating disorder, because he'd just watched me destroy a serving of lamb rogan josh with garlic naan for lunch (while the other model, a Russian, had picked at a small plate of sushi and told me in broken English how she quit school for modeling three years prior. She was 17).

The pressure to be thin in the fashion industry isn't just to be a regular gawky beanpole skinny person, with some curvy parts and some bony parts, it's to be this perfect, evenly skinny, not-too-bony, willowy thing. With a two-inch gap between your thighs when you stand up straight, and boobs.

Few people are built like that. For instance, while my hips are borderline "big" for modeling, I cannot recall a time in my life when I couldn't count my ribs. There's just no way for me to bring my hip measurement down any further, and there's no way for me to magically grow boobs or even rib-covering subcutaneous fat, either. I try to love my upper body, but it's hard. I had never knowingly had my chest airbrushed until that job, and I felt kind of sad about it. I'm lucky my boyfriend loves my little-boy chest and that I love not having to wear a bra, ever, I guess.