Breaking News from The New York Times!

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.”

My interview with Katherine Schwarzenegger

Written by Coco Rocha for Seventeen Magazine

Hi all! I’m so excited that I was able to talk to one of my co-Body Peace Panel members, the beautiful daughter of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver, Miss Katherine Schwarzenegger! Through her recent book, Rock What You’ve Got, and public speaking, she is helping girls around the world find peace with their bodies. I felt so privileged to speak with Katherine myself about a few topics we both hold dear…

Coco: Katherine, first of all, thank you so much for your book! I found it waiting for me when I got home from Vancouver last week. I loved its message but I have to say, many people will probably be surprised you picked this topic for your first book. Who did you have in mind when you wrote this?

Katherine: Thanks Coco, it’s really a book for every girl who has ever felt insecure or self-conscious about her appearance. I wanted to let her know that she’s not alone, there’s not a woman in the world who hasn’t felt self-conscious about something! We as women all experience it but we never talk about it. With this book I really hope to break down that barrier of secrecy and start talking about the pressures and how we feel about our body image. Being able to talk about your body openly is such an empowering thing.

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NEW YORK JOURNAL OF STYLE AND MEDICINE

Taken from the NYJSM

NYJSM interview with one of the most recognizable names and faces in the industry right now. Elite Model, Coco Rocha Conran needs no introduction.

Dr. Vasey: How do you balance health and fitness while working in the industry?

Coco: Well no matter what is “in or out” in the industry, for me its very important to be fit, healthy and ultimately, to be happy. If my look isn’t what someone wants for a job, its fine, I know through experience that there’s always someone else in line who’ll like my look.

Dr. Vasey: Has health and fitness played a significant role in your life from the start of your career or something that evolved over the years?

Coco: I started out in this industry at 15 - I was young and knew little about what constituted a healthy diet and routine. There were those who tried to steer me into negative habits but there were also those who taught me good body image and positive healthy living. I think its important that kids today have positive influences to counteract the negative, that’s one of the reasons I’m teaming up with Seventeen magazine to be part of their Body Peace Council.

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My Uncensored Point Of View

by Coco Rocha

There has been quite the commotion over the recent articles about me in the New York Times and The New York Daily News. As only a few select statements of mine were printed I find it necessary to properly express my point of view, without outside editing.

I’m a 21 year old model, 6 inches taller and 10 sizes smaller than the average American woman. Yet in another parallel universe I’m considered “fat”… This was the subject of major discussion this week and the story that was spun was: “Coco Rocha is too fat for the runway”.

Is that the case? No. I am still used and in demand as a model. In fact I find myself busier than ever. In the past few years I have not gained an extreme amount of weight, only an inch here and there as any young woman coming out of her teenage years would.

But 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.

There is division in the industry in this regard. Although there are those who don’t consider a model’s wellbeing, I have had the honor and privilege to work with some of the greatest designers, editors, stylists, photographers and agents who respect both new and well established models alike.  I know there are many others out there who I haven’t worked with who also agree with me on the stance on this issue.

The CFDA has tried so very hard to correct these matters. As of a few days ago at their annual meeting they found everyone in the room in agreement on changing the sample size as well as booking models over the age of 16. It’s great to see how many people’s hearts are in the right place because we must make these changes for the next generation of girls.

As a grown woman I can make decisions for myself. I can decide that I won’t allow myself to be degraded at a casting - marching in my underwear with a group of young girls, poked, prodded and examined like cattle. I’m able to walk away from that treatment because I am established as a model and I’m an adult… but what about the young, struggling and aspiring models?

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.

In the past, models have spoken out on this issue, only to be accused of saying something because their careers were on the brink of extinction. This is not so in my case. I actually first spoke out about this two years ago at the peak of what a model would consider the ideal career and indeed there was a reaction -  those who were the worst offenders suddenly asked me to work for them! This was a public relations ploy and I wasn’t prepared to fall for that. I said “No, lets go a few seasons, lets see if you change, then I will work with you”. They didn’t change. I haven’t worked for them.

Of my generation of models I’m exactly where I need to be in my career and I’m grateful to use my position to actively speak out against this with the support of the CFDA and Vogue. 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.

I WOKE UP TO THISAnd here’s the article found in the New York Daily News.

So it’s come to this.
After all the hype, promises and international outcry, fashion’s still calling normal girls fat.
Coco Rocha is the latest victim of fashion’s irresponsible, unattainable demand that young women - some barely into their teens - be emaciated.
The 21-year-old top model, an outspoken advocate for industry reform, told The New York Times that demand for her services has waned, thanks to an occasional hamburger habit.
Sunday, she modeled for Diane von Furstenberg. Monday, she walked in Zac Posen’s show.
Look at the pictures.
She’s a size 4 - and she’s gorgeous.
Gemma Ward, an Australian who quit the business last year, got attention recently for chunked-up pictures (read: she’s got thighs) that circulated online. One blogger suggested she could get work in the plus-size biz.
Compare these women with the models getting all the bookings - stick figures with jutting collarbones, thighs the size of their ankles and not a whisper of a womanly curve.
They’re following in the footsteps of waifs like Kate Moss, who recently gave us her words of wisdom: “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”
It didn’t feel good for Ana Carolina Reston, the 88-pound Brazilian who died in 2006 of complications from anorexia.
Don’t feel sorry for the models: They live in a country where there’s access to food, and are actively starving themselves to make money. They’re making a choice.
Crystal Renn, a size-12 model who spent the early part of her career starving herself, says she was chasing a dream.
"No one chained me to a treadmill; no one forced me to starve," she told the Daily News. "I made those decisions to reach for the standards that were set for me."
Want to throw blame? Look straight at the people who are paying them.
Last week, the Council of Fashion Designers of America threw a symposium where designers, models and editors discussed raising the “sample size,” the industry standard set for runway and magazine photo shoots, to a size 4.
Right now, it’s a zero.
Designers and agents alike know that they’re setting the bar for boniness - and that it’s set pretty high.
Stunner Doutzen Kroes was at that panel and told The Associated Press she doesn’t do shows because she doesn’t fit into the sample size.
So she joined Victoria’s Secret’s brigade of sexy girls. “I eat and I am happy,” she said. “I want a healthy lifestyle, and I hope other models can have choices like that.”
Rocha spoke out at the event, too, saying, “It took a while to grow the confidence to say, ‘This is who I am, take it or leave it.’”
And fashion, she has now revealed, decided to leave it.
Two years ago, at the first of these useless events, she admitted that when she was at her thinnest - just 108 pounds (she’s 5-feet-10) - someone told her to lose weight.
So she did, and made herself ill with diuretic pills taken on an empty stomach. She vowed never to do it again - and made a plea then to the people present at the dog-and-pony show to make a change.
It was a cry for help. And no one has listened.

 

I WOKE UP TO THIS

And here’s the article found in the New York Daily News.

So it’s come to this.

After all the hype, promises and international outcry, fashion’s still calling normal girls fat.

Coco Rocha is the latest victim of fashion’s irresponsible, unattainable demand that young women - some barely into their teens - be emaciated.

The 21-year-old top model, an outspoken advocate for industry reform, told The New York Times that demand for her services has waned, thanks to an occasional hamburger habit.

Sunday, she modeled for Diane von Furstenberg. Monday, she walked in Zac Posen’s show.

Look at the pictures.

She’s a size 4 - and she’s gorgeous.

Gemma Ward, an Australian who quit the business last year, got attention recently for chunked-up pictures (read: she’s got thighs) that circulated online. One blogger suggested she could get work in the plus-size biz.

Compare these women with the models getting all the bookings - stick figures with jutting collarbones, thighs the size of their ankles and not a whisper of a womanly curve.

They’re following in the footsteps of waifs like Kate Moss, who recently gave us her words of wisdom: “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”

It didn’t feel good for Ana Carolina Reston, the 88-pound Brazilian who died in 2006 of complications from anorexia.

Don’t feel sorry for the models: They live in a country where there’s access to food, and are actively starving themselves to make money. They’re making a choice.

Crystal Renn, a size-12 model who spent the early part of her career starving herself, says she was chasing a dream.

"No one chained me to a treadmill; no one forced me to starve," she told the Daily News. "I made those decisions to reach for the standards that were set for me."

Want to throw blame? Look straight at the people who are paying them.

Last week, the Council of Fashion Designers of America threw a symposium where designers, models and editors discussed raising the “sample size,” the industry standard set for runway and magazine photo shoots, to a size 4.

Right now, it’s a zero.

Designers and agents alike know that they’re setting the bar for boniness - and that it’s set pretty high.

Stunner Doutzen Kroes was at that panel and told The Associated Press she doesn’t do shows because she doesn’t fit into the sample size.

So she joined Victoria’s Secret’s brigade of sexy girls. “I eat and I am happy,” she said. “I want a healthy lifestyle, and I hope other models can have choices like that.”

Rocha spoke out at the event, too, saying, “It took a while to grow the confidence to say, ‘This is who I am, take it or leave it.’”

And fashion, she has now revealed, decided to leave it.

Two years ago, at the first of these useless events, she admitted that when she was at her thinnest - just 108 pounds (she’s 5-feet-10) - someone told her to lose weight.

So she did, and made herself ill with diuretic pills taken on an empty stomach. She vowed never to do it again - and made a plea then to the people present at the dog-and-pony show to make a change.

It was a cry for help. And no one has listened.

 

A model’s prospects: Slim and none

by Guy Trebay

Taken from The New York Times

“I don’t do nudes, I don’t do semi-nudes, I don’t do cigarette shots,” Coco Rocha was saying on Sunday evening before the Diane Von Frustenberg show at the Bryant Park tents. “It took me a long time in the business to realize I didn’t have to do everything people told me I should if I wanted a career.”

Ms. Rocha is a model. Who isn’t nowadays? It used to be that kids wanted to grow up to be astronauts, police officers or doctors. Now it would appear that modeling is the career default of anybody who doesn’t have two heads. Ms. Rocha, according to a well-rehearsed story, was discovered by a scout at an Irish dancing contest in her native Vancouver, British Columbia. Whatever her real name is (apparently Mikhaila, which lacks the show-business pop of Coco), it was quickly altered, and she was sent to see Steven Meisel, the photographer who is fashion’s resident Pygmalion. Mr. Meisel photographed her in 2006 for the cover of Italian Vogue, and there followed in short order a series of high-profile jobs on catwalks, in magazine editorials and in advertising campaigns — enough of them to fill three fat paragraphs on her Web résumé.

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The Beauty Of Healthby Coco RochaTomorrow night I’ve been invited to attend the CFDA’s yearly panel discussion on health, this time entitiled “The Beauty Of Health: Resizing The Sample Size”. As some of you might know, two years ago I had the chance to speak at this event and voice my thoughts and concerns, to mixed reviews.Since that time I’ve felt it was very important for me to continue to speak up on the issues surrounding the health of models in my industry. In 2010, with both the CFDA and Vogue’s support, I’m making a special effort to find new ways to address the subject. Whether this means public speaking, one on one discussions or more topic specific blogs like this, I’m looking for ways to reach out and help.I’m excited to see what the speakers and guests have to say tomorrow night but I also want to hear from you - Please let me know your thoughts and ideas of how I can be effective in reaching out this year. Let’s put 2010 in the books as the year we changed fashion for the better.

The Beauty Of Health
by Coco Rocha

Tomorrow night I’ve been invited to attend the CFDA’s yearly panel discussion on health, this time entitiled “The Beauty Of Health: Resizing The Sample Size”. As some of you might know, two years ago I had the chance to speak at this event and voice my thoughts and concerns, to mixed reviews.

Since that time I’ve felt it was very important for me to continue to speak up on the issues surrounding the health of models in my industry. In 2010, with both the CFDA and Vogue’s support, I’m making a special effort to find new ways to address the subject. Whether this means public speaking, one on one discussions or more topic specific blogs like this, I’m looking for ways to reach out and help.

I’m excited to see what the speakers and guests have to say tomorrow night but I also want to hear from you - Please let me know your thoughts and ideas of how I can be effective in reaching out this year. Let’s put 2010 in the books as the year we changed fashion for the better.