June 30, 2010

Down with the Underweight Down Under. ~ Matas Vilgalys

A little bit of photoshop adbusting in Berlin.

There’s Beauty in the Breakdown.

The discussion over slenderness within the modeling industry has been ongoing since Twiggy popularized the waiflike look decades ago.  Since the noughties began, this discussion has been able to push many magazines and designers to extend their casting beyond the usual frail 14-year-olds that traditionally line the runways.  Featured “larger” models in editorials, as well as entire issues devoted to shape have been more than enough to push this issue into the spotlight.  A sea change for the artificial representations constructed within the beauty industry is now pending, thanks to work like the internationally infamous Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, and it seems Australia might be the first nation to impose a significant new protocol for how these portrayals go to press.

Australian Youth Minister Kate Ellis has taken this issue on as a federal concern towards national health and happiness.  The program would reward considerate designers, stores, magazines and advertisers with a seal that declares them body-image friendly, similar to the way USDA organic foods are acknowledged with their own seal.  The following criteria will determine those who gain this positive symbol of change:

> Disclose when images have been retouched and refrain from enhancing photographs in a way that changes a person’s body shape, for example, lengthening their legs or trimming their waist, or removing freckles, lines and other distinguishing marks.

> Only use models aged 16 or older to model adult clothes – both on catwalks and in print.

> Refrain from using models who are very thin – or male models who are excessively muscular.

> Stocking clothing in a wide variety of sizes in shops to reflect the demand from customers.

> Using a broad range of body shapes, sizes and ethnicities in editorial and advertising.

> Not promoting rapid weight loss, cosmetic surgery, excessive exercising or any advertisements or editorial content that may promote a negative body image.

Via The Daily Telegraph


Matas Vilgalys is a senior at CU Boulder pursuing double degrees in Art and Advertising.  He likes cheese, working on projects, loving the mountains, running, and talking about North Carolina, the greatest state in the union and coincidentally where he is from.

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