The CFDA Health Initiative was put in place to help everyone involved in fashion, New York Fashion Week particularly, make sure the models are healthy. CFDA president Diane Von Furstenberg drafted guidelines for the program that she e-mailed around this morning:
· Educate the industry to identify the early warning signs in an individual at risk of developing an eating disorder.
· Encourage models who may have an eating disorder to seek professional help in order to continue modeling. And models who are receiving professional help for an eating disorder should not continue modeling without that professional’s approval.
· Develop workshops for the industry (including models and their families) on the nature of eating disorders, how they arise, how we identify and treat them, and complications if they are untreated.
· Support the well-being of younger individuals by not hiring models under the age of sixteen for runway shows; not allowing models under the age of eighteen to work past midnight at fittings or shoots; and providing regular breaks and rest. (Consult the applicable labor laws found at www.labor.state.ny.us when working with models under sixteen.)
· Supply healthy meals, snacks, and water backstage and at shoots and provide nutrition and fitness education.
· Promote a healthy backstage environment by raising the awareness of the impact of smoking and tobacco-related disease among women, ensuring a smoke-free environment, and address underage drinking by prohibiting alcohol.
These are all well and good, but does the CFDA ever encourage designers just to hire girls of various shapes? Not just super-skinny girls, but so-called "plus-size" models too? Just a thought.