Michael Kors Helps Solve the Size Debate

The debate over models’ weight has been endless this past year. With plus-size models becoming de rigueur and everyone from Lara Stone to Natalia Vodianova admitting to feeling extreme pressure to lose weight, mannequin’s sizes has been front and center. But, another controversial subject is being thrust back into the spotlight thanks to a move on Michael Kors’ part: bebate over whether or not models under a certain age should be allowed in campaigns or on the catwalk. The average female model in any other environment would still be focused on finishing high school. Since the industry putting age requirements into effect is unlikely anytime soon, Kors is taking matters into his own hands.

During a discussion at the “Health Matters: Weight and Wellness in the World of Fashion” forum in Boston yesterday, Kors “vowed to raise the minimum age limit on models he hires to 16,” notes Fashionologie. And he did so in the presence of (Vodianova and) Anna Wintour! “The age of models really has to become a priority. We need to give these girls a chance to grow up,” Kors continued. While the move might not sound earth-shattering, in many ways it just might help quell the controversy surrounding too-thin models. After all, at 14 or 15 few young girls’ bodies have had a chance to fully mature. And showcasing prepubescent figures as something to aspire to is realistically just as harmful as having that model in question be emaciated. In either case their bodies are not anywhere near ‘normal.’

That said, more changes must come from designers themselves before an overall healthy body image is the norm in the fashion industry. As Wintour said at the same panel, “we want healthy-looking girls, the readers want healthy-looking girls. Except it is not always easy to dress them,” as most designers are making their runway samples in sizes 0 if not 00.

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