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New York Fashion Week: The End of the Underage Size 0 Model?

By IB Times TV

It's no secret that runway models are getting younger and skinnier by the day. But Diane Von Furstenberg, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), has also made it no secret that rules and regulations will be established to combat the dangerous trend.

On Thursday the CFDA released an updated set of guidelines to ensure the health of models walking New York Fashion Week. One particular rule, previously announced in August, requires that no model under the age of sixteen is permitted to walk the runway shows. To enforce the age limit, checking IDs is encouraged.

Healthy eating is the other major concern addressed in the new guidelines. As von Furstenberg and Dr. David Herzog, director of the Harris Center, wrote in an op-ed posted by the CFDA, the issues of age and body image are intricately connected.

Thus the CFDA has handed down a new set of clearly articulated guidelines, including the following:

  • 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.
  • 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; checking IDs to ensure that models are the appropriate age; 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.

Additional suggestions regarding education on drugs and cigarettes, as well as workshops on eating disorders, are also spelled out, all of which can be found on CFDA's website.

It's a promising step in the right direction, going beyond op-eds and symbolic gestures to real change. But it is worth noting that the guidelines only apply directly to runway models, leaving magazine shoots, advertisements and other fashion media untouched. Can the fight for healthier models be won if only fought on one front?

Editor's Note: This news story originally appeared on IB Times TV and is reposted with permission. The International Business Times is a leading provider of international business news online

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