NEW YORK — Vogue magazine, perhaps the world's top arbiter of style, is making a statement about its own models: Too young and too thin is no longer in.
The 19 editors of Vogue magazines around the world made a pact to project the image of healthy models, according to a Conde Nast International announcement Thursday.
They agreed to "not knowingly work with models under the age of 16 or who appear to have an eating disorder," and said they will ask casting directors to check IDs at photo shoots and fashion shows and for ad campaigns.
The move is important for the fashion world, said former model Sara Ziff, who was discovered at 14 and has since founded the Model Alliance, dedicated to improving working conditions of models and persuading the industry to take better care of its young.
"Most editions of Vogue regularly hire models who are minors, so for Vogue to commit to no longer using models under the age of 16 marks an evolution in the industry," she said. "We hope other magazines and fashion brands will follow Vogue's impressive lead."
There has been persistent criticism that the fashion world creates a largely unattainable and unhealthy standard that particularly affects impressionable young girls. A change in what they see on the pages of prestigious fashion magazines could change the image of what they would strive for, said Elissa J. Brown, professor of psychology at St. John University.
It wouldn't hurt for parents to take a look at healthier looking models, too, she said. "I'm a mother and I hear other mothers talk about the parts of their bodies they don't like in front of their daughters instead of talking about health. If the message becomes about health, it could have a tremendous impact."