Franca Sozzani admits that the fashion world is partly responsible for eating disorders. Franca Sozzani, editor of Italian Vogue, is a vocal representive of the fashion industry who has been addressing the issue of eating disorders for several years. Now she’s trying to ban pro-ana websites, online blogs and social sites that promote starvation and deprivation. She compares the pro-ana blogs and websites to child pornography: “Why are we so outraged and disgusted by paedophile sites, and do absolutely nothing against sites that instruct people to cut themselves and feel pain to distract their attention from food, or to throw up and let themselves die? Isn’t this a crime, too?”
Ironically, Sozzani recently received criticism for a controversial December 2011 Italian Vogue photo spread — shot by Steven Meisel — and starring 19-year-old model Karlie Kloss. In the photos, the model’s figure looked distorted and emaciated. After staunch criticism of the photo, it was removed from the magazine’s website.
But she subsequently regretted removing the shot and defended the photo on her blog, claiming that there was no Photoshopping and that Kloss is not anorexic but a healthy, muscular girl who wears swimsuits and lingerie for Victoria’s Secret.
Still, we applaud Italian Vogue for promoting women of all shapes and sizes in their magazine. And although Sozzani bravely raised many more questions than she had answers for in her Harvard speech, at least she’s talking publicly about the problem. Here’s one particularly thought-provoking part of her speech:
“What led us to establish that thin is beautiful and that thinness is the aesthetic code we should follow? Why [did] the age of supermodels, who were beautiful and womanly, slowly [start] decreasing and we now have still undeveloped adolescents with no sign of curves?
Such a good movement… hopefully more magazines will see this is not a good way to show fashion! It should be shown on healthy women… This is for me a confirmation that media DOES affect (young) women.