Brighton Fashion Week Talks - May
PUBLISHED: 11:46 04 May 2011 | UPDATED: 19:18 20 February 2013
Vanessa Austin Locke, editor of the Brighton Fashion Week blog, website and social media, talks about maintaining a healthy body image whilst working in an industry obsessed with perfection
This month I want to talk to you about body image. Its a topic thats close to my heart. I worked as a model when I was younger and could tell you stories that would make your hair curl about the treatment of women and indeed men in the fashion industry. Believe it or not, theres no union for models and theyre picked up so young that, unless they have some very savvy parents or friends looking out for them, or indeed one of the better agencies (of which there are many), they risk getting sucked into a world that, while so beautiful outside, can be rotten within.
At Brighton Fashion Week we embrace all shapes, sizes and ages and part of my mission this year is to create a healthy environment for our models to work in. Ive just signed a new blogger, Jen Sandell, who will be writing a regular blog on healthy body image and diet. Jen is a no-nonsense food lover who knows that its possible to have a cracking figure without starving yourself, chiefly because she has one. I want to open dialogue about body image and eating disorders, taking positive steps towards change and I consider myself very lucky to work with a fashion week that feels the same as I do.
For the girls and boys out there that are just naturally slim, like Keira Knightley, it can be equally tough to be constantly called anorexic and cited as a bad influence. Slim bodies arent the problem, neither are bigger bodies. The problems arise when people are dissatisfied with what they have and go to unnatural lengths to change themselves. Give that money you were going to spend on a nose job to Japan and work on your self-esteem. Just look at the latest trend for gap-toothed models. I bet there are loads of girls out there who had their teeth fixed and are kicking themselves now. Or Cindy Crawford, who refused to have her beauty spot removed at an agents behest and it became her USP. The thing about perfection is, it doesnt exist. Its imperfection thats perfect.
Id like to see an industry that pays a little more attention to its insides and the outsides will follow. I fully believe this is achievable and Ill be working with Brighton Fashion Week and all our models to ensure we get there.
Contact Vanessa: Vanessa@brightonfashionweek.com
Follow Vanessa on Twitter: @VnessEnvy
Follow Brighton Fashion Week on Twitter: @BFW2011
War Child: www.warchild.org.uk