Body image saviours

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Vogue’s recent decision to ban skinny and underage models from its magazine didn’t have me popping the cork off a bottle of low-joule bubbly in celebration. But the ensuing praise and gratitude heaped on the style bible did make me want to drown my sorrows in a whole case of it.

Ex-supermodel Tyra Banks was so taken with Vogue’s decision that she wrote an open letter to The Daily Beast congratulating Vogue on stepping up and, ‘doing the right thing, and protecting that girl. Perhaps that girl is you!’

This from a woman who now makes a living from a reality TV show — Next Top Model — where she and other fashion industry experts sit in judgment over young women and girls (yes, girls) for being too flabby, too old, too short, too awkward, too masculine, too [insert otherwise normal characteristic deemed to be a ‘flaw’ by the fashion industry].

But Tyra isn’t the silly one, and neither is Vogue or all the industry sycophants that have praised Vogue in the last few weeks. The real fool is me, and anybody else who thought for a moment that the fashion industry could save us. This is an industry, after all that thrives off breeding insecurity and unrealistic ideals of body shape. Praising it for its stance on young models is about as perverse as praising the tobacco industry for funding a cancer ward. Sure, it’s nice, but wouldn’t it be better if you just stopped harming people in the first place?

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