As models continue to shrink down to inconceivable sizes, fashion magazines deny perpetuating unhealthy standards of beauty. They claim to be reflections, rather than arbiters, of public taste. But the top women’s magazine in Germany has finally put its foot down: Brigitte announced this week that it is banning professional models from its pages.
"For years we've had to use Photoshop to fatten the girls up,” says editor-in-chief Andreas Lebert. “Especially their thighs and décolletage. But this is disturbing and perverse and what has it got to do with our real reader?"
Brigitte, which sells 700,000 copies an issue, will now use real women in its fashion spreads. The magazine plans to feature both prominent and unknown women, paying them the same rate as their emaciated counterparts.
For too long, the fashion industry has packaged and sold an unattainable ideal to generations of vulnerable young women, breeding eating disorders, anxiety and endemic low self-esteem. Finally, Brigitte has taken a bold first step in a long-overdue paradigm shift. Help us demand that the other major culprits follow suit.
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