Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
Disclaimer: The Parliamentary Library does not warrant or accept liability for the accuracy or usefulness of the transcripts. These are copied directly from the broadcaster's website.
Sydney Fashion Festival promoting healthier-l -

View in ParlViewView other Segments

ELEANOR HALL: It's an industry often accused of promoting eating disorders and body image problems
but at its extravaganza this week Sydney's Fashion Festival says it's putting "healthier looking"
models on the catwalk.

Earlier this year the fashion industry was embroiled in controversy when a Polish model was
discovered to be only 14 and was barred from Australian Fashion Week.

But the industry says it's now working to promote healthier body images as Jesse Leary reports.

JESSE LEARY: The fashion industry has long been a trendsetter not only in clothes, but in body
image as well.

This week at the Sydney Fashion Festival, all eyes were on the catwalk and the fashion parades that
have such a significant impact on the way young women think they should look.

Bronwyn Buckley is health promotion officer of Women's Health Queensland:

BRONWYN BUCKLEY: Young women are very impressionable and they do look towards media magazines and
parades, you know, as icons and role models to look up to so it certainly does.

JESSE LEARY: The industry says it is trying to be more responsible with its influence by only
allowing healthy-looking women to appear in fashion shows.

Simon Lock of IMG Fashion is one of the organisers behind this week's Sydney Fashion Festival.

SIMON LOCK: The agencies in Australia are all very much aware of those and I guess we're seeing the
result of that which is great, fit and healthy beautiful girls on the catwalk.

JESSE LEARY: So you would say that these regulations are, in fact, being enforced?

SIMON LOCK: Yeah, I mean the industry here in Australia takes these issues very seriously. We're
all concerned about not promoting really underweight girls who perhaps have eating disorders.

JESSE LEARY: Bronwyn Buckley says these changes do appear to be working

BRONWYN BUCKLEY: They really are trying to make steps towards respecting the care and governance of
the models they represent. And also they're implementing guidelines around the age and they've
stipulated that models must be at least 18 years or older and they must be managed and represented
by a model agency.

So that's progress and in their guidelines also, they have mentioned that models with
extraordinarily thin physiques shouldn't be used. So look, you know, obviously they are wanting
their garments to look well draped over the models and to sell their fashion but they are taking
steps towards body image.

JESSE LEARY: Simon Lock says unhealthy looking models are easy to identify without the need to rely
on a specific system such as setting limits based on height and weight.

SIMON LOCK: A lot of girls that come into modelling are naturally tall and naturally slim and
naturally have low BMI ratings. I mean they are walking coat hangars at the end of the day and that
is what designers want them to be.

But certainly I think it becomes pretty obvious to the model managers, to the producers and to the
agencies when a girl has crossed that line and that is when, you know, intervention, I guess,
happens perhaps first with their parents and if required then with responsible model managers.

ELEANOR HALL: That's IMG Fashion's Simon Lock ending that report by Jesse Leary.