It was revealed this week that British Vogue Editor, Alexandra Schulman (pictured) is behind a new initiative that will see a 10-minute film distributed around 1,000 high schools which details everything that goes into a fashion photo shoot from digital touch-ups, make-up, hair and the styling.
One of their objectives is to reassure school girls that most of the time what models look like in magazines is not necessarily an accurate representation of real women and a lot of effort is required to achieve the flawless images we are so used to seeing. Therefore young women should not feel as though they are being presented with seemingly impossible standards of beauty that they cannot match up to.
While this is quite a thoughtful idea from Vogue HQ, I’m not entirely convinced by their latest move. During an interview on BBC Radio 4, Schulman was quick to squash any speculation that this short film may pave the way for big changes at the magazine. Practically in the same breath as expressing her desire to educate the younger female generations over certain air brush related instances (potentially boosting their self-esteem in the process), when asked about employing more realistically sized models she answered:
“I don’t want to pretend we are going to try to change the way we portray fashion.”
Arguably, an admirably honest response from Schulman but does this slightly negate the fundamentally good message they are putting out there? Ultimately Vogue’s intentions are to promote a fantasy which I fully understand, what I don’t get is how draping a tall and beautiful size 8-10 figure in some cutting edge Haute Couture design would be any less effective? Also, what is the need to use digital enhancement techniques all the time? Through previous internships I have been lucky enough to see behind the scenes of various fashion magazine shoots – including a Vogue one – and can confidently say all the models were still rather fabulous looking pre digital touch up.
It will be fascinating to see how the film is received by school pupils.