Magritte - Philosophy in the boudoir (fashion and the body's influence on one another)
AnyBody has sent the below letter to Ken Livingstone, the Mayor of London, following his statement that he will withdraw London Fashion Week funding if they continue to use underweight models. AnyBody has suggested an alternative positive initiative for the funding and local fashion designers. Sign or comment below; the response will be passed on to Ken, and we will keep you updated....
October 16th, 2006
What a great thing you have done by withdrawing financial support from London Fashion Week unless they diversify their models.
The UK style industries contribute fabulously to the economy of London and the country and yet often, inadvertently, disastrously to girls and women’s feelings about their bodies and their self worth. I have the research to prove it.
For many years through various different organisations and agitations, I have been working to represent girls and women’s bodies in greater variety: by size, ethnicity and age.
Through an activist group AnyBody www.any-body.org, I, with others, have been trying to raise money and awareness with fashion design schools to change the practice of only cutting final year shows for models whose size represents only a few very women. Members of AnyBody who trained at Fashion schools here talk of their struggles to produce clothing on mannequins that were larger than size 8. They failed.
What about putting that £620,000 towards a fund for innovative fashion designers to create clothing that is inclusive without any sacrifice to dynamic designs? We know they can do it. They just haven’t been given the support.
Putting together these various challenges with support from the Mayor’s office both monetarily and politically could be just the tipping point that is needed to challenge the scourge of those who breed body insecurity (for profit).
The Government’s Body Image Summit in 1999 of which I was a Keynote Speaker, was followed by retreat from the Government of the very issues they knew were essential to raise. It has taken another 7 years to raise public consciousness sufficiently. Can you help out by going a step further or two so we can challenge the theft of our children’s childhoods and the horror of troubled eating and self image that so besets hundreds of thousands of women and young women in London.
Could we have a brief meeting to talk about this?