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AnyBody's Official Petition to bring Body Diversity to the Catwalk


Our petition is back on the front page because the next fashion week is upon us in September 2007, and we still need your support because unbelievably nothing definite has been achieved by the 'Model Health Enquiry' that was set up in March by the British Fashion Council, so let's see if we can make a difference, and apply some pressure!

Click here and sign our petition to see more body diversity on the catwalk.  Speak back to the fashion industry, which is forever forcing us to listen to it.  It is time to release women from all-consuming thoughts of body hatred - so sign our petition, and once we have your support we will be taking the petition to London Fashion Week and the Mayor's Office - Have your say! 


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Reader Comments (23)

what a great petition sarah- I hope it gets many signatures; grabs the attention of all those fashion designers, and makes them realise that we're not joking - we want body diversity, because quite frankly we're sick of feeling belittled or bebigged as the case may be!
February 2, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterelise
article about the effect of skinny MALE models - who often get left out of the debate...
February 5, 2007 | Unregistered Commentersal
I completely agree that this has to change- i am a teen and have seen the effects of Anorexia on girls my age. and while i must admit that i am some what of a size 0, i am athletic and short also- not horifyingly thin like the models that we see on T.V.
February 7, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnnabel Anatomy
Don't they realise that the average size for a woman is 14 and young girls of today are looking at these models and thinking that they need to be that small in order to get noticed. This is not the right image to be showing impressionable girls. I have a teenager myself and pray that she is not influenced by these models.
February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDiane
I believe that the fashion industry is pressuring women into looking perfect, but if they can't see that every woman is perfect in her own unique way then why do we listen to these people in the first place? So what if your 10 kilos heavier than your best friend... so what if your hair is never perfect or your clothes aren't "good enough"... Are we actually supposed to care? I call for more "real" sized women walking our fashion catwalks and shwoing off the lastest fashions... I am 14 and have a best friend and mother who are constantly on diets and their weight yo-yos up and down. I've seen the affects of Anorexia in many of my school peers and close friends and i have to say it scares me that there are girls out there so wound up in their own looks that they seem to lose a sense of reality, and who's fault is that? I am a size 4 and proud of my shape. i don't care who tryies to put me down or tell me what to look like. I have a passion for fashion, but the size of these women is offputting for me when i'm watching catwalk shows. it's disgusting, i want an end to it.... now!
Sorry i rambled on for a bit, i just feel very strongly about this issue and wanted to express my opinions, but ran away with myself for a bit :P
February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterSian
Protests are good. Don't agree with the petition for 'more diversity on the catwalk'. Fashion (clothes, make up, images etc) is a complete load of bollocks - exploiting women (and men), brainwashing and robbing consumers and making them feel inadequate, and expoliting cheap labour in the 'third world'. All for two shit reasons - profits of the companies involved, and the general diversion of the entire population from thinking about real issues.

Down With Fashism
February 9, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterDave, Tottenham
- People may ask how putting larger models on the catwalk can really help in the whole body issue/eating disorder debate. And the answer is this: if fashion designers increase their sample size from a 0 (UK size 4) to a healthy size 10-12 (one step at a time!) then the models on the catwalk will be healthy looking, and these sample sized garments are then passed on to fashion magazines and advertisers, who will also then have to use a bigger size model, thus the chain reaction begins with the fashion designer and the sample size they choose to make. This ripple effect will then continue though fashion and other industries, so as you see the fashion designer has more power than what they may realise to begin this societal change….
February 10, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterelise slater
People will get used to seeing bigger models the way we get used to seeing high waists on the catwalk after seasons of hipsters, our eyes will adjust.
February 10, 2007 | Unregistered Commenterelise slater
I think that catwalk models should not all be expected to be thin. However i am naturally a size 6 in some places even a four, and my younger sister is the same, and personally i am sick of hearing that people that skinny cannot be pretty and its not acceptable.. its not a god thing to be this small.. buying clothes is near on impossible!
February 12, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterEmma Stephenson
Hello from Berlin!! I found your site via a very eyecatching legs poster put on myspace.....I liked the poster very much, but for me personally there are a number of problems with your website:
1) It is super dry; posing the usual feminist anti arguments.
2)There are hardly any visuals on the website....eeek!
3) I think the problem, as usual is one of identity. What are you exactly campaigning about...anorexia? Fashion? The right to be obese? The right just to live a normal life in normal clothes?
4) You're not reaching enough people mainly because of your anti stance.

Here in Berlin there are some women who are doing very interesting music, interesting fashion,(check out chicks on speed records, peaches, Planning to rock...) and people, most importantly are having fun doing their thing...making clothes, making music, making art....being themselves...which is what is most YOURSELF, dont become a victim. This is I feel, what your website is trying to encourage, but you are going about it in a very old fashioned old reactionist feminist way. Your stance is still one of a VICTIM......why dont you make fashion shows with the women you want to see, the clothes you want to see....why dont you make your OWN magazine, with your own messages? It's all too dry....the time is for activism and not complaining. If you make something juicy and big and exciting and raunchy enough, everyone will come running!! I came to Berlin for all these reasons....because I was sick of people complaining. You hear it in the music, see it in the newspapers, everywhere is complaint. Do it yourself....make it yourself.....BE YOURSELF....Stop complaining & Create the alternatives!! And have FUN in the process!! There must be lots of good fashion designers & bigger models out there who could help you put on a fashion show....So why arent they writing to your website??
It's a fascist world in the music industry also, but people here have started to really change acting positive, starting their own record companies....whatever....that is the way forward.
I am an artist....if you want something visual I can do it....I had severe anorexia for 15 years.....but I moved on.....
February 13, 2007 | Unregistered Commenteranneliese
Obviously the media is not soley responsible for eating disorders and poor body image, but for people who are genetically predisposed to eating disorders or who are particularly impressionable and vulnerable, being constantly bombarded by fake images of unhealthily skinny models can be and often is the final thing that "pushes them off the edge" or triggers them into unhealthy action to pursue this fake image of whats portrayed as "beautiful"... I suffer from anorexia and i know that i was finally pushed off the edge and into extremely unhealthy behaviours after seeing images of MAry Kate Olsen splashed over pages in a magazine. And many girls i met while in hospital had similar experiences. The fashion industry needs to begin taking this seriously and give women a friggin break!!!
February 14, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterBelle
Hi anneliese,
Thanks for your response and ideas! I am sorry that you found our website so ‘anti’ though – I would like to think we are relatively progressive – we have members that are doing fantastic things in the fashion and media industries, one of our members, Ben has owned his own modeling agency since he was 14, and now has a portfolio of all different sized, aged and race models and supplied all the wonderfully diverse models for the Dove campaign – something other modeling agencies would find hard to do.
AnyBody member Althea runs the Women's library at Goldsmiths and is a fabulously active member. Another AnyBody member is Susie Orbach (author of Fat is a Feminist Issue), who consulted on the Dove campaign, and who goes on radio and is a really positive female voice that women around the world respect and can relate to. We also have fashion designers, including a lady who owns a label for pregnant women, and myself, I am a fashion designer and have worked in sustainable and body emcompassing clothing. AnyBody includes all sorts of wonderful women doing positive things...And anybody rallied together last weekend outside London fashion week saying that while we love fashion we also love body diversity and want to see more on the catwalk – and that event definitely wasn’t ‘anti’ – it was a wonderful experience for all involved – we had the media there, and suddenly all these girls who are only ever spoken down to by the media had their chance to speak back and to tell them what they want to see.
So there are people out there doing amazing things but you are right - we could do much more! we would be happy to promote designers and others promoting positive body image to women – and we should contact these people and get them to contribute to our site.
And we would LOVE more visuals on the site – sometimes the idea of picturing women in all her diversity becomes a tricky equation – but we should get artists involved, and if you would like to submit works anneliese that would be fantastic, just email it to AnyBody and we will put it up – together with any articles you like. And tell your friends and artists to get involved, we'd really like to grow our members..
AnyBody is gaining momentum, so hopefully the website will become more dynamic with more contributors. And I saw Planning to Rock live in London – and she is amazing – I wish young girls were exposed to more artists like her instead of MTV clones!

Thanks anneliese,
make sure you keep in contact!
xxx elise
February 17, 2007 | Registered Commenteranybody
Hooray for Any-Body!

Change fashion
not your body!!!

February 19, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterElliot
I buy clothes that I think look good on me, and I don't really care how they might look on some undernourished human stick figure on some catwalk. Until and unless the human cattle who buy what is offered as "fashion" by people who have no interest in you beyond will you buy their stuff, get some backbone and start demanding to see fashion on real mpeople, you'll get what you got.
March 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterShane
I really love when designers say they use skinny models "because the clothes hang on the better". Aren't they supposed to be designing for women, not 12 year old boys? And if they are such talented designers, you'd think they'd be able to work out how to make that sewing machine "curve"!
March 1, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterErin
All girls and women have different appearance and different bodies, just as they have different capabilities and abilities. Despite this, women and children are required to compare themselves with a slender ideal. They are evaluated, graded and judged.

Beauty should be allowed in all shapes and sizes.

There shouldn't be ONE single stereotype template for how women and girls should look, and we have to react against and question this underweight ideal.

It's not just about anorexia or bulimia, it's about the heath and well being of the next generation.
March 13, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterMarianne
Susie Orbach pitches in on skinny model debate with online petition

The size zero models debate is not going to go away. The latest participant is Susie Orbach, the author of the book, Fat Is A Feminist Issue. Scotland's Sunday Herald website has an article about her and what she has been saying about skinny model's.

Professor Susie Orbach, author of the seminal 1970s book Fat Is A Feminist Issue, is calling on designers to acknowledge that the continued use of "dangerously underweight" models is having a "devastating" effect, resulting in body hatred among women and girls.

Orbach, who treated the late Princess Diana for eating disorders,told the Sunday Herald that the idea was to challenge the fashion industry to improve the situation.
"It is not really a question of attacking the fashion industry per se, it is more about what they can do that will add more spark and do it in a really interesting way to fashion," she said. "There is this kind of crazy economics - most people aren't size zero, so what on earth are we doing promoting clothes and selling them in sizes that people don't exist in?"

Susi has created an online petition aimed at the British Fashion Council and the London Development Agency...

AnyBody is setting up this petition to send to the British Fashion Council and the London Development Agency. We want body diversity on the catwalk. We want the BFC and LDA to acknowledge that the ultra-thin beauty stereotype perpetuated by the British fashion industry through the continued use of dangerously under-weight models has a devastating effect on women, girls and increasingly men and boys, resulting in body hatred. We call on the British Fashion Council to take responsibility and initiate a program of actions to promote body diversity in fashion starting with the immediate ban on the use of models under 16 years of age or with a BMI under 18 in London Fashion Week. We call on the British Fashion Council and the London Development Agency to promote a world class fashion industry by actively welcoming the radical changes in international fashion that sees the industry responding to the social reality of women's lives.

Harold Wood : 21 February 2007
March 20, 2007 | Unregistered CommenterAnyBody
i love all the talk and collaboration on the site...and the fact that you actually respond to the postings...thank you for providing us this forum...
that said;
we are not addressing the major cause of eating disorders: sexual abuse.
we need to get the public dealing openly and earnestly with this eternal suffering of young helpless females at the hands of male perpetrators and the women who look the other way.
this is not a feminist issue, this is a human issue that has distorted us and held us under water...

what truly amazing things we could do in this world if we weren't mentally and physically raped in extraordinary numbers (the going number is that two-thirds of females are sexually assaulted...and that's just the women who have come forward)!

i am tired of our gender being broken,
blaming other women,
and waging war against our sisters...
for what?...male approval?

women come forward...protect your daughters...teach them to be fierce
...raise good sons...
help each other up...
let us reclaim our power!

let's show the world what we can do together, for each other and humanity...
April 2, 2007 | Unregistered Commentercatherine smitko
Hi Catherine!
I guess this is one of the replies you were speaking of! Thanks for your comment - well said - amongst our numerous issues sexual abuse is yet to be looked at... but if you would like to write an article or find an article suitable for our site about sexual abuse and eating disorders/body dismorphia we would definately put it up - and i am sure there wil be many women out there grateful for it!
Thanks for your words of encouragement, they keep us going!!!
April 3, 2007 | Registered Commenteranybody
i don't think the fashion industry should be forced to advertise with various sized models. commercials are one thing, runways are another. don't blame another part of the media for corrupting children, it is a parent's responsibility to enforce self-esteem in their children, as it is their responsibility to teach them about sex, warn them of drugs, and make sure they maintain a healthy lifestyle. The average size of an American woman is 14, this means that more people in our country need to eat more healthy not that an array of sizes should be displayed on the catwalk. if you see your daughter (or son, yeah men have eating disorders too) obsessing over how skinny some ugly super model is, you should enforce the idea of healthy eating habits and an athletic body as ideal, tell her that these models are putting themselves at risk by being so thin, and/or make comments about how being too skinny is gross.
July 8, 2007 | Unregistered Commentermiss

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