The Healthy Model Crusade Continues: New Guidelines for Fashion Week!

By Tracey Lomrantz, Glamour magazine

We're just weeks away from Fall 2011 New York Fashion Week (insert collective "woot woot!" here), so the CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) took the approaching shows as an opportunity to remind designers of their health initiative guidelines, which aim to protect models from any unsavory backstage behavior and ensure that the girls walking the runways are in the best possible shape. Curious what the guidelines say?

CFDA president Diane Von Furstenberg sent this email out today, reminding the fashion world that "Our choices can have positive consequences on the lives of women. A healthy mind in a healthy body is a healthy life! Choose health and diversity."

Here's what she and the CFDA prescribe, in full:

- Educate the industry to identify the early warning signs in an individual at risk of developing an eating disorder.

- Encourage models who may have an eating disorder to seek professional help in order to continue modeling. And models who are receiving professional help for an eating disorder should not continue modeling without that professional's approval.

- Develop workshops for the industry (including models and their families) on the nature of eating disorders, how they arise, how we identify and treat them, and complications if they are untreated.

- Support the well-being of younger individuals by not hiring models under the age of 16 for runway shows; not allowing models under the age of 18 to work past midnight at fittings or shoots; and providing regular breaks and rest. (Consult the applicable labor laws found at when working with models under 16.)

- Supply healthy meals, snacks, and water backstage and at shoots and provide nutrition and fitness education.

- Promote a healthy backstage environment by raising the awareness of the impact of smoking and tobacco-related disease among women, ensuring a smoke-free environment, and address underage drinking by prohibiting alcohol.

What do you think of these guidelines, ladies? Do you think they'll have an impact on the way designers treat models? Are they a step in the right direction? Or does the fashion industry still have a long haul when it comes to promoting a healthy body image? Get talking!

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Photo Credit: WWD