Supermodel Who Inspired Elle Macpherson Tells Fashion Industry to ‘Get Real’

The Daily Telegraph newspaper in Australia has started a campaign that is set to change the face (and possibly minds) of the fashion industry. They are calling it the ‘Get Real’ campaign and they are calling for healthier looking models on the catwalk, and magazines to ban featuring excessively skinny models.

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One of their huge supporters is 51 year old Australia supermodel Isabella Cowan, the woman who inspired Elle Macpherson’s career. Cowan has graced the cover of Australian Vogue six times, appearing in 24 consecutive issues of the magazine in the 1980s, as well as featuring on the cover of countless other magazines at her peak as a model.

She is now slamming the industry for promoting an unhealthy body image and is speaking out to make a change.

“Australia is so scared of ageing, much more than the rest of the world,” Ms Cowan said. “In Europe and America there are so many women working over the age of 40 and we need to change that so all women are represented.”

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She says the face of the fashion industry in Australia has changed so much, and not for the good. Back then, she said, the industry was more open to representing real women and most models had curves. She thinks some of the models on the catwalks and in magazines nowadays are so gaunt and skinny that they aren’t even attractive. “Where’s the beauty in that?!” she cries.
She is appalled at the amount of models who are starving themselves today to conform to an industry weigh standard. When Isabella was modeling in the 1980s, the average size of a woman as 10-12 and most models were size 8. However a size 12 these days is considered a plus size model and most high fashion models must be a size 6 or under. For some girls’ body mass index, that is a rather unhealthy size to be.
Aussie Cleo editor Sharri Markson said fashion designers needed to be more responsible when choosing models for their collections.”I back the campaign 100 per cent,” Ms Markson said. “I banned anorexically skinny models from Cleo but it has been a battle because Australia’s top designers won’t lend you clothes for a fashion shoot. I am going to make every effort possible to stop young girls aspiring to an anorexic-looking body shape.”

Cosmopolitan’s Bronwyn McCahon and Elle Australia’s Justine Cullen also backed the Get Real Campaign. “As an industry we have a responsibility not to glamorize a female body shape that is clearly not found in nature past puberty,” Ms Cullen said.

The campaign was launched during Mercedes Benz Sydney Fashion week early April 2013 and so far has been getting the attention of the right people, the decision makers and trend setters in the fashion industry who should be listening to the voice of the people and their consumers to create a change when it comes to portraying healthier body images.
Aussie model Rebecca Lomas has taken a stand in her career in the hopes that aspiring models will follow her lead. “I was carrying a little bit of extra weight and thought I would lose weight and feel better about myself but I was shocked when I saw girls (online) worshipping photos of girls who were so skinny. I started my own page and it got to the point where I was inspiring a lot of people and it kept me focused to stay healthy rather than skinny.”
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Her Instagram account Strongisthenewskinny94 was started to promote healthy eating and she already has over 70 000 followers.
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Looks like there are a large group of women who are fed up with the unhealthy and unrealistic standards of fashion in 2013. Let’s hope this change continues to gain momentum along with followers and supporters who can take a stand and use their positions within the industry to make positive changes!
What are your thoughts on the ‘Get Real’ campaign in Australia? Should the rest of the fashion world join the movement?

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