2.08.2010

The Beauty of Health

Tomorrow night I've been invited to attend the CFDA's yearly panel discussion on health, this time entitiled "The Beauty Of Health: Resizing The Sample Size". As some of you might know, two years ago I had the chance to speak at this event and voice my thoughts and concerns, to mixed reviews.

Since that time I've felt it was very important for me to continue to speak up on the issues surrounding the
health of models in my industry. In 2010, with both the CFDA and Vogue's support, I'm making a special effort to find new ways to address the subject. Whether this means public speaking, one on one discussions or more topic specific blogs like this, I'm looking for ways to reach out and help.

I'm excited to see what the speakers and guests have to say tomorrow night but I also want to hear from you - Please let me know your thoughts and ideas of how I can be effective in reaching out this year. Let's put 2010 in the books as the year we changed fashion for the better.

XOXO COCO

47 comments:

MAISON CHAPLIN said...

Great that Zac Posen is attending too, it's nice to hear about this from a designer's voice.

Kadir said...

I think you can talk about the misunderstanding about model's food habits...Some people think about that models don't eat..This is a totally wrong idea..And also You can give examples from your daily food programme...Moreover you can talk about the importance about sports...

Coco-Rocha-Fan said...

OMG! that's so cool that you are going to CFDA

the prism & the pendulum said...

The same way that athletes aren't allowed to use steroids to enhance their performance, I think models shouldn't be allowed to be unhealthy in order to fit some unrealistic fashion industry standard. Little girls look up to models and think that that is what they're supposed to look like. If little girls look up to a model who obviously has an eating disorder, they're going to think that that is the only way they will ever be beautiful. Models need to realize that they're role models as well as fashion models, and designers and editors need to keep this is mind too.

Katie said...

Coco, I think your efforts are quite commendable and will most certainly make an impact due to your high status in the fashion industry. I think a very effective method of emphasising health would be to discuss the extent to which photos of models are doctored so that other women understand that the extreme "perfection" seen in photos is achieved with the aid of retouching efforts. This realization would greatly influence the self esteem of all women, models included, because they realize that even the most successful models are photoshopped to some extent.

I find your blog and Twitter simultaneously informative and entertaining; thanks for letting us civilians have some insight into another world!

Josue said...

Hello Coco, greetings from sunny Lala Land!

Well, in my opinion, the modelling world is in desperate need for a 180, its time to bring back the healthy buxom girls of the 90s. I feel that you can be a big part of that. I really admire models like you and Lara Stone who promote a "healthy" thin, your bodies are very much what designers are looking for, but you don't look like you might pass out from starvation anytime soon. I know that the case for extremely thin models made by designers is that "clothes look better on a clothes hanger" and that you don't want the audience to be distracted by the model. But I feel, and I'm sure many others will agree, that clothing also looks better when seen on a real woman (with a nice bust and a nice butt), sometimes in order to see the full inpact of a garment, you have to see how a healthy human body fills it out. When ever I have seen a Versace show for the past few seasons, that dresses that stand out are the ones that Caroline, Hilary, Jessica, or you may wear. Its just pleasant to appreciate the design that goes into these garments when seen on a thin, yet healthy woman. I hope the fashion industry does a complete about face, because if this thinner is better trend keeps going, they might as well put skinny emo boys in wigs on the catwalks, because the girls won't last long.

Anonymous said...

Bravo! And thank you! =)

Kelly said...

I love your efforts in doing this coco, that's what makes you such an idol to many people. You stoof up for something everyone is scared to stand up for in the industry. 2010 will be one for the books, I have a feeling with your effort in this, the industry might start to change

Cora said...

I think it's fantastic that the fashion industry is creating a forum to discuss one of the true issues it has. I've always found myself struggling with the idea that whenever the question of size comes up it never has a middle ground. It always seems as though you are either hyper skinny or your curves actually mean you are overweight. The concern should be with health in general; some bodies are naturally very thin and some bodies are quite healthy at a 'curvy' weight, but the concern should be whether one is treating their body with respect and putting health above all else. To truly touch on the "Size Issue" I think the fashion industry should truly represent women that are at their healthy weight whatever that may be. And a range of sizes truly means a RANGE, not just, "Oh look there goes the one 'regular' model, yay". I hope change truly comes from this panel. Good luck Coco!

You're my favorite model besides Heidi Klum, but I don't know if I'd consider her a model, more of an UberWoman superhero haha.

~Cora

Susannah said...

I think this is fantastic!!! I am 16 and developed a had an eating disorder when i began modeling two years ago.I was sent to treatment and no longer model. Modeling of course doesn't cause eating disorders but beautiful woman like you educating young girls is so inspiring to me. You are AMAZING coco.

Style (R)evolution said...

Very Very Cool.

Anonymous said...

For some people “You’re too skinny” can be just as hurtful as “You’re too fat”. The thing I find with the fashion industry at the moment is that being as skinny is ENCOURAGED. I think what really matters is that the model is healthy; healthy for them may mean a size 2, a size 6, or even a size 10.
Although I am aware that you have faced weight issues, I've always thought you've had a very healthy looking physique that is perfect for the fashion industry.

In my perfect little fashion world I'd imagine embracing beautiful woman (and men) of all heights, weights, and sizes. For now, I'd just like to see more woman of size 4/6 on the runway and in the magazines. It's been really nice to see some plus size models like Crystal Renn do some editorials and look amazing.

Stephanie said...

Just to let you know Coco... you're my favorite model!

Anonymous said...

i'd like to say that the industry should accept more normal-sized women and change their sizing, but if high fashion were accessible, it wouldn't be coveted anymore, nor would being a model.

i'm not sure what the solution is, except maybe the industry should be more stringent about who they accept. I know that sounds odd, but i know people who have done modeling, and it's not that hard to get your foot in the door anymore. what is difficult is being successful.

I think there's a conveyor belt of young, prettyish girls who are tall and kinda thin who come in, and then end up having a lot of difficulty getting the body into shape.

To protect the models (the kids at home are another story) I think agencies need to stop taking models who are not the right size, or at least close to, when they walk in the door.

if you want a skinny, fit, non-starving model, look for the Amanda Laine's - the girl was crazy athletic and skinny as hell when she walked in the door, but who looks fairly healthy and strong.

If a model looks like she has potential but is not fit, give her some tips on how to get into shape and tell her to come back in six months. If she can't pull it off, she either doesn't have the discipline or doesn't have the physical ability to do it. Either way, not a good thing.

From what I understand, a lot of agencies spend about a year getting girls into shape - the problem is that although these girls get in shape, they still may end up being "too big" (remember when Ali Michaels; very muscular legs were "too fat"?) and then the agency spends time telling them "don't diet or exercise more, but make sure to lose the weight somehow". It becomes an impossible situation where girls end up eating less so that they fit the requirements, even as the agency "discourages" starvation - they know it's happening but turn a blind eye. That also needs to stop.

They should also have counseling services available FREE to young models to keep them balanced. It's hard to not go down a horrible track if you're not grounded by someone along the way.


PS
even the buxom models of the 70s or 80s exercised and dieted too much. Kim Alexis has already spoken out about the endocrine problems she developed as a result.

Mo said...

Well, I have a question. Why do people go with extremes nowadays? Like, the size 2 model or the size 12 model. What's wrong with using a 4 or 6?
I am a fan of the skinnier models, but I get that people are trying to make a point with using 'big' girls also, but I doubt that image makes things better...
(I have no idea how to rephrase this, but please take it into consideration)

Have a fabulous time, you will do great!
xoxo Mo

Alena said...

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Mary Jane said...

i think its so amazing that you are taking part in this effort to keep models healthy, it's becomming exhausting to hear on the news that one more model has died from an eating dissorder, and also very outraging to see anorexic models still on the catwalk of some of the worlds biggest designers. I don't think looking underfed is the representation of beauty or is in any way attractive. you can only be beautifull if you are healthy. i'm so glad coco you are the perfect example that health and beauty are defenatelly interinked.

Midnight traveller said...

When I was little I wanted to be a model like Tyra Banks and Claudia Schiffer and Cindy Crawford - not like the skeleton kids. I just want to HEALTHY girls in magazines and runways. Not plus size either since obesity is a huge epidemic too and we don't want to encourage this either. Can't we just settle on healthy? We need to send the RIGHT message, not try to avoid hurting people's feelings.

You are extra awesome for supporting this.

http://www.midnightravel.blogspot.com/

Hooded Top said...

Fabulous read! Love you blog!

Pina Colada Kisses said...

Awesome
http://pinacoladakisses.blogspot.com/

hope505 said...

Thank you so much for participating in this...I am a healthy woman in the size-16 range...I love and enjoy clothing and fashion & believe that beautiful clothing should be available to a wider range of womens' sizes...raising the 'sample size' to a reasonable, truly average number ( ? ) can have the trickle-down effect to benefit women who have historically fallen outside the traditional sample-size guidelines...when you feel like a million bucks in current styles that fit properly, everyone wins!

martuu said...

coco..
I think you should talk about your routine(what do you usually eat) and how do you do to be skinny and at the same time you are a healthy model.
good luck cooco!!
xoxo, martina.

Lucy said...

Hey, this is very positive but truly deep down I feel that although efforts go in to changing peoples minds it too often gets a quick looking at - a bit of a hype and sadly in time gets ignored and nothing is really changed - its terribly sad for those like you who make the effort and want change but creating it is very difficult. Its a powerful industry who only use the most profitable routes to sell.

I agree particuarly with Mo, I've also noticed this surge (almost an overthetop) effort to make a point about using big models. (e.g sunday times style magazine) And like Mo said, they go to the other extreme, using very big models. its too far, people will start thinking models can't be a healthy size and that when we mention 'healthy' or 'larger'models, people will straight away imagine really large girl with lots of padding. Why can't there be a happy medium?!

Similarly, whenever you spot a larger model in an editorial, you can bet anything that the article will be about the fact that theyre larger and that times are changing. NO THEYRE NOT! things will change when you use a larger model and don't make any refernce to it, when its regarded as normal, theyre like any other model.
Its very irritating...
good luck!

Tiffany said...

you once said - "if you need a basketball player you need them tall, if you need a model you need her small." i dont think i've ever agreed with anything more.

no, i don't think bigger girls are "ugly," i've seen many people who are not a size 0 that i think are beautiful too. beauty comes in all sizes, models don't.

i hate how automatically people assume that if you're thin you have an eating disorder because so many times this isn't true.

and about the influence on young children to think they have to look this way. i don't think i know one young girl who could even name a model. if anyone's to blame it's the celebrities and tabloids.

ARANXA. said...

your an amazing model ;] and your beautiful keep up the awesome work!
xo,
ARANXA

Anonymous said...

I am glad you are doing this event, but I really wonder what the hell Vogue is doing there giving you "support" when Anna Wintour hasn't used a model with a body over a size 6 since Crystal Renn awhile ago. God, how long has it been since she used Hilary Rhoda? Isn't she a 4? Looking at photographs online, I was comparing a Versace ad with the supermodels (Nadja, Cindy, Stephanie, Christy, and Claudia) and they looked like real women with legs, curves, and even thighs, like they actually ate healthy and worked out to be healthy. Maybe you should flash up that exact same picture and compare it to an ad of today so they can see the difference, and how sad and scary it is. Seing bony models with skeletal bodies and faces isn't pretty, it is pathetic. Again, if Anna Wintour is going to be there (and I know that you are thankful for how she has helped you all these years) she should actually make an effort to do something about it to show she means her support, rather than just be there with her normal vacant stare while the fashion industry makes such a big deal that they are making progress...in otherwords, get off your ass Anna! use your power for something good! Maybe it would make American Vogue a magazine with relevance again, and realize that not only socialites read that magazine, but the rest of the country/world does. It is time for change, seriously and I am thankful you have the voice and the guts to say something.

Anonymous said...

one thing i've always been curious about, and which is related to comments made by James Scully, is this:

do you, or other well-established models ever look back on photographers, or casting directors or other people in the industry who treated you badly when you first started and refuse to work with them? do you have that power now?

because, just a thought, refusing to work with people who told you, as a young girl, to take diet pills may cause them to reconsider their treatment of the models. The bottom line is what counts for most of them.

Has you ever been tempted to do this?

Dev4 Rvn said...

youtube is the best way to get anything said nowadays

Anonymous said...

Hi Girl!

I just wanted to say that you're a one of my favorite models on earth! You seem to be a natural/normal/cool girl and that's nice in all that superficial fashion world. What do you think about not size 0 model? I'm so frustrated cause I work on fashion blogs and because I'm not slim at all, just normal (size M), I think now that I'm too big, that I don't look good cause I'm not slim...do you think that be beautiful means be slim? I'm so depressed about all this fashion world =(

Sacha

FashionsLaboratory said...

Great that you are contributing to this, the industry really does need to act more responsibility with regards its views on weight, well done you for being responsible!

jen mussari said...

Hey Coco!
Thanks for putting the effort forth to concentrate of size issues in your industry. One thing that hasn't been mentioned and can be a HUGE influence on designers is the massive popularity of photographers who capture extremely stylish, average sized people, like the Sartorialist. I feel that fashion right now is really popular with all walks (not just the wealthy) and this means STREETWEAR! Designers like Alexander Wang are on fire for their street-savvy looks, which don't just flatter thing girls (the way that Chanel suits do!). So you could talk about the benefits of embracing a healthier body image because it includes more types of people and is then a better business model! Better for everyone.

Anonymous said...

Hi Coco. I love your beauty. Well, I just wanted you to know if you didn't get the memo yet, but McQueen has died. RIP 1969-2010.

Sabrina said...

I'm sure you'll rock it. Love your blog anyways...I hope to meet you at Milan or Paris fashion week :)

Anonymous said...

Hi,
Did you read about the "demise" of Gemma Ward and how people are saying here career is essentially over due to her new weight:
http://www.nypost.com/pagesixmag/issues/20100211/Gemma+Ward+Supermodel+Betrayed?page=4

Anonymous said...

You don't need to be tall to play basketball and you don't need to to small or thing to model. You don't need to be a white man to be a world leader. Nobody needs to be anything to be anything. Goodness, you don't need to be beautiful to be a model!!

The fashion industry (and media at large) has been promoting an unhealthy body image, irregardless of whether or not the models are naturally slim or are slim because of anorexia (that doesn't matter at all). I think there is a large consensus that wants to take it back to the healthy 80s and 90s. When I look at Cindy Crawford photos from back then, I think "Oh, she looks kinda chubby." But she's NOT! NOT AT ALL!! My view of healthy, sexy bodies has been skewed too much. It's a shame. Hopefully, the trend will move away from rail thin and back to curvy. I mean, isn't Beyonce celebrated as uber-sexy?? But why is the fashion industry moving so far away from that??? WHY??

Camilla said...

I like your blog!
and your grammys dress (see quite a few posts down) was beautiful :) xxx

annette celin said...

amazing blog!

Anonymous said...

hey i love you so much you are one of myfavourite models. Quite a controversial subject there. Anyway i'm entering teh benetton model casting competition and it woudl really mean a lot to me if you checked out my profile, told me what you though and maybe even voted for me.
http://casting.benetton.com/users/115474-daniela

Thank you so much. Daniela xxxxx

Anonymous said...

Bless you Coco, for doing this and your comments in today's NYTimes. Some perspective: models nowadays weigh less than jockeys. Also, for those of you who say "Models have to be skinny"-- there's a major difference between skinny and skeletal. I was a fitting model at Perry Ellis in the '80s-- at size 6/8, which was industry standard in those days.

Evan said...

Hi Coco,

Just read the story in the New York Post today and I have to commend you for your courage in speaking out against this sometimes cruel industry. You're absolutely gorgeous and shouldn't have to change a damn thing in order to appease a bunch of uncaring, money-grubbing barracudas who only look at their bottom line with little to no regard for your health and who look at you as an expendable commodity. I hope other young ladies will get the drift that having these unhealthy and unrealistic physiques will potentially kill them; you can absolutely enjoy your modeling career but not at the expense of your health and happiness. I wish you the best of luck in whatever dreams you aspire to (modeling or otherwise). I never heard of you until today but I am now one of your fans. Take care cutie! 8)

zhen1zhu1 said...

once upon a time sample size meant 8 - is it now a 2? or 0? or 00? a curious mind wants to know! thanks!

Cynthia said...

But what is a "real" woman? Would someone like Lady Gaga or Eva Longoria be "fake" because they're short and slim? The fashion industry doesn't really like us either. Designers may make clothes for famous petite celebrities, but 5'3", 100 lb actresses are "special cases." The typical 5'3" woman who *ISN'T* famous has to spend an arm and a leg sometimes to get things altered so they'd fit (it's often not a matter of basic hemming. Have you ever had an outfit where the waist was somewhere between your own natural waist and your hips? I have.) Does this make petite women somewhere between a "real" woman and a....child?

Sami said...

You're the best, Coco! I am so happy to know that you are in favor of health in fashion.It is very important. Congratulations!
Love from Brazil! <3 <3

Anonymous said...

thank you so much for doing this! i am recovering from an eating disorder and i am so happy that hopefully many other girls will not have to feel this sickening pressure to be thin. you are brave and admirable.

Term Paper said...

This is such a great news, it really helps, Your blog is nice and informative. Thanks for the article.

GrandmaJoanG said...

In White Rock, BC, Grandma Joan says she's excited about your upcoming wedding, Coco. Big Congratulations to you two. Would love to hear from you. Sue & Joan G. at apaponi2@gmail.com

Nahrin said...

FABULOUS!!!! You are doing a great thing! Models should be protected and the sample size is ludicrous! Keep up your work!!!!