Fashioning Worker Protections to Combat the Thin Ideal’s Cost on Fashion Models and Public Health

Erin E. Meyers • 20 Vand. J. Ent. & Tech. 1219

Abstract

Studies linking thin-obsessed media consumption to poor health outcomes for women have permeated the medical literature for years. The pressures female fashion models face to sacrifice their health for their jobs are perhaps even more disturbing. These harrowing issues are symptoms of the “thin ideal,” the social norm glorifying a female body type so thin it is unattainable for most women. Despite the clear harm imposed by the thin ideal, the United States has done little to combat its effect on the working conditions of fashion models and on public health more generally. This Note suggests that the US fashion industry currently lacks incentives to change its practices for the better. Thus, the United States should follow the lead of other major players in the international fashion industry and should incentivize its fashion industry members to avoid practices that result in extremely thin models.