The British edition of Vogue magazine has begun retouching photos of models to make them appear larger, its editor has revealed.
In a letter to fashion houses, leaked to the Times, Alexandra Shulman accused designers of making magazines hire super-skinny models for photoshoots by supplying them with sample clothes that were too small.
She said readers felt uncomfortable seeing photos in the magazine or girls “with jutting bones and no breasts or hips” and urged the fashion industry to take action.
“During the time I have been at Vogue, the sample sizes that models are required to war have become substantially smaller,” Shulman wrote.
“We have now reached a point where many of the sample sizes don’t comfortably fit even the established star models.
She added: “Nowadays, I often ask the photographers to retouch to make the models appear larger.
“I am finding that the feedback from my readers and the general feeling in the UK is that people really don’t want to see such thin girls either in editorial or advertising.
“I am often having to run headshots on the cover, rather than images where you can see clothes, because my readers are uncomfortable with the size of the models when seen full length.”
Emma Healey, the director of operations of eating disorder charity Beat, welcomed Vogue’s stance on so-called “size zero” models.
“The whole controversy has been a wake up call,” she said.
“British fashion is leading the way on this, and it is very encouraging to see Vogue, which is the fashion magazine, taking a stance like this.”
A report into models’ health by Baroness Kingsmill in 2007 recommended that the media manipulation of images be subject to a strict code of practice.
The Periodical Publishers Association said at the time of the report that there was no industry-wide consensus on airbrushing and it was considering creating a voluntary code of practice.