Last night I had the priviledge of attending the 15th Annual Public Forum hosted by the Harris Center “Health is Beauty: Defining Ourselves” with the lovely Arianna Huffington, Franca Sozzani and Doutzen Kroes speaking out on the issue of eating disorders and the media. Each had an interesting perspective on the subject: Arianna, a major influence in the media whose daughter struggled with the disease, Franca, who has worked in the fashion industry for years, and Doutzen, a supermodel in the industry who was told repeatedly to lose weight even though she was healthy.
Since I’ve been a fan of Vogue and Vogue Italia for years, I was most excited about hearing what Ms. Sozzani had to say, but I quickly realized that all three of them were phenomenally interesting. Not only were they all wicked funny, but clearly they had each thought about this issue for a while and were very serious about the need for young people to help other young people.
I could easily write about how Arianna, one of the Forbes 100 most influential people, is an inspiration or Doutzen, with her strong belief in health over weight despite what the industry requires, and perhaps I will another time but first, Franca.
The amazing thing about this woman is that she isn’t just a magazine editor, doing her job. In fact, she’s taken her whole celebrity influence to challenge the traditions of the fashion industry through her magazine and life. With Vogue Italia she sparked controversy by doing a “Black” Issue, and a “Curvy” Issue while she continues to blog on her own site against pro-ana websites. Right before flying to Boston she was in Africa, working to get more jobs for women there to empower them further.
She genuinely dislikes super skinny models on the runway, and hates the fact that they all look the same, for nearly every show. Of course it’s easier for designers to only have to design for one size, so that’s how it’s been, she explained. What’s most important, to all the ladies who spoke, was that each woman love the body they have, take care of it, and be proud of who they are.
I only hope that someday, I can do as much for others across the country and world as they have.