Battlefront Project – anti size zero

Battlefront Project - anti size zero

Anyone who’s watched the film ‘The Devil Wears Prada’ knows that what you see in fashion magazines is supposed to be aspirational. And that’s not just the film; women across the world, consciously or not, aspire to the images of the supposedly perfect women they see in magazines, on the catwalk and on television…

We, the general public, first heard about ‘size zero’ models (as they have been coined by the world’s media) when the catwalk model Luisel Ramos collapsed during a show during Fashion Week in Uruguay. She died later of heart failure caused by anorexia brought on by the pressure to be unhealthily thin. She was 22 years old. Her sister Eliana died of what is thought to be heat attack last year at the age of 18. The cause was said to be malnutrition. Looking at the tragic tale of these two sisters, we must ask ourselves what exactly it is we’re aspiring to achieve. And, importantly, who is responsible? Is it the models who starve themselves skinny? Could it be the people who buy the magazines filled with these images, fueling business? I believe it is the magazine editors, clothes designers and modeling agencies who are to blame. Would models still starve themselves if they could no longer get work through being potentially terminally thin?

I wanted to do something. There are hundreds of anti size zero campaigns out there, all targeting the woman on the street, trying to make her see that she’s better than the images she perceives as perfection. But why not go straight to the root of the problem and try to change the minds of the people who hire the models? So I started my Anti Size Zero campaign, running it within the perimeters of Inside Out, an online fashion magazine of which I’m the editor. I took great care to create a magazine that projected the right image to women, never featuring a photograph of ‘too skinny to be healthy’ models unless it was related to an anti size zero article. That was when I was contacted by someone from Raw TV about joining the Battlefront project.

The Battlefront project, to quote the front page of their website, ‘Is all about campaigning. Getting you heard. Shaking up the future.’ Battlefront is basically 19 (soon to be 20) young people who have a campaign they want to run to help make a difference. We get given websites, write blogs and film video diaries about our campaigns with the help of the experts at Airlock, the Website company, Bebo – who have given us featured profiles – and from Raw Tv and Channel 4. We also get given assistance with advice, contancts and guidance from mentors, people in high places who are well-positioned to help.

The project’s been great so far, and all the campaigners have learned a lot about public relations and filming (both through being filmed and through experiencing what it’s like behind the cameras we’ve been given). I for one can’t wait for things to get into full spring!

The first two projects of the Anti Size Zero campaign are to cast two normal girls off the street as models, and involve them in alternative fashion shoots for both the magazine and the ad campaign. I’m also making a short documentary to be shown online and to designers, modeling agencies and magazine editors across England to highlight exactly how a girl feels when given a magazine cutting featuring your stereotypical, too skinny model.

Show your support by adding the campaign on either Bebo or Myspace (friend ID. anti_size_zero).