[LIEN LOVES FRANCA SOZZANI FOR BEING ANTI-ANA]
Franca Sozzani is at Harvard University as we speak, fighting the cause against Pro-ana on ever more noble soil.*
For about a year now, the editor-in-chief of Vogue Italia for 24 years strong has been crusading against the movement that celebrates the mental disorder, Anorexia Nervosa, and that has countless, unidentified bloggers around the world creating online diaries in which they write to their friend “Ana” and share tips about how to be more and more…anorexic.
Her noble stallion? A petition she launched on Vogue.It. asking Vogue readers and the general Web public to join her in her plea to shut down pro-Ana sites. Should you be moved to petition action, you can give your name, email and digital signature to Conde Nast (Vogue’s publisher) and join the cause.
Sozzani planted the first seed of contention in her blog, after researching the relationship between anorexia and…Facebook. To put it simply, according to a study out of the University of Haifa, there is an alarming link between Facebook usage and damaged self-image, which then leads to an increase in mental disorders. The effect is also attributed to modern TV shows that feature pretty, thin (and pretty thin) actors. Think Mischa Barton.
Sozzani then went on to put plus-size models (to us, regular-sized women) on the Vogue cover of July 2011. The obvious pothole here is that by making the ‘plus’ cover a ‘special’ cover, emphasis is put on the fact that every other day in fashion is a size zero day.
I can not bring myself to sign a petition that advocates the shutting down of sites. ”Shutting down” sounds to me an awful lot like “putting down” freedom of speech, an especially ill-advised move in our dark days of PIPA and SOPA.
However, I applaud Signora Sozzani for wedding fashion and social sensibility, and for steering modelling in an ever healthier direction.
Here are some ugly stats, from Vogue.It:
"80% of pro-ana web-sites have interactive applications – to count calories, for instance; 85% of them publishes pictures of extremely skinny and emaciated women to serve as a source of inspiration – called thinspiration; 83% suggests ways to loose weight quickly and gain complete control over the body until reaching the final goal of weighting 45 kilos or even less.
Lastly, 24% of such sites have been stamped as extremely dangerous for its readers.”
*She is also at Harvard to promote African fashion and Fashion4Development. Clearly she wants fashion to be more and more things, and that is why I want to be Franca Sozzani. More on that soon.