British Vogue has produced a short film entitled It’s A Look aimed at teaching school children about all the work that goes into creating the fantasies they see in the pages of fashion magazines.
“As editor of Vogue, I am frequently asked about the influence and messages the images in the magazine send to our readers about body image,” says Alexandra Shulman. “Our mission in Vogue’s fashion pictures is to inspire and entertain, while showing the clothes created by many highly talented designers. They are created with this intention in mind, not to represent reality. The problem, if there is a problem, comes when people judge themselves and their appearance against the models they see on the pages of a magazine and then feel that in some way they fall short.”
The film is Shulman’s brainchild and is narrated by model Jade Parfitt. It also features fashion directors, fashion bookings Editors, creative directors, photographers and make-up artists all explaining the complexities and artifice behind constructing a fashion shoot from beginning to end.
It’s A Look is also part of Vogue’s ongoing Health Initiative program aimed at encouraging a healthier approach to body image within the fashion industry. The film is being sent to schools along with a lesson plan and teacher’s notes in the hope that education authorities will include it in the PHSE: Personal Wellbeing curriculum, with key stage 3, year 9 students in mind. However, the magazine’s initiative has already been attacked, with critics accusing Vogue of “conveniently shirking the blame for a poisonous culture by telling us all what we knew already.”
Despite criticism, Shulman clarifies, “I am 100 per cent comfortable with what we do on Vogue. I am happy to say that I wish designers on the catwalk worked towards a larger body shape. We don’t run diets or articles on cosmetic surgery in the magazine. We are not about making people feel insecure.”
Read more about the initiative’s lesson plan here!