The Vogue Italia editor recently announced the move on her blog, commenting that she hopes legislation to close down these kinds of sites will soon be put into place. She said pro-anorexia sites “provide a kind of open confessional, supporting those who are unable to carry on by themselves along a road that can only lead to death”.
Sozzani is not the first editor of Vogue to address eating disorders head on. In 2009, British Vogue editor-in-chief Alexandra Shulman wrote to various designers who had been sending the magazine ever shrinking sample garments, forcing the magazine to hire models “with jutting bones and no breasts or hips”.
Sozzani has already pre-empted comments from critics who she expects will argue that it was magazines such as Vogue that promoted and fuelled the spread of eating disorders in the first place.
“I am sure they will say the same about me, but you can’t let yourself be influenced by a handful of people into not doing something about what’s going on”, Sozzani said.
Many of these pro-ana sites deny they promote eating disorders, and instead say that their aim is simply to offer support to those who are suffering. However, one particular site who were approached by the Daily Mail, commented that they do not encourage harmful anorexia activities, yet their do’s and don’ts page included the following: “You will be FAT if you eat today. Just put it off one more day.”
Commenting on the fact that the fashion world and its models are huge influences on many individuals with eating disorders Sozzani said “models in most cases are naturally slender because they are still very young and not yet fully developed”.
Sozzani hopes the campaign will result in Italy blocking out foreign sites, but what her ultimate dream is for her petition to act as a springboard for a much wider campaign.
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