Mickey Boardman On Skinny Models: ‘Very Often They’re 14-Years-Old’
The issue of skinny and underage models in the industry has long been an important and controversial topic, and this week, former Vogue Australia editor Kirstie Clements blew the doors wide open with several accounts of girls starving themselves to get to a “Paris thin” look in her new book The Vogue Factor. On Wednesday evening, we caught up with Paper’s Mickey Boardman at the one year anniversary for the Joe Fresh Fifth Avenue flagship (more on that later). As per usual, Boardman had a lot to say.
Like most of us who work in the industry, Boardman was conflicted about the issue of skinny models. “It’s kind of like…who do you blame? And I don’t want to blame people, you kind of want to move onto the next thing and solve the problem.” So how do you solve the problem, then — institute something like the Vogue Health Initative? As we all know, that hasn’t exactly worked out as hoped.
“I do think that models are too skinny. A problem is that very often they’re 14 years old. So I personally think it would be great to have models that have to be 18 — and I know they’ve tried to make models have to be 16, but some people don’t listen. The problem is that the 14-year-old girl from Ukraine looks amazing in clothes, and the ones that look amazing are skinny because they’re like baby horses. They’re like colts, they’re all just arms and legs and big eyes. And it’s not because they’re unhealthy, it’s just because they’re in that growing stage. I wish there was more of an embrace in general in fashion. Celebrating people who aren’t just sample size, but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to happen. I don’t know what to do about it, but I think a big step would have to be make sure models are of a certain age. But even then, when you’re 18 and there is champagne backstage and you’re traveling. Like you’re from Belarus and you’re going to Paris and Milan, and you’re jet-lagged — it’s a difficult situation.”
What it basically boils down to is a never-ending vicious cycle — one that definitely needs more attention and more people like Boardman to voice their honest, albiet slightly biased, opinions. Check out the video below to see how Israel is hoping to change the way things work in the industry: