‘The Imperfectionist is someone who embraces his or her own flaws, and accepts the differences of others.’
This statement, although it might sound like an obvious one, is both challenging and extremely powerful. When we made this a part of our Imperfectionist campaign, we didn’t consider it lightly. We truly believe that the Imperfectionist mentality promotes self-love, confidence, and amity with others. However, especially working in the fashion industry, it also has massive ramifications for the choices we make in the runnings of our creative projects and the people we work with.
A couple months ago, we made the difficult decision to restrict the models we hire to those whose age, height and weight match the Parisian standard of what a healthy model’s BMI should be. For those who don’t know, earlier this year, France passed a law that required fashion models to provide a medical certificate to ensure that they are at a healthy weight for their height and body type. This was done in order to eliminate the harsh pressure put on models to be unrealistically skinny. Although this isn’t a legal requirement in the UK, For Art’s Sake recently decided to follow this standard, in order to promote a healthy lifestyle amongst the models we work with, and also to our audience.
To some, this decision will sound applause-worthy, and to others, it will sound discriminating. We discussed and debated this topic amongst our team members, and acknowledged all the potential risks. We know that the BMI is not necessarily the best measure of discerning whether or not someone is healthy to work. We know that there are people who naturally fall under (or above!) the Paris standard’s BMI, and yet are perfectly healthy. But most importantly, we know that ALL bodies are beautiful, regardless of height, weight, or dress size.
So, why the limitation? We figured that given fashion’s history of depicting extraordinarily slim models in the media, we wanted to resist the stigma that fashion is only for thin people. We couldn’t bear the thought that someone might see one of our campaign images and think, ‘I want to be skinny just like him/her,’ and take to unhealthy measures in order to achieve a weight that wasn’t realistic. For Art’s Sake is all about shaking up our environment in order to achieve something new, and we wanted to revolt against unhealthy body expectations in fashion, and be truly body positive.
We love slim bodies, and we love chubby bodies, and we will feature models of these shapes and sizes gladly. What we won’t do, however, is promote unhealthy habits and mentalities. Our Imperfectionist message is all about loving yourself and loving others, but we also believe that being mentally and physically healthy is essential to being an Imperfectionist. It’s all about the process of becoming your best, most creative, most open-minded self.
So we sincerely hope you can support us in this decision, and continue being wonderful Imperfectionists yourselves!
Until next time,