Germany’s most popular women’s magazine is banning professional models from its pages and replacing them with images of “real life” women instead.
In what is seen as the latest attempt to stamp out the “size zero” model, the editors of Brigitte said it would in future only use women with “normal figures.”
“From 2010 we will not work with professional models any more,” said Andreas Lebert, editor-in-chief, adding that he was “fed up” with retouching pictures of underweight models who bore no resemblance to ordinary women.
“For years we’ve had to use Photoshop to fatten the girls up,” he said. “Especially their thighs, and decolletage. But this is disturbing and perverse and what has it got to do with our real reader?”
He said the move was a response to complaints by readers who said they had no connection with the women depicted in fashion features and “no longer wanted to see protruding bones.”
“Today’s models weigh around 23 percent less than normal women,” Lebert said. “The whole model industry is anorexic.”
Brigitte, which is Germany’s best-selling women’s title with more than 700,000 copies, offers readers a familiar diet of fitness, lifestyle, recipes and sex, which tends to appeal to upwardly mobile younger career women.
Lebert said the magazine would call on German women to put themselves forward as models for fashion and makeup articles.
“We’re looking for women who have their own identity, whether it be the 18-year-old student, the company chairwoman, the musician, or the footballer,” he said, adding that he wanted a mix between prominent and completely unknown women and would look out for politicians and actresses interested in modelling.
Critics accused Brigitte of seeking a cost-cutting strategy at a time of declining magazine sales, and of dressing it up as a campaign issue to attract new readers, but Lebert insisted the “ordinary women” would be paid the same amounts that the magazine would otherwise pay modeling agencies.
No one has yet been signed up for the new initiative, but Lebert is thought to be scouting around. He will undoubtedly extend an invitation to Chancellor Angela Merkel. While her fashion sense has sometimes been questioned, she makes headlines each year with her eye-catching choices of ballgowns at the annual Wagner festival in Bayreuth, and she recently had a Barbie doll modeled after her.
Other figureheads might include arguably the most successful female tennis player of all time, Steffi Graf, or the country’s popular family minister, mother of seven, Ursula von der Leyen.
German commentators said that Brigitte’s move had clearly been inspired by British Vogue editor Alexandra Schulman’s recent appeal to major fashion houses to end the “size-zero” culture.
Two years ago Spain introduced a law banning models who were “too thin” from the catwalks.
Model agencies reacted with skepticism to the Brigitte plan.
Louisa von Minckwitz, owner of Louisa Models, said she understood the rage about underweight models but doubted that readers really wanted to buy a magazine to look at ordinary women.
“The fact is that women want to see clothes on beautiful, aesthetically pleasing people,” she said.
EVOLVING SITUATION: Of the latest cases, 23 percent were found to be asymptomatic, but the coronavirus strain in Da Nang is more contagious, authorities said A COVID-19 outbreak that began in the Vietnamese city of Da Nang more than a week ago has spread to at least four city factories with a combined workforce of about 3,700, state media reported yesterday. Four cases were found at the plants in different industrial parks in the central city that collectively employ 77,000 people, the Lao Dong newspaper said. Vietnam, praised widely for its decisive measures to combat the novel coronavirus since it first appeared in late January, is battling new clusters of infection having gone for more than three months without detecting any domestic transmissions. Authorities yesterday reported one new
‘COVIDIOTS’: Politicians condemned the protest that came amid surging infections in the country, while a marcher said government-induced fear weakened the body Loudly chanting their opposition to masks and vaccines, thousands of people on Saturday gathered in Berlin to protest against COVID-19 restrictions before being dispersed by police. Police put turnout at about 20,000 — well below the 500,000 organizers had announced as they urged a “day of freedom” from months of virus curbs. Despite Germany’s comparatively low toll, authorities are concerned at a rise in infections over the past few weeks and politicians took to social media to criticize the rally as irresponsible. “We are the second wave,” shouted the crowd, a mixture of hard left and right and conspiracy theorists, as they converged
Three Micronesian sailors stranded on a remote Pacific island have been found alive and well after a rescue team spotted their giant SOS message written into the sand on a beach. Australian and US military aircraft found the three men on tiny Pikelot island, nearly 200km west of where they had set off. Rescuers said that the men were “in good condition” with no significant injuries. The men had been missing for three days after their 7m skiff ran out of fuel and strayed off course. Authorities in the US territory of Guam raised the alarm on Saturday after the men failed to complete
A cat that went missing on a family holiday on the shores of Loch Lomond, Scotland, has been identified 12 years later. Tortoiseshell-and-white Georgie spent October half term in 2008 with her owners at the Rowardennan campsite, but vanished as they were due to return home to Greater Manchester, England. After a search of the site the Davies family departed without Georgie, hoping the three-year-old microchipped feline would be located by someone. Over the intervening 12 years, she remained close to the Queen Elizabeth Forest Park site, being fed and cared for by campsite staff and holidaymakers. After the COVID-19 pandemic hit and lockdown