May 19th, 2012
11:46 AM ET
Vogue has earned high praise from past cover model Tyra Banks.
The creator of “America’s Next Top Model” penned an open letter on The Daily Beast in support of the fashion brand's recent announcement that none of its international editors will work with any women who appear to have an eating disorder.
Banks called the position right-thinking, saying that in spite of her historic career in the fashion industry, she’d be considered “too heavy” by today’s standards.
"If I was just starting to model at age 17 in 2012, I could not have had the career that I did,” Banks said in her missive directed at models around the world, their moms and any woman struggling with body image issues.
“I would’ve been considered too heavy. In my time, the average model’s size was a four or six. Today you are expected to be a size zero," she said. "When I started out, I didn’t know such a size even existed.”
To further illustrate the problem, Banks described a long-standing mantra in the industry that “there’s no such thing as being too thin, as long as you don’t pass out," and talked about fielding calls from other models in the middle of the night who were literally starving themselves in order to fit into their runway gear.
Vogue has also vowed not to work with any model under the age of 16, which Banks also praised.
"Now, real progress is finally on the horizon," she said of their choice. "Vogue is stepping up, doing the right thing, and protecting that girl. Perhaps that girl is you!”
For Banks, a "celebration" of Vogue's announcement is in order.
“The editors of Vogue’s 19 international editions have pledged to ban models from their pages who 'appear to have an eating disorder,' to create healthy backstage working conditions, as well as several other revolutionary initiatives,"she said. "This calls for a toast over some barbecue and burgers!"
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