Having to adhere to bizarre beauty standards is nothing new to all of us. But quite recently, there has been a shift in body positivity with tons of celebrities and public faces backing up the idea of acceptance. Apparently, one particular model casting agency in Canada did not quite get this memo and is now having to formally apologize for requiring models to have a 20-inch waist to be considered for a fashion week show.
Vancouver Fashion Week (VFW) has since come under extreme backlash after publically posting a model casting call poster that advertises “petite models” should have a 20 to 22-inch waistline in order to audition. Accompanied by the extremely small waist, those who audition must have a 30 to 32-inch hip and must be 5’5 to 5’8.
The model casting pamphlet was posted by VFW last week. After some serious backlash, VFW has taken down the public post. But like anything on the internet, it is not gone forever and can still be found on various Instagram accounts accompanied by comments of disgust and confusion due to the unhealthy weight standards.
Since the ordeal, VFW has released a public apology on their website. The statement started out by saying they would like to clarify their position on models and sizes in fashion. "At Vancouver Fashion Week, we do have model sizing guidelines for all of our designers who participate in Fashion Week. The social media post in question was a mistake, which is why it was taken down,” writes the public statement.
They later go on to write that every model is supported by VFW no matter their size, gender, ethnicity, or background. “We believe every body type is a cause for celebration and we welcome designers who encourage body positivity and who redefine what ‘beauty’ and ‘style’ mean in today’s society.”
VFW also took to Instagram to explain why they specified for such unusually small measurements. According to the statement, the Vancouver Fashion Week welcomes diversity and because of this, a wide variety of emerging designers from around the world are invited to the show. VFW states that these different designers have collections that cater to “different sized models from petite to plus sized to wear their distinct clothes.”
The statement goes on to read that they would like to apologize for the extremely small body size specification. According to the statement, they are sorry for any offence they have caused and will “strive to deliver a fashion week that is inclusive for all.”
Sophia Dishaw, an international model, went public with her concerns and commented on the public Instagram apology stating “did anyone actually THINK before they posted those measurement requirements?! Do you realize how small a 30-inch hip is? Surely this employee of your 'fashion week' was out of their mind!”
The second Vancouver based model Lexi Redman posted a lengthy comment stating that she has worked the show and was treated “like slave labour while being bested form body.” She then goes on to use hashtag #BoycottVFW.
For many others who are not in the industry, the apology was not enough and comments of disapproval and disappointment are being made. Many people are calling out VFW for blaming the designers and questioning who said it was okay to run the advertisement.