Vogue sends fashion tricks film to schools

Alexandra Shulman, pictured left, on the front row of 2011 London Fashion Week
Image caption Alexandra Shulman, pictured left, wants young girls to understand what they see on the pages of her magazine is artificial

A video revealing the tricks that go into creating glossy images of perfect-looking models for fashion magazines is being sent to 1,000 secondary schools.

The aim is to help girls to understand that the images on the pages are the result of hours with make-up artists and stylists, and digital enhancement.

British Vogue editor Alexandra Shulman, who is behind the initiative, wants girls to see how the model is changed.

Shadow equalities minister Helen Goodman welcomed the move.

The 10-minute film includes footage from a Vogue photoshoot with interviews with the model, the make-up artist, the photographer and stylist.

Catwalk model Drake Burnette is shown before and during the shoot for the July edition to show how she looks without make-up and the final effect.

In an interview shown in the film, she said: "When I look at photos of myself in a magazine, it can be surprising because the images are so constructed.

"And when I look at myself in the mirror, I don't see a very glamorous girl. I just see a girl who is, like, probably in a hurry and tired and a little stressed out."

'Inspire and entertain'

A lesson plan has been sent out to accompany the video which aims to allow girls to discuss how they feel about the images.

Ms Shulman told BBC Radio 4's PM programme: "The idea was to try and demonstrate all of the skill and resources that go into making a fashion image, so young girls can see clearly how the model is changed by Vogue magazine."

She said fashion magazines did create an artificial ideal but, when asked whether her magazine would consider using larger models, said: "I don't want to pretend we are going to try to change the way we portray fashion."

"Our mission in Vogue's fashion pictures is to inspire and entertain while showing the clothes created by many highly talented designers," she said.

"They are created with this intention in mind, not to represent reality.

"The problem, if there is a problem, comes when people judge themselves and their appearance against the models they see on the pages of a magazine and then feel that in some way they fall short."

She added that of some 150 editorial pages in an edition of Vogue, 60 carried images of real women.

"We have had a [size] 18 down to a eight or six," she said.

Ms Goodman said the initiative was a "small step in the right direction".

She said the industry should also consider putting labels on the page whenever airbrushing takes place and limiting the use of very young girls and models below a size eight.

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