Franca Sozzani blames Facebook for anorexia

21 March 2011

Italian fashion powerhouse Franca Sozzani (as the editor of Vogue Italia she is pretty much the Continental equivalent of Anna Wintour!) has put pen to paper, or rather, fingers to keyboard to proclaim that the issue of anorexia and eating disorders in young girls is all the fault of Facebook. (?) Not long ago, she was decrying fashion bloggers as a type of ‘disease’!  Never let it be said that Franca doesn't speak her mind!

In a lengthy post on her blog, she cites a study from the University of Haifa, Israel, conducted among teenage girls aged between 12 and 19, which, according to Franca, found that; ‘The more time you spend logged in Facebook the more chance you have to become anorexic. Reading the article it looked like the social network was guilty of showing virtual role models that girls tend to imitate. Wrong, and sometimes even fake models, the result of photoshop alterations. The younger tend to feel inadequate as regards such models and put their health at stake trying to imitate them. They accept messages passively and adjust to them. Sometimes destroying their lives.’

Blimey. Franca absolves the fashion business of any influence over tender young minds, saying, ‘Models, as I have underlined before, are in most cases naturally long, lean and slender being still very young and still not fully developed. The image they convey, however, is often that of an excessive thinness, but designers themselves discard those who are visibly suffering from nutritional problems.’ So that’s ok then. She even adds that ‘This is a topic that has been often discussed with false prejudice against fashion when nobody was left to blame.’

Well, what do you make of this? Can anyone really be to ‘blame’ for anorexia, a life threateningly serious, but very complex and deep rooted problem? What can be done to prevent more women and men being affected by the disorder? Surely it’ll be no easier to ‘ban’ sites like facebook than it would be to get rid of all skinny models in magazines. Let us know below . . .


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