You spoke about models; within the past year or so there’s been a lot of conversation in the industry–the Vogue initiative, banning models who are underweight, the Model Alliance–are these efforts moving in the right direction? What can the industry do as a whole?
I think a lot of designers want very thin girls and feel their clothes look better on them, and it’s going to take a lot to undo that mindset. So I think the change is going to happen from outside of the industry, I think people will force the industry to change and people will respond to models either positively or negatively.
The more voice there is, the more conversation from the outside, I think that will force people to change. If it’s meant to–maybe there isn’t a strong enough voice, and then it won’t happen. But I don’t think it’s going to happen from the inside out–I’m positive it won’t.
On the Stop Objectification website, there’s a feature where you ask people to submit their favorite part of their body. What has impressed you the most about the response?
The raw honesty. The response was unbelievable–the honesty and the ability to share really intimate information. The takeaway is how strong women are. It’s shocking to hear the experiences we all go through, it is SHOCKING. But then to hear how, with support, the more we support each other, how strong we really are. There are a lot of women’s groups coming together now, a lot of underground conversation groups, and I think enough of these groups are going to come together and say, “What’s with the girl in that ad, she’s airbrushed, nobody looks like that.”
Not that you want real women that are not professional models, but models can be beautiful and healthy and a great example of individual beauty, and so I think we can force that change and demand it. That would really create an energy for people to rethink the way women are presented.
Find out more about Kamali’s campaign at StopObjectification.com