And now, a word from Faran... I woke up early to see Ali Michael on The Today Show this morning, and her appearance confirmed what we've been heralding for months: Team Ali Michael! And yet, it was also quite sad. As Ali told her story, she mentioned she'd stopped eating around age sixteen, which led to her hair falling out, her period stopping, and her energy and focus depleting. I felt gross and guilty when Ali said that, because it's when I first met her, and I would never have known she was ill. In fact, backstage during New York and London Fashion Weeks, I thought she was one of the most articulate, confident, intelligent, and genuinely cool girls working in the industry. She is still all those things, but -
The fact that she could appear so together backstage, and even give lengthy interviews to the press about her experiences as a model, while she was in such poor physical health - well, it's frightening and sad. Because it means you never really know what's going on with these young girls. It's not just the ones who look wrecked and incoherent and that are having a hard time with the fast-paced, unpredictable, and often harsh fashion business - it's all of them. And there I am backstage, thinking they're the most gorgeous, lucky, special girls in the world. And I know I'm not alone in that opinion. Yuck. The rest of the segment was funny: Anne Curry never once asked Amy Astley if she felt that Teen Vogue contributed to negative body images by heralding so many models as heroines, nor did she admit that she and her daughter have participated in Teen Vogue parties and editorial shoots. Amy did a great job with her end of the interview, but Anne made it messy. Then Anne quoted Nina Garcia, which was hysterical because what does Nina Garcia have to do with anything, and Anne called her "the fashion editor of ELLE Magazine," which is... well... you know. The Today Show also flashed a statistic that the average American woman is 5'4 and 165 lbs, though they didn't say that isn't just "normal" but also unhealthy and not an aspirational weight for anyone. Thankfully, Ali's poise and smarts saved the whole thing from being really, really silly. Fashionista commends and congratulates her on being such a cool, intelligent, gorgeous young woman, and we hope she gets a lot of work because of her beauty and charisma, or at least a full scholarship to Yale. We'd also like to ask The Today Show to get it together, because really, it's getting ridiculous. Lots to discuss. xo F.