"According to the model agency, you cannot look like this, you need to be thinner..."
Last week I wrote a piece following Victoria Beckham's controversial fashion show suggesting that perhaps rather than be angry at Peyton Knight, the 'walking skeleton' at VB's show, we should instead focus on being worried for the industry that allows these decisions to be made.
And it seems I'm not alone in these concerns. Today a video made by Swedish Model Agnes Hedengaard was brought to my attention. In this video Agnes explains how, despite having modelled for the last five years she is now no longer getting jobs as it "seems the industry thinks I'm too big..."
That's right ladies, the industry thinks that this beauty, very skinny 19 year old woman is too big to be a model. She says 'the funny part with this is my Body Mass Index is 17.5' (Don't forget that France have now banned any catwalk models with a BMI under 18) 'the body mass index you should have is 19 and they still tell me I'm too big".
Agnes actually falls into the 'underweight' category (by quite a way) on the BMI scale. (I'm at 23 by the way, and I'm only 5ft6, just in case that puts this into perspective for you.)
So why have I brought this up? We all know that this is a tough industry, we know that unless you're a size zero there isn't a hope in hell that you're going to get a gig, we see every day the startling repercussions of the catwalk culture. But it's always sort of been accepted.
France's breakthrough law banning models with a BMI smaller than 18 being hired was a huge milestone, with designers and agencies facing fines or even prison sentences for breaking this law and the same rule now applies in Spain. In Milan (one of the fashion capitals of the world) before a model can be hired she must show a health certificate under a self-regulation code. Yet despite cries of outrage and desperate pleas here in the UK, the likes of Peyton Knight are still roaming the catwalks.
A petition signed by 30,000 people has landed in Westminster and MP Caroline Nokes is looking into the possibility of banning 'dangerously skinny' models from the catwalk.
Apparently she is planning to talk to senior members of the fashion industry to find out their views on whether young girls are feeling pressured to lose too much weight, and whether new legislation is needed.
And this is what really gets me. She is going into the belly of the beast, to find out if we should perhaps ban the very thing that they thrive on.
Of course new legislation is needed. Of course young girls feel pressured to lose too much weight, why on earth do you think thinspiration is a thing? WHY do you think anorexia is at an all time high?
So what do you think the industry is going to say? Of course initially, Nokes will be met with the classic and inevitable 'yes, it's terrible, we know, yes we must do something...' and then what? We have begged the industry for generations and still the industry has remained unchanged.
We hear countless tales of women, desperate for a career in modelling, losing weight, becoming 'bags of bones', becoming 'obsessed', we hear of them ruining their lives, all on this quest to be accepted.
So Agnes Hedengaard is 19 and has been part of this world since she was 14, she has dedicated her life to her looks, to her figure, and she looks amazing. She looks skinny, sure, she's a model right? But no, for this industry she is TOO BIG.
This is a girl who, in America, is not considered old enough by the law to buy a beer, but she is old enough, in the industry's eyes, to be bullied, belittled, judged and discriminated because of her size.
Agnes finishes her video with the words 'it's absurd and I hate it... you guys, I'm too big, but love yourself, don't let anyone tell you different.' And that is wonderful advice. Advice that I am desperate for the industry to listen to, because this damaging society is making loving ourselves impossible.
So, industry, what would you have us do? What do us normal gals do, when Agnes isn't good enough?
PS. Caroline Nokes, if you ever need a hand with this legislation, you know where we are.