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Mindful : April 2013
Modeling Change Although Sara Ziff has modeled for more than a de- cade, her experience extends beyond just one side of the camera. In 2009 she codirected with Ole Schell a documentar y called Picture Me, which offers a behind-the-scenes look at a fashion model’s world. Ziff is now the founder and director of the Model Alliance, a non-profit advocacy group with 200 mem- bers aimed at improving labor conditions for women and girls in the fashion industr y. “There’s this common criticism that fashion models project an unhealthy ideal,” says Ziff. “People are primarily con- cerned with what the images are doing to the consumer.” But there has been almost no em- phasis on the well-being of the models themselves, which Ziff thinks is the root of the image problem altogether. “For a long time, the indus- try has hired children to model adult clothing,” she says. “When you’re 14, you can be a beanpole. And if you’re hiring a model who is adolescent and valuing that physique, you’re almost asking these young girls to develop eating disorders— they’re not allowed to mature and change as they naturally would. I’ve argued that if you hire adult models to model adult clothing, you’re going to be able to address the ‘size zero’ issue.” Ziff is 30—“ancient in model- ing years,” she says with a chuckle—and admits in Picture Me that her work contributed to a warped perception of herself. “In modeling, your body is just your body,” she says in the docu- mentar y. “It’s not connected to your mind. It’s not connected to yourself. It’s just, you’re a body.” Ziff’s lifestyle is healthier now, and yoga plays a part. “I do it a few times a week,” she says. “The biggest benefit is just giving myself some time for me. It’s about not worr ying about anything or thinking about what you have left to do in the day. This is your time, for yourself. There’s a lot to that.” ● 14 mindful April 2013 now PHOTOGRAPHCOURTESYOFMARILYNAGENCY Find the Space to Lead at the Cultivating Leadership Presence through Mindfulness©Retreat April 17-21, 2013 Menla Mountain Retreat Center, Phoenicia, NY • Train your mind to develop leadership excellence • Cultivate the mind’s innate ability to be focused, clear, creative and compassionate • Choose to create the space needed to develop mental resiliency The Cultivating Leadership Presence through Mindfulness Retreat has been attended by hundreds of leaders from more than 60 prominent organizations from around the world. Instructor: Janice L. Marturano, J.D. Founder and Executive Director, Institute for Mindful Leadership Former Vice President, Public Responsibility and Deputy General Counsel, General Mills, Inc. To register or for more information: www.instituteformindfulleadership.org