I've never been an advocate of the fashion industry. They all seem to be cocaine-addicted, bulemic, self-important or a combination of all three. And, of course, there are the usual boring cries of "they're too thin" and the importance of having a healthy body image.
The fashion industry, whether it likes it or not, does have some form of influence upon today's young women. The ideal size is just too small, and the steps ordinary young women need to take to get to that size is just too damaging.
Of course, it's not as though we should glorify being overweight either. What should be the best way forward?
To my mind, the best thing to do would be to use the Body Mass Index, rather than dress size, as the determining factor.
The BMI isn't perfect, but it's a far better way of determining healthy body size than "dress size". From what I understand, a BMI of between 20-25 is an ideal weight range. Below 20 and the person is underweight, above 25 and the person is overweight.
So what fashion shows and magazines should try to do is to only show models who have BMIs of between 20 and 25. This can be self-regulating, with models and magazines and fashion shows being "officially certified", thus giving them credence.
Of course the industry will try to get the skinniest model possible with a BMI of barely over 20 - but that's much better than the models they're showing now.