France has made it to the list of countries banning excessively thin models who desire to work in the country’s lucrative fashion industry. Some other countries to have taken the move include Israel, Italy and Spain.
The French legislature supported a bill that bans “this activity of model” provided the persons involved have a Body Mass Index lower than that proposed by the health authorities under the decrement of ministers of health and labor.
Models are now required to provide a doctor’s certificate that attests their physical health in response to BMI. The Body Mass Index relates one’s weight and his/her height.
Any digitally altered image will similarly be labeled to bring out the distinction.
The legislation demands that any image in which the appearance of a model is manipulated will be labeled photographie retouchée which translates to retouched photograph.
Previously, the bill had proposed a minimum BMI for models which led to protests from the modeling agencies.
Adjustments were made on the final bill which allowed doctors decide whether a model is too thin after considering their age, weight and body shape.
Charges for using extremely thin models
Any fashion agency that breaks this law in which a model’s BMI is beneath 18 – approximately 121 pounds for a 5 feet, 7 inch model, is likely to be imprisoned for a maximum of 6 months and fined $82,000.
The bill is meant to discourage idealizing dangerously thin models and probably combat anorexia.
This is one of the latest efforts to put to a stop on the rising trend of anorexia. French fashion model Isabelle Caro began an anti-anorexia campaign back in 2007 before her shocking death in 2007.
But not all are in agreement with the new measures, arguing that one’s thinness doesn’t connote disease.
“When you look at the criteria behind anorexia, you can’t look only at the body mass index when other criteria are also involved: psychological, a history of hair loss, dental problems,” said Isabelle Saint-Felix, the head of France’s National Union of Modeling Agencies.
She added that ensuring the healthiness of a model is a priority and that the idea of removing very thin models combats the problem at hand is misguided.
Speaking to Cosmopolitan, model Lindsey Scott while in college, she loved as a healthy athlete despite having a BMI under 18. She continued to explain that she has also encountered persons with disorders yet they have what health officials term “healthy” BMI.
“Perhaps they should have doctors check for signs of anorexia and bulimia instead of making assumptions based on weight.”
French health minister Marisol Touraine argues against Lindsey’s comments, explaining that the legislation will aid discourage young women from viewing these models to be aesthetic example.