France Considers Passing A Bill Banning Super-Skinny Models
France is apparently very likely to pass a bill that would ban very thin models from being featured in advertising campaigns and fashion shows. It would join Israel, Spain, and Italy in legislating health in fashion.
Reuters reports that modeling agencies or fashion houses that hire models who are "underweight" — which will be determined through regular weight checks — will be fined 75,000 euros ($80,000), and the agents responsible for their hiring could go to jail.
But what exactly qualifies as "too thin"?
According to Health Minister Marisol Touraine, models would have to present a medical certificate showing a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 18, which is about 121 pounds for a height of 5 feet 7 inches, in order to book a job.
"This is an important message to young women, young women who see these models as an aesthetic ideal," Touraine told BFM TV. "It's important for fashion models to say that they need to eat well and take care of their health."
The bill would also penalize pro-anorexia websites that glorify unhealthy lifestyles.
This move seems to honor French model Isabelle Caro who died of anorexia in 2010. Prior to her death, Caro had been featured in a shocking ad campaign promoting anorexia awareness, which was strongly supported by the Italian health minister at the time.
With the popularity of the body image movement in the past year, high fashion has started embracing fuller-figured models. Continuing legislation could mean that unattainable beauty standards will soon be so out of fashion, they're illegal.