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France set to ban skinny models

By Annie Stevens

France set to ban skinny models
France set to ban skinny models, and modelling agents could face jail time for booking them

Models being ‘Paris thin’ might soon see modelling agents end up in jail with France looking set to join other European countries in banning super thin models from working.

The French Government is likely to back a bill that will stop too thin fashion models from walking the catwalk and doing campaign work, as well as potentially fining modelling agents and fashion houses that book them and even sending their agents to jail.

If the bill goes through France will join Italy, Sprain and Israel who already have laws against using excessively thin models. Australia does not yet have similar laws, and each year has a ‘skinny model’ backlash at Australian Fashion Week with many commenters shocked at the thinness of the models.

The legislation will be debated in French parliament on March 17 and will be enforced via regular monitoring of the weights of models, with models booked having to produce a certificate that they have a body mass index of at least 18.

The fashion industry – notoriously pro-thin – has made some attempts to rectify the anorexia and body image problems that remain its legacy.

Some fashion magazines have pledged to no longer use models that were too young or too thin. This is notoriously difficult to police.

However it seems that the public are pushing back on the promotion of unhealthy thinness. Earlier this year a Danish fashion magazine publisher was forced to apologise for using an emaciated model on its cover.

The backlash to the image included the Danish Tax Minister Englebrecht who tweeted an image of the photo with the caption, “I seriously thought that the fashion industry had understood that anorexia is a problem that should be taken seriously.”

In 2010 the practices of the fashion industry were spotlighted when French model Isabelle Caro died due to complications from anorexia nervosa. Caro famously starred in an Italian advertising campaign that showed the devastating effects of eating disorders.

For support and help with eating disorders please contact The Butterfly Foundation.

Do you think the fashion industry is doing enough to stop its eating disorder problem?



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