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Thread: France Moves to Ban Ultra Thin Models

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    Elite Member CornFlakegrl's Avatar
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    Default France Moves to Ban Ultra Thin Models

    France Moves to Ban Ultrathin Fashion Models

    Amendment calls for fines, prison time for those who hire underweight models; still requires Senate approval


    PARIS—French lawmakers have voted in favor of a law that would ban excessively thin fashion models from the runway and potentially fine their employers in a move that prompted resistance in the modeling industry.
    The country’s National Assembly on Friday supported an amendment that would forbid anybody under a certain level of body mass index, or BMI, from working as a runway model.

    Those who hire underweight models could be fined as much as €75,000 ($82,460) and face up to six months in prison.
    The point of the bill is to combat anorexia, said Olivier Véran, a doctor and the Socialist deputy from southeastern France who brought the idea forward.

    Doctors say that a healthy BMI, which takes into account the weight and height of a person, is between 18.5 and 24.5. Mr. Véran didn’t suggest an appropriate BMI level for models, saying France’s workplace health authority should determine the number.“The law is to protect models, who are getting so thin that they’re in danger,” Mr. Véran told The Wall Street Journal late Friday. “It’s also to protect adolescents. This image of so-called ideal beauty augments the risk of eating disorders.”

    France’s move—which follows similar measures put in place in Italy and Spain—may ultimately force top haute couture brands to change the preferred profile of ultrathin models as a showcase for their latest clothes.

    Paris, home to influential fashion weeks, is a hub for models who seek lucrative work on runways and fashion magazines.
    The amendment still requires approval by France’s Senate before becoming enacted into law, but Mr. Véran expects it to pass and be enforced by the end of the year. Still, the modeling industry in France opposes the proposed measures.

    Isabelle Saint-Félix, secretary-general of SYNAM, a model agency trade organization, called the proposed amendment as “discrimination,” one that could potentially hurt the French fashion industry.

    “Our models are thin, not sick. They are young and thin,” she said. “The government forgets that the fashion industry is international. Ninety percent of our models are foreigners. How can French agencies be competitive if they’re held to one standard in France that others are not in other countries?”


    ‘The law is to protect models, who are getting so thin that they’re in danger.’
    —Olivier Véran


    In 2007, Spain enacted regulations that barred models below a BMI level of 18.5 from being featured in fashion shows. That same year, Italy started insisting on health certificates for models as well as banning models under 16 years old on its runways.

    In 2013, Israel enacted similar BMI rules for models, as well as requiring all photos that appear in the media that have been edited for the models’ appearance to be labeled.

    The U.S. government hasn’t legislated rules for American models. The trade group Council of Fashion Designers of America has set minimum age requirements for models who appear during New York Fashion Week, though it doesn’t have similar body mass index rules.

    France Moves to Ban Ultrathin Fashion Models - WSJ

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    What a fantastic break through, i really hope this works.

    So many of the models look like skeletons walking down the runway/catwalk .. their health (both emotional and physical) is in such danger because of their profession.

    Would it really kill the fashion industry if the models weren't stick thin?.. No of course not.

    Thank you for posting this, CornFlakegrl.
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    This brings to mind Gigi Hadid and Kate Upton, still thin but not a couple of stick figure. Progress.
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    Elite Member arie_skop's Avatar
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    finally, they banned the ultra skinny models. It's so unheatlhy

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Isabelle Saint-Félix, secretary-general of SYNAM, a model agency trade organization, called the proposed amendment as “discrimination,” one that could potentially hurt the French fashion industry.

    “Our models are thin, not sick. They are young and thin,” she said. “The government forgets that the fashion industry is international. Ninety percent of our models are foreigners. How can French agencies be competitive if they’re held to one standard in France that others are not in other countries?”
    If Saint-Felix doesn't like this law, and thinks that this body mass is natural, there could be a requirement that all model agency heads maintain the same BMI level as their lowest-BMI model?

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    Super Moderator twitchy2.0's Avatar
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    Will they go after plus-sized models next?
    witchcurlgirl, Brando and Sleuth like this.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Yes, all three of them.
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    What, are there are no naturally thin people? All the skinnies are anorexic? Sounds like to discrimination.

    You can have a low bmi and be healthy, the same way that you can have a bmi that puts you into the obese category and still be heathy. Broad strokes like this are silly, and certainly won't do anything to curb eating disorders.

    But if they want to start down this road they should cancel mike and molly, to make sure that exposure to those people doesn't make young kids think its OK to be that size.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    I've watched a few minutes of Mike and Molly, and I am going to second Witchcurlgirl's motion and ask that it be brought to the floor for a general vote.

    From what I'm reading it's rare to have a BMI below 18 and be healthy, unless it's a young teenager. So, the models can continually check in and if their BMI falls below 18, they can be screened in a second test for electrolyte imbalance, blood levels, and healthy organ function. Other industries perform screenings of their workers (for different reasons), so it wouldn't be unprecedented.

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    A lot of designer runway models have looked like concentration camp survivors for way too many years. There's a difference between slender and skeletal. I hardly notice what they're wearing-aren't the clothes supposed to be the main thing?
    greysfang likes this.

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    Elite Member faithanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    What, are there are no naturally thin people? All the skinnies are anorexic? Sounds like to discrimination.
    Well not really discrimination. I couldn't be a model because of weight (and height and facial deficiencies and two left feet) but I don't cry discrimination. If there is a limit to how big a model can be and that's not discrimination against us fatties, then being below the thin limit shouldn't be either.
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    If I understand correctly it applies only to french models so french agencies can hire super thin foreign models. THIS IS discrimination.
    Kate Upton is not a good example IMO, chicken legged and big belly. How is that healthy? Usually a belly like hers(especially at such an young age) is associated with high cholesterol. She has a really pretty face and eyes and great boobs and is popular but that doesn't necessarily mean healthy

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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by redcat View Post
    If I understand correctly it applies only to french models so french agencies can hire super thin foreign models. THIS IS discrimination.
    Kate Upton is not a good example IMO, chicken legged and big belly. How is that healthy? Usually a belly like hers(especially at such an young age) is associated with high cholesterol. She has a really pretty face and eyes and great boobs and is popular but that doesn't necessarily mean healthy
    Actually, it bans all underweight models from French runways, no matter where they come from.

    Kate Upton is not a runway model as far as I know. She is a swimsuit and fashion pages model, so I think this ruling would be a moot point for her either way.

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    Why does anyone care now? Runway models have been sticks for years.
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    Elite Member MohandasKGanja's Avatar
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    Why does anyone care now? Runway models have been sticks for years.
    This article covers a lot of the background on why there have been changes instituted:

    How The Fashion Business Promotes Anorexia - Business Insider

    One excerpt:

    Not satisfied with the actual dimensions of thin models, Ralph Lauren went through a period of digitally making its models impossibly thin. The woman in this ad was fired for being "overweight" when she reached 120 pounds. Her body was edited to impossible proportions.


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