France Passes Bill for ‘Excessively Thin’ Models
This means that working models will now need to present a doctor’s certificate to their employer to prove that they are fit to work. Doctors will be taking a model’s weight, age, gender and body shape into account when evaluating their overall health and wellbeing.
Employers who continue to employ underweight models could face up to six months in jail and a €75,000 fine.
This bill also requires digitally altered images, which make a model, seem narrower or wider to be labelled as ‘touched up’. Companies and organisations who fail to comply with this will be liable to face a €37,500 fine or a fine of 30% of the value of the advert.
This new legislation is attempting to tackle the growing problem of anorexia within the fashion industry as well as combat the rising number of young people with eating disorders by presenting healthier body images.
Although many will view this as a positive decision, many industry professionals in France can see issues with the new law. They feel that it would be more beneficial to increase sample sizes throughout the industry instead as modelling agencies still have to respond to the demands of advertisers, designers and photographers who want models to fit into a certain clothing size. Many psychologists also believe this bill will do nothing to combat mental health issues nationwide as they believe awareness should be raised in general outside of industry-specific issues and more facilities should be made available to help those suffering from eating disorders in the long-term.
As it stands, an estimated 30,000-40,000 people suffer from anorexia in France, 90% of whom are women and the large majority of whom are adolescents.
France is also not the first country to try and promote a healthier image in fashion as Italy, Spain and Israel have previously passed laws against the use of underweight models. Hopefully this will start a trend of countries adopting the same viewpoint and cause a wave of new laws to be passed!
By Sophie Lau http://thereformedflake.com/
23-year-old-model Rosie Nelson (pictured right) has started a campaign to protect models in the UK click here to view the petition
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