France has passed a new law on Friday which prohibits very thin and unhealthy models. Lawmakers decided certain fines or even jail as a punishment for fashion houses and agents who will still hire excessively thin models.
As the world’s fashion capital, France is a big influence in international style trends; Spain and Israel have already adopted similar legislature.
French lawmakers established some measures in the new amendment to the health bill, requiring all hired models to respect the minimum weight set by health authorities; otherwise, he or she will not be allowed to continue working as a model.
According to neurologist Olivier Veran who is a poignant fighter against anorexia, this law was created not only for the health benefits and protection of models, but also for teenagers. It is not surprising anymore to know that during adolescence, body-image is easily affected, and the images presented by fashion models kept perpetuating harmful eating disorders and encouraging them to eat less and less.
This is why the last report published by Association Autrement, a non-governmental organization that offers help to people who struggle with eating disorders, showed that more than 200.000 people in the French territories suffer from anorexia. This figure exceeded the government’s estimation by five times.
The movement against eating disorders has had various supporters over the years, and in 2007, French model Isabelle Caro was the face of “No Anorexia”, a very controversial campaign. She chose to pose nude as a stand that raised awareness about the illness.
The fines adopted on Friday show the determination for fighting against the industry’s bad influence: modeling agencies and fashion agents are threatened with six month of prison and a $80.000 fine.
The guidelines provided by the World Health Organization define underweight as a body mass index below than 18.5; anorexic people will usually measure under 17.5. It is not the authorities’ intention to fine agencies or to send people to prison; their purpose is protecting the people working in the modeling industry.
Before the law proposed by the Social President Francois Hollande becomes final, it has to pass the Senate’s approval. In 2008, other measures about this issue were taken, but the French legislature did not adopt them. Health experts are usually against such movements, arguing they stigmatize anorexia instead of encouraging people to seek help and receive treatment.
Image Source: IMGKID