France Bans Skinny Models and Threatens Jail Time

Fashion models' being too thin and even too young is one of the most controversial aspects of the fashion industry. It's a topic that causes an endless amount of tension and is constantly argumentative.

According to Reuters, the bill declares "the activity of model is banned for any person whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is lower than levels proposed by health authorities and decreed by the ministers of health and labour."

The statistics according to health experts state that up to 40,000 people suffer from anorexia in France alone with a majority of them being women.

The ABC reported stating, "The lawmaker behind the bill previously said models would have to present a medical certificate showing a BMI of at least 18, about 55 kg for a height of 1.75 metres, before being hired for a job and for a few weeks afterwards."

A second measure has been put into place that condoning anorexia is now illegal and if any images are re-touched to alter the physical appearance of the model it must carry a messages stating that the photograph has been manipulated.

Elite and IMG Models are two of the biggest international agencies worldwide and both have declined to comment on this new ban.

France Bans Skinny Models and Threatens Jail Time

The fashion industry is sending mixed messages about an unrealistic level of perfect to women worldwide. As dramatic as it sounds, saving lives could actually start by banning 'too thin' and stating when an image is altered.

Caryn Franklin, a former fashion magazine editor said on the ABC, "I don't think anyone is saying the fashion industry is entirely responsible ... but I do feel that our industry could be part of the solution."

Kirstie Clements author and former editor-in-chief of Vogue Australia shared her deep concern about model's being excessively unhealthy in her book, The Vogue Factor.

"I was having lunch in New York with a top model agent who confidentially expressed her concern to me. "It's getting very serious," she said. "The top casing directors are demanding that they be thinner and thinner. I've got about four girls in hospital. And a couple of the others have resorted to eating tissues. Apparently they swell up and fill your stomach."

Join the conversation. Do you think Australia should be banning the use of excessively thin models along with stating when a model's photograph has been manipulated and photoshopped?

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