France Bans the Use of Excessively Skinny Models
France has passed a law that bans the fashion industry from using models who are excessively thin.
According to the new bill, which was passed by the National Assembly on Thursday, all models who want to work in the country will have to provide a medical certificate stating that they are healthy based on their body mass index (BMI), which calculates the percentage of body fat in relation to one's height and weight.
This bill is the revised version of a previous and stricter proposal that included a BMI minimum. That bill would have also made it a crime to encourage models to be excessively thin. The punishment would have been up to one year in prison.
Under the new bill, people who are found guilty of booking models who do not pass the health test can face a six-month jail sentence as well as a fine of $82,000 (75,000 Euros).
"We're hoping that, with this legislation, we can put an end to what the British call 'anorexia chic'," French neurologist Olivier Véran, one of the bill's primary campaigners and supporters, wrote reported by ModernReaders.com. "It's not a war against slimness, but a war against malnutrition and the pressure that models are put under."
The purpose of the bill is to encourage models, who are often pressured to be super thin, to lead healthy lifestyles. It also aims to reduce young models' risk of developing eating disorders.
French lawmakers will also require all fashion photos that have been photoshopped to "make the silhouette narrower or wider" to include the label, "touched up."
The fashion industry is reportedly not happy with the bill, stating that there are no specific details in regards to how it would be enforced.
The new bill will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017.