Eating Disorders

French Lawmakers Want To Ban Too-Thin Models

| by Michael Allen

The National Assembly in France voted today to criminalize fashion agencies that use ultra-thin models.

That proposal and similar measures must still pass the Senate before becoming laws.

Dr. Olivier Veran, a neurologist and lawmaker, who fought for the measures, said, "A person should not be obliged to starve herself in order to work,” noted The New York Times.

Under the proposed rules, modeling agencies will have to note whenever photos have been retouched or pay thousands in fines.

The new laws would also set a minimum body mass index (BMI) that agencies will have to follow or face a prison sentence of up to six months.

A maximum fine of about $10,000 would be applied for "provoking people to excessive thinness by encouraging prolonged dietary restrictions that could expose them to a danger of death or directly impair their health," noted The Guardian.

French modeling agencies claimed that lawmakers were mixing up anorexia and thinness. They're not the only critics of the proposals.

Claire Mysko, of the U.S. National Eating Disorders Association, told VOA News:

Just because someone is at a very low BMI doesn't mean that they have an eating disorder, and just because someone's in the normal range or even in the high range of BMI doesn't mean that they don't have an eating disorder either.

I think it's really important that we take eating disorders seriously. I am happy to see worldwide that there is a shift in that direction. I think we just need to be very careful and look at the effectiveness of these solutions.

Sources: The Guardian, The New York Times, VOA News
Image Credit: Gavin Raja