Skinny Law: Fashion Industry May Regulate Weight of Models
In September, The Spanish Association of Fashion Designers moved to ban the use of models who had a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 18 (note that the UN apparently suggests a BMI of between 18.5 and 25). Brazil’s fashion industry recently required that models be at least 16 and in good health. The Brazilian move came in part as a response to the death of Ana Carolina Reston who was 21 when she died of anorexia. Italy’s fashion industry is now moving to impose similar regulations. The move comes after the Italian industry’s lobbyist met with the government’s Youth Minister. It is a voluntary regulation imposed by the industry on itself. An aide to the Youth Minister indicated she favored a ban based on low BMI and said “In the Third World, if someone has an index of less than 18.5, they send in humanitarian aide.” Does this mean that similar to boxing, models will try to make weight before they can be on a catwalk (though models would I suppose gain to make weight)?
The article also noted “There are calls for a return to the slim but more curvaceous models of the 1980s, like Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer.” This sentence seems to lend itself to further issues regarding the fashion industry, health, and personal image. One can imagine unhealthy skinniness and cosmetically enhanced body parts to meet this new criteria. Still for an industry often touted as being shallow and as offering inane notions of beauty, the move to address a real problem is fascinating and may even lead to more changes. I am not going to hold my breath on that last part, but one can hope.