New law means models in France must be deemed fit to work
France has made a stand against the fashion industry and anorexia by banning models who are too thin and fining the agencies who are hiring them.
According to health ministry figures, in France as many as 40,000 people suffer from anorexia and 90 per cent of people suffering are female. This new legislation passed will mean all working models will have to carry a medical certificate from their doctor stating that they are “compatible with the practise of the profession”.
An initial draft of this legislation had stated that all models would have to meet a minimum body mass index (BMI), under World Health Organisation guidelines an adult with a BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight, 18 malnourished, and 17 severely malnourished. However since initial guidelines were discussed and in response to receiving backlash from modelling agencies in France, the new law approved on December 17, does not specify a specific BMI.
In order to gain a medical certificate a model’s health will be evaluated by a medical professional, measured using BMI as a guide, the health professional will be permitted to take into account other factors such as a models; weight, age and body shape in order to ultimately determine their health and wellbeing, The Fashion Law reports.
Under the new law agencies are also required to label any work which has been digitally altered as “touched up”. With emphasis on images that have altered a models body shape to make them appear “narrower or wider.”
If any agencies fail to uphold this new law by employing models who do not carry a medical certificate or by failing to label their digitally altered work, they could be fined €75,000 (approximately £54,000) and face up to six months in jail.