France’s Ban on “Extremely Thin Models” Has Come Into Effect

France has officially passed an anti-skinny-model law, stating that all media platforms and fashion and beauty business who advertise ‘unhealthily thin models’ will be subjected to crime.

From this day forward, models will now be required to provide a doctor’s certificate, outlining their overall physical health with a special regard to their body mass index (BMI)––a measure of the body weight and height ratio, according to BBC News.

A label on all photoshopped images on magazines will also be required, stating that the image has been digitally altered, with a mark that says “photographie retouchée.” Failure to state when photos have been retouched will incur a fine of €37,500 or up to 30% of the amount spent on the advertising featuring the model, according to The Guardian.

Model agencies and other employers could face fines of up to 75,000 euros (63,500 pounds; 82,000 US dollars) and up to six months in jail if they refuse to comply.

The World Health Organization guideline entails that an adult with a BMI below 18.5 is considered underweight, 18 malnourished, and 17 severely malnourished. Perpetuated models who regularly walk the runway have a BMI average of 16.

Anorexia afflicts between 30,000 to 40,000 people in France, with 90% speculated to be women.

Marisol Touraine, the health and social affairs minister of France, said that [the law] was aimed at preventing anorexia by stopping the promotion of inaccessible ideals of beauty. “Exposing young people to normative and unrealistic images of bodies leads to a sense of self-depreciation and poor self-esteem that can impact health-related behavior,” Touraine announced in a statement.

As Paris, France holds the leading title for the fashion capital of the world, they wish to become a role model to be followed by the rest of the world in regards to fighting the promotion of unhealthy beauty standards in the media.

Spain, Italy, and Israel have also enforced laws concerning the growing number of anorexic models on the runway. Spain does not allow models below a certain BMI to take part in Madrid fashion shows, Israel requires models to have a healthy BMI of 18.5 to practice their career,  and Italy demands the same required health certificates as France for the aspiring models who wish to partake in an Italian-based catwalk.

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