Should being too skinny be against the law?
It already is in Israel, which recently passed a controversial new law that forces models to maintain a Body Mass Index or BMI of at least 18.5. That means a 5-foot-8 model, for example, must now weigh a minimum of 119 pounds. And models have to prove they’ve stayed at or above that limit for three months before a fashion shoot or show or else she’s out of a job!
Similar steps have been taken by Milan's Fashion Week – which ban models with low BMIs. And Vogue established guidelines last year that enforce weight guidelines for its top models.
Experts say the new Israeli law is meant to crack down on dangerously thin models because a lot of young girls idolize them – and will do anything to look the same way. And pictures of stick-thin models are all over pro-anorexia “thinspiration” sites and that’s the fuel that propels young girls to develop eating disorders.
Now, while banning skinny models sounds like a good thing, some eating disorder experts are blasting the law. They say it puts the focus on weight – not HEALTH. Because some women are naturally thin.
Susan Ice is an eating disorders expert and she doesn’t think banning stick-thin models is going to work. She says, instead, designers and fashion editors need to foster a working environment where health is more important than weight.
Also, experts say the new law will be totally unenforceable! They say designers view what they do as art – and you can’t tell someone how to create art. It’s similar to a regulation passed last year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America - banning models under age 16. But within months, Vogue China featured a 15-year-old model on their cover. And fashion designer Marc Jacobs used a 13-year-old model in his runway show.
So, what do you think? Should it be illegal for models to be “too thin”? Post a comment at Facebook.com/JohnTesh.