image via Creative Commons
Many of us feminist types have been gripping for years about the unrealistic images flaunted in the world of fashion as unhealthily thin models are plastered in magazines and take to the runways at fashion shows.
Recently, some countries have actually been trying to do something about this. In France, Parliament voted in favor of a bill that outlaws "publicly inciting extreme thinness." An ad in the UK was banned because the model had "highly visible ribs." And on Monday Israeli lawmakers passed new legislation that prohibits the employment of underweight models.
From the Huffington Post via AP:
The new law requires models to produce a medical report no older than three months at every shoot for the Israeli market, stating that they are not malnourished by World Health Organization standards.
The U.N. agency relies on the body mass index, calculated by factors of weight and height. WHO says a body mass index below 18.5 indicates malnutrition. According to that standard, a woman 1.72 meters tall (5-feet-8) should weigh no less than 119 pounds (54 kilograms).
Also, any advertisement published for the Israeli market must have a clearly written notice disclosing if its models were made to look thinner by digital manipulation. The law does not apply to foreign publications sold in Israel.
While the intentions behind the law may be good, there are some problems with this new legislation as Dodai Stewart of Jezebel.com points out. Requiring models to have a BMI of at least 18.5 may seem like a good idea, but BMI isn't always an accurate way to measure health. Furthermore, as Stewart states, "Banning a model one pound or one inch or one point away from the acceptable BMI doesn't actually have an impact on the world-wide spell we're under, in which a woman can never be too thin."
What do you think of Israeli's new law banning the employment of underweight models?