WATCH: The French government has proposed stringent new physical standards for models that could come with hefty fines if not followed. Peter Kim reports
France’s government is discussing banning models deemed unhealthily skinny from its fashion show catwalks.
The French government is “likely” to back a bill that would fine modelling agencies or fashion houses that hire super-skinny models and jail those models’ agents, Health Minister Marisol Touraine told BFM TV, Reuters reported Monday.
“It’s important for fashion models to say that they need to eat well and take care of their health, especially for young women who look to the models as an aesthetic ideal,” Touraine said.
France, home to such major fashion houses as Chanel, Dior and Yves Saint Laurent – all valued in the tens of billions dollars – would join Italy, Spain and Israel, all of started prohibiting the use of underweight models in 2013.
France’s proposed law would enforce regular weight checks of models and come with fines of up to $79,000 US for any breaches, as well as up to six months in jail for staff involved, Socialist lawmaker Olivier Veran, who wrote the amendments, told Le Parisien.
But what does “too thin” mean in the fashion world?
According to Reuters, models would require medical certificates showing a Body Mass Index of at least 18 (approximately 121 pounds for a height of 5-foot-7) in order to book a job.
The bill would also target pro-anorexia websites that glorify unhealthy eating lifestyles or anything that could be seen as encouraging extreme thinness.
In 2007, French fashion model Isabelle Caro posed for a shocking anti-anorexia campaign to raise awareness about the illness. She succumbed to the disease at the age of 28.
Veran said 30,000-40,000 people in France suffer from anorexia, most of them teenagers.