Stevie Martin | Staff Writer | Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Paris Skinny Models

France May Jail Those Who Hire Super Skinny Models

The Debrief: Politician Olivier Veran has called for those hiring super-skinny models to be jailed for up to six months and fined £60,000

Every year, during one of the fashion weeks, the problem of super watch-through-your-fingers-skinny models comes up. And we’re not talking those naturally skinny, leggy girls; we’re talking about the ones who are way too skinny for it to be OK, and for them to be OK.

And every year, someone in the industry is forced to make a statement regarding the health of the fashion week models. But this time France has gone one step further, with politician Olivier Veran calling for those hiring super-skinny models to be jailed for up to six months and fined £60,000.

France, as with a lot of western countries, has an issue with eating disorders. Forty thousand French women are said to suffer from anorexia, 90% of them teenagers.

‘A level of acceptable body mass index should be set and enforced. Websites encouraging young girls to lose weight should also be banned,’ Veran said. ‘Some of these sites tell pre-teenage girls they should have a gap of 15cm between their thighs, or give tips on how to survive on as little food as possible.’

It’s a fine line between enforcing healthy measures and ‘skinny shaming’, as the critics of those against skinny models on the catwalk like to point out, but nobody can deny that the trend for thigh gaps and tiny waists on the runway can go too far.

And it’s worked in Spain – they now bar models who are under a specific (healthy) BMI from walking in the Madrid shows. In Italy, all models must have a health certificate. Brazil is considering it, too.

Two years ago, Giorgio Armani voiced his concern over what he saw as a growing problem that needed to be addressed, telling the press that we need to ‘work together against anorexia’ and that, ‘The industry has to recognise the link between its preference for abnormally thin models and the growth of eating disorders among young women.’

While jailing those who hire very thin models seems extreme, it’s true that something needs to be done.

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Picture: Jason Lloyd-Evans

Tags: Around The World