French MPs have adopted a new bill which hopes to ban the use of fashion models deemed to be excessively thin.
Models will soon require a doctor’s certificate stating that their health is ‘compatible with the practise of the profession’ and employers who break the new law could face up to six months in jail and a €75,000 (£54,000) fine.
An earlier draft of the bill suggested that a minimum Body Mass Index (BMI) for models should be put in place – however the proposal prompted protests from modelling agencies across France. However, the final draft – approved yesterday – allows doctors to decide whether a model is too thin by taking into account their weight, age, and body shape.
In an interesting addition, the finalised bill also says that digitally altered images making a model’s silhouette ‘narrower or wider’ should be clearly labelled as having been ‘touched up’.
France is not the first country to legislate on underweight models – Italy, Spain and Israel have all passed laws putting in place regulations. But, the move is seen as a major step forward as France is still considered one of the main players in the fashion industry and, according to the BBC, anorexia affects between 30,000 to 40,000 people in France – 90 per cent of them being women.