A model delivered a petition to Ten Downing Street yesterday, calling on the government to take action that would protect models from becoming dangerously underweight.
Rosie Nelson started her campaign to change the law after a modelling agency repeatedly told her to diet, saying they wanted her “down to the bone”.
Following that request the Australian model launched an online petition calling for much needed change, and received well over 100,000 signatures.
Rosie delivered the petition alongside fellow model Hayley Hasselhoff, before the pair then appeared at an inquiry on body image to give evidence.
Rosie was just 22 at the time when she visited one of the UK’s top agencies. She has revealed that she lost a cosiderable amount of weight and was told to shed even more.
In a letter to the Minister for Women and Equalities, Caroline Dinenage, she wrote:
When I walked into one of the UK’s biggest model agencies last year they told me I ticked all the boxes except one – I needed to lose weight. So I did
When I walked into one of the UK’s biggest model agencies last year they told me I ticked all the boxes except one – I needed to lose weight. So I did.Advertisement
Four months later I lost nearly a stone , two inches off my hips. When I returned to the same agency they told me to lose more weight, they wanted me ‘down to the bone’.”
Earlier this year France passed laws making it a criminal offence to hire models who are undernourished, but some people are against such actions being taken in the UK.
Editor of Vogue UK, Alexandra Shulman, told ITV that while girls with genuine health issues ought to be protected, women who are just very skinny should not be penalised.
I think it’s extremely unfair to think that a model who is extremely skinny should not be on the catwalk, because if somebody will attach their own feelings about their own self-image, possibly the problems they’ve got with an eating disorder or something, to that girl.Advertisement
I do think that it’s absolutely unacceptable to put a girl who is herself suffering from such things on the catwalk.
I can’t think of anything more degrading and more appalling for girls who are models… than being measured and weighed like they’re a kind of heifer.”
Clearly there is a healthy middle ground, hopefully the government can find it and implement it for the good of the industry, and the welfare of those it employs.