According to Reuters, the French legislature voted for a bill Friday the declares: “The activity of model is banned for any person whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is lower than levels proposed by health authorities and decreed by the ministers of health and labor.”
Fashion agencies that are discovered using models with a BMI under 18, which is approximately 121 pounds for a 5 ft., 7 in. model, could face up to six months of jail time and a fine of 75,000 euros ($82,000).
The bill, which requires models to have a medical certificate vouching for what the government deems a healthy BMI, was paired with another recent bill that bans pro-anorexia websites that offer “thinspiration.” The legislation is an attempt to stop the idealization of the dangerously thin and, perhaps, curb anorexia.
One blogger hoped this will lead to, “…making some much-needed, industry-wide changes that will encourage healthy behavior for models and for the people who idealize them.” Um. I hate to be the one to tell you this, but if you idealize models, you don’t understand healthy behavior. Might be time to look deep inside for a little soul searching.
Most people aren’t going to think about what kinds of problems this will lead to. They’re simply going to stand up and cheer. Hooray for no more unhealthy body images! Hooray for body pride! Hooray for equality! Blah, blah, blah. Never mind that that the leftists who design the clothes traditionally don’t care about who the model as long as the clothes look good. See, this might come as a shock, but fashion designers want to sell their designs. Therefore they pick the people who make their clothes look best. Which is why they use thin women. No brainer, that one.
Look, the fashion industry, like all other industries, is subject to public scrutiny. Shouldn’t it be up to the consumers to decide what they’ll tolerate and what they won’t? My biggest beef with the government stepping in and possibly fining or jailing people who use thin models is precisely that: the government stepping into a private industry. If consumers hate fashion designers using skinny models, then the consumers need to stop supporting those fashion designers. But to have the government step in and tell an industry who they can and cannot use? That’s a slippery slope (related Transexual Man Now Claims He’s a Six Year Old Girl).
How long before the French government says “One in five of your models must be Muslim and wear a headscarf” or “One in ten of your models must be transgendered”? You may laugh, but this is how it starts.
Government has as much as role in fashion as a fashion designer has in creating legislation. Though it might be a nice change of pace…
Speaking of “change of pace,” watch the guide on how to handle these types of issues in the politically correct, and SJW-expedient way below.