france passes law banning 'excessively thin models'

Women entering the profession will need a doctor's certificate to confirm they are in good health.

by Nick Levine
20 December 2015, 3:05am

France has passed a law preventing the use of models who are deemed to be "excessively thin". Though French MPs rejected an earlier draft of the bill proposing a minimum Body Mass Index (BMI) for working models, the approved version doesn't disregard a BMI calculation entirely. Women entering the profession will require a doctor's certificate confirming that "the state of the health of the model, assessed with regard to her body mass index (BMI), is compatible with the exercise of her profession". The new law also stipulates that publications which alter photographs of models "in order to narrow or widen the silhouette" must include the caption "photograph touched up". Failure to comply could result in a fine of up to €37,500 (£35,300) or 30% of the value of the advert in question.

The new laws are designed to prevent the publication of photographs which could promote anorexia, which according to the BBC affects between 30,000 and 40,000 people in France, 90% of whom are women. Spain, Italy and Israel have already passed similar laws restricting the use of very underweight models, while the British government launched an inquiry into the health of models working in the UK earlier this month.

How do you measure the health of models? Explore our #SizeMatters series and join the discussion below


Photography Courtney Emery

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