The French national assembly approved an amendment demanding from model agencies not to employ models that are too thin, which caused an outrage among the French fashion industry circles. “Anyone whose body mass index … is below a certain level will not be able to work as a catwalk model,” said the amendment among other things.
If they hire models that are too thin, agencies are facing a EUR 75,000 fine and half a year in jail. This is just one of several moves that the French Government made in order to crackdown anorexia in that country.
According to Olivier Veran, the parliamentary deputy who proposed the amendment, similar measures have already been taken in Spain, Israel and Italy. “The prospect of such a punishment will have the effect of regulating the entire sector,” he said. Health minister Marisol Touraine said this is an “important message to young women who see these models as an aesthetic example.”
Meantime, the National Union of Modeling Agencies has said this will knock down the competitiveness of French models on the global scene. The Health Ministry says that nine out of ten people suffering from anorexia are women, and that there are 40,000 affected individuals in France by the illness at this moment.