Israel’s Skinny Model Ban: New Law Requires Body Mass Index of 18.5

Israel’s Skinny Model Ban: New Law Requires Body Mass Index of 18.5

Israel’s Skinny Model Ban: New Law Requires Body Mass Index of 18.5

The fashion and modeling industry has long debated the use of ultrathin girls as models in magazine covers or advertisements. Finally, lawmakers in Israel are attempting to ban the notion.

On Monday, a new law was passed requiring that male and female models in Israel must have a body mass index or BMI (a measure of weight proportionate to height) of no less than 18.5, which is the standard used by the World Health Organization.  A six-foot-tall model, for example, must weigh no less than 136.5 pounds.  Aside from the specified BMI, another requirement is a note from a doctor saying that the model is not underweight is required before they can be hired for a modeling job.

The newly passed law also bans the use of models who "look underweight," and creators of advertisements must disclose whether they used Photoshop or any graphic programs to manipulate images to make the models look skinnier.

Lawmakers are hoping their move would encourage a healthier body image among teens and eventually fight the spread of eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia. According to studies, 2 percent of girls aged 14 to 18 in Israel have severe eating disorders.

"Beautiful is not underweight.  Beautiful should not be anorexic," Rachel Adato, one of the lawmakers who voted for the bill, said.

Adi Barkan, one of the top modeling agents in Israel who helped Adato craft the law, described underweight models favored by the fashion industry a bit more bluntly: "They look like dead girls," Barkan said.

 

Posted by on Wednesday March 21 2012, 4:22 AM EDT. Ref: Yahoo. All trademarks acknowledged. Filed under Entertainment, Featured News. Comments and Trackbacks closed. Follow responses: RSS 2.0

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