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The fashion industry has long been controversial due to its unattainable and unrealistic portrayal of both women and men alike, but, yeah, mainly women. Years ago, the stigma surrounding the models we see walking the runway was that they were coked out, chain smoking anorexics. It wasn't that far off and now, years later, France is actually doing something about this. Reuters reports that France is likely to pass a bill that would ban designers from using super skinny models during their shows, fine modeling agencies or fashion houses and could even send the models to jail. France, one of the harbingers of the fashion industry, wouldn't be the first country to take governmental action on this. Italy, Spain and Israel all have similar laws in place about models' weight on the runway and in ad campaigns.
The proposed bill would require regular testing and fines of up to roughly $79,000 and possibly six months jail time. What are the guidelines, you ask? What qualifies as too skinny? Models would have to present a valid certificate that shows they have a BMI of at least 18 and weigh at least 121lbs at a height of 5'7" before being hired and for a few weeks afterward. This sounds good on principle, but at a certain point, should we really be policing how people live their lives? Yes, I understand that there are physical and mental health issues. Also, I don't know how they're really going to enforce the standards based on that height and weight combination. Is there a sliding scale for models of different heights? What about age? That's still a HUGE issue in its own right. And, like, let's be real, 121 lbs at 5'7" is still pretty fucking skinny. It doesn't look like there will be that drastic of a change on the horizon. It also doesn't look like this proposed law would apply to men's fashion, but considering the obsession with younger and younger models, who are obviously skinnier and more emaciated, it could prove worthy if the trend continues.