||19th April 2008 06:13
France fighting anorexia
This is a development that I'm sure everyone thought wouldn't happen until hell froze over.
But it IS happening.
As astonishing as it may seem, the government of France - ground zero of the fashion industry and its mandated starvation for women - is actually taking steps to curb the proliferation of eating disorders.
And it won't just be with meaningless tokenism, as has been the case in the U.S. and U.K. so far. No, the French are doing the one and only thing that can possibly stem the epidemic of female self-imposed starvation:
They are going to ban the promotion of emaciation.
Here's the article:
and the pertinent points:
French Bill Takes Chic Out of Being Too Thin
By DOREEN CARVAJAL
Published: April 16, 2008
PARIS — In the capital of high fashion and ultrathin models, conservative French legislators adopted a pioneering law on Tuesday aimed at stifling a proliferation of Web sites that promote eating disorders with...starvation tips.
The bill, approved by the lower house of Parliament, faces a Senate vote. If passed, it would take aim at any means of mass communication — including magazines and Web sites — that promote eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia with punishments of up to three years in prison and more than $70,000 in fines.
The legislation was sponsored by Valérie Boyer, a conservative lawmaker from the Bouches-du-Rhône region in the south of France, and was also backed by the government’s health minister, Roselyne Bachelot. It is one of the strongest measures proposed since the 2006 death of a Brazilian model, Ana Carolina Reston, from anorexia.
“We have noticed,” Ms. Boyer said in an interview with The Associated Press, “that the sociocultural and media environment seems to favor the emergence of troubled nutritional behavior, and that is why I think it necessary to act.”
But the proposed law was criticized by the French Federation of Couture...
With the proposed law, the French legislators are seeking to tame a murky world of some 400 sites extolling “ana” and “mia,” nicknames for anorexia and bulimia. Since 2000, such Web sites have multiplied in many languages...
The bill would make it illegal to “provoke a person to seek excessive weight loss by encouraging prolonged nutritional deprivation that would have the effect of exposing them to risk of death or endangering health.”..
An aide to Ms. Boyer, the lawmaker, said...the idea was to focus on institutions that promote eating disorders, noting that “we cannot exclude fashion shows if there is a problem of health” or the death of a model.
This bill MUST pass - and more importantly, it MUST be adopted in other countries as well. The sites in question are basically advocating suicide.
But the most encouraging thing is that, as the last paragraph indicates, the bill will apply to the fashion industry as well, which is the real culprit in the cause and proliferation of eating disorders. The starvation sites only exist as a corollary to the fashion industry.
If the fashion industry promoted the Classical plus-size figure as the ideal instead of the skeletal look, there would BE no starvation sites, and women would not be ruining their lives, trying to erase their figures.
This bill may be the one and only thing that could finally compel the fashion industry to renounce emaciated androgyny, and restore the timeless ideal of full-figured beauty.
||22nd April 2008 06:27
Re: France fighting anorexia
This is excellent news. If the bill passes - which it should - it could finally mean some real progress in the fight against the eating disorders that the fashion industry causes and exacerbates.
Forbes recently ran an article about the same bill:
It covers the same points, but adds a worthwhile perspective from Emme:
Emme, a 44-year-old plus-size model, who uses only her first name professionally, called the bill "very gutsy."
..."It means a lot for the government to come out and admit that there's a problem."
Emme is a national ambassador for the National Eating Disorders Association and has made a career promoting diversity in the media's portrayal of women. She said it's unfortunate that the government has to step in to regulate such a delicate and hazily defined issue as what constitutes a healthy versus unhealthy body image, but recognizes that the media won't change on its own.
"This obsession with size is built into society because it's such a lucrative business," Emme said, adding that government intervention is long overdue and necessary for younger generations.
"How else can we regain our self-esteem and take it out of the hands of the few marketers who are making a profit off of us?" she asked.
EXACTLY. Emme, like too many other individuals in plus-size fashion, was on the wrong side of the push to ban size-0 models (she opposed it), but at least she's on the right side of this issue. And her reasoning is dead on: It has been conclusively shown that the fashion industry, funded by diet money, will never, ever stop promoting an anorexic appearance on its own. (If anything, the models are getting skinner and skinnier.)
Through its sociopathic disregard for the harm that it has inflicted with its androgynous standard, the fashion industry has left the government no choice but to step in, to protect young women from its toxic influence.
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