I think in all of the thoughtful recent discussion about how fashion is slowly realizing and admitting its own culpability in causing anorexia, an important fact might have been missed - and that is, that Italy has now taken the extraordinary step of joining Madrid in banning underweight models.
This act was still under consideration just a week ago, but now, it's an accomplished fact:
Text here (altough it's widely discussed in similar articles, all over the 'net):
ITALY BAN ON SKINNY MODELS
Dec 19 2006
ITALIAN designers have banned underweight models from the catwalks.
Models must now have a body mass index - a measure of height to weight - of at least 18.
They must also hand over medical certificates to prove they are healthy.
Fashion leaders and the government signed a joint agreement, pledging to use "full bodied, healthy and radiant Mediterranean types".
It comes a month before Milan Fashion Week, which will feature shows by the likes of Armani, Prada and Versace.
In September, models with BMIs under 18 were banned by Madrid Fashion Week.
Then, a month ago, a Brazilian model died from anorexia.
Under the Italian code, size 14 and 16 models are also to be introduced, and those under the age of 16 also banned.
In a joint statement, Italy's Fashion Council and the government said: "Many women affected by eating disorders started dieting to attain the figures of catwalk models and cover girls."
Last month designer Giorgio Armani said: "We need to work together against anorexia."
At first, when I read the phase "full-bodied" I was skeptical. Would this mean "full bodied" as in a size 2 instead of a 0? That wouldn't be a sign of any real progress. However, the article actually states that "size 14 and 16 models are also to be introduced."
Now that really is
I imagine that we will all believe it when we see it - but this sounds at least somewhat encouraging.