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Old 21st December 2006   #1
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Default Italy bans underweight models

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):


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 something.

I imagine that we will all believe it when we see it - but this sounds at least somewhat encouraging.
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Old 21st December 2006   #2
M. Lopez
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Default Re: Italy bans underweight models

Originally Posted by Chad
Under the Italian code, size 14 and 16 models are also to be introduced

If this were to happen, it would be such an extraordinary development as to revolutionize fashion completely. I want to believe that they mean it, but at the moment, it's still just words. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

If sizes do finally go up among straight-size retailers, the other great development that might ensue is that when certain Italian plus-size fashion retailers stage their own runway shows, they might start using true plus-size models, rather than the faux-plus 10s and 12s to which they've limited themselves, up to now.

Basically, when the world sees Barbara Brickner, Charlotte Coyle, etc. on the runway, then we'll know that a change for the better has truly occurred.
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Old 24th December 2006   #3
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Default Re: Italy bans underweight models

I wonder if the fashion industry realizes just how popular, just how welcome, the introduction of plus-size models would be. It would boost sales tremendously, and give designers a whole new market- to say nothing of the cultural and social good it would do.

It's a change (or rather, a change back) whose time has come.

You see evidence of it everywhere. I read a review of last year's TV season the other day,

and the writer had this to say about America's Next Top Model:

10. "America's Next Top Model" -- It pains me to put Tyra Banks' CW network show on my Bottom 10 list, but the catwalk has strutted downhill. The contestants are lackluster and textbook catty. Hit the snooze button!...Too bad most of the models have been forgettable recently. And not since Cycle 5 with Diane have we seen a plus-size model in the running. I think "Top Model" should devote a season to models size 14 and up -- that'll get America watching the runway again.
So true! The plus-size models are always the most popular- on the rare occasions when they're ever seen. Not only would the use of "models size 14 and up" make this TV show popular, but it would make the fashion industry as a whole more popular as well.

ALL designers should use professional models size 14 and up. They would look better, would show the clothes better, and would create a more enthusiastic clientele. Hopefully, the news out of Italy means that such a change is finally on the way.
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Old 24th December 2006   #4
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Default Re: Italy bans underweight models

Indeed, having size 14s and 16s appearing on the world's runways would be even more progressive--and even more potentially rewarding--than any ban on underweight models (laudable and necessary as such a ban certainly is).

If the fashion industry were to merely raise the minimum size of its models from, say, skeletal 0s to corpse-like 4s, this move would have little social impact. All single-digit dress size represent self-imposed starvation. But the introduction of true plus-size goddesses on the catwalks of the world (i.e., models who are genuinely gorgeous, and visibly full-figured) would cause a seismic shift in cultural conceptions of beauty. It would burst the artificial bubble in which the fashion world has encased society for decades (in which only androgynous, curve-deprived waifs were ever permitted to be seen), and would allow the timeless ideal to return.

Only the fashion world's hitherto-total ban on plus-size beauty has prevented the re-emergence of Classical standards. As soon as this ban is lifted, as soon as voluptuous vixens sashay down designers' runways, the full-figured feminine ideal will quickly be restored. The public will immediately recognize that the soft fullness of womanly curves is far more aesthetically pleasing than the sight of cadaverous frames, and it will embrace this once-and-future feminine aesthetic enthusiastically and wholeheartedly.

Nevertheless despite these favourable indications from the Italian fashion industry, it remains to be seen whether such a bold and revolutionary move will actually occur. But if it does, we will suddenly find ourselves living in a healthier and more beautiful world.

Charlotte Coyle, the most luscious of catwalk goddess, on an impromptu runway (from British TV):

- Third Charlotte Coyle gallery

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Old 26th December 2006   #5
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Default Re: Italy bans underweight models

I don't want to change the topic, as it's very important, but the reference to Charlotte Coyle reminded me that I recently stumbled across a page where the creator holds icon-making contests, and the latest competition was to make Charlotte Coyle icons.

Here are a few. I think they're very nice:

I really like the captions, such as "Celebrate Beauty" and "Look at Me." The site's creator says Charlotte is her favorite model, which is awesome. Plus-size beauty is best!

Last edited by HSG : 27th December 2006 at 17:06. Reason: Correction advised by reader
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Old 30th December 2006   #6
Join Date: March 2006
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Default Re: Italy bans underweight models

This is indeed a beautiful picture montage of Charlotte. For me Charlotte really is an icon, and an ideal of what plus-size beauty looks like.

The post in the calendar thread on this board comes to mind when I look at these photos of Charlotte. If one were to make a Charlotte Coyle calendar, these pictures that exude sensuality, fashion, beauty, and interesting art direction would make wonderful photos!
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