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Old 15th June 2010   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: January 2010
Posts: 188
Default Israel bans underweight models

At long last, one nation has come out and done the responsible thing -- something that every government in every country should do.

Israel has passed a law banning underweight models.

Not a "suggestion," not a "voluntary code," and definitely not allowing fashion to "police itself" (as if that would ever happen). No, Israel has passed a law out-and-out banning underweight models.

Now, how they define "underweight" is the key here. If it were up to me, I'd like to see a ban all models under a size 14. Undoubtedly this bill doesn't go that far. However, at the very least this means that size 0s, and if we're lucky, 2s and 4s, will be banned.,...3904469,00.html

The text:

Gov't endorses bill banning underweight models

Bill proposed by Likud, Kadima MKs seeks to ban ads featuring underweight models. Lawbreakers face fines as high as NIS 220,000

Aviad Glickman
Published: 06.13.10

The government endorsed a bill Sunday aimed at preventing underweight models from being featured in advertisements. The Ministerial Committee on Legislative Affairs voted in favor of a bill proposed by Kadima and Likud Knesset members.

According to the bill, commercial groups will be prohibited from displaying underweight models, and model agents will be banned from employing or representing such models. This also includes a ban on shooting underweight models, who will not be allowed to serve as label spokespersons.

A fine of NIS 75,000 (roughly $19,500) will be imposed on whomever breaks the law, which could go up to NIS 220,000 (approximately $57,000) if a campaign featuring underweight models is launched in the media.

The bill requires models provide a medical permit indicating their body mass index (BMI) is normal...

"The prevalence of eating disorders, including anorexia, has been on the rise in recent years in the Israeli society, particularly among young girls. Studies show that one of the reasons for eating disorders among teenage girls is the influence of the media and the advertising industry, which feature particularly thin women as role models, thus influencing teenagers' standards," the bill stated.

"The fashion and advertising industries, in particular, have created a distorted image of an ideal woman using many underweight models. The purpose of this bill is to reduce the extent of teenage eating disorders," the bill noted.

"An eating disorder is not just a mental disorder but poses an actual threat to the patient's life. This bill aims to protect Israeli teenagers' health through content limitations in the modeling and advertising industries."

Bravo. Bravo. Bravo.

The bill identifies the scope of the problem -- potentially fatal illnesses. It identifies the culprit -- the fashion industry. And it sets out to stop it.

What's brilliant is the comprehensiveness of the bill. Members of the fashion industry have always passed the blame onto each other -- photographers onto editors, editors onto agents. This ban extends to all three. Emaciated models can't be in magazines, they can't be represented by agencies, and they can't be photographed.

At last, someone "gets it" and does the right thing -- the necessary thing.

The only shortcomings are (a) using BMI to identify underweight (BMI being deeply flawed), and (b) the fines not being high enough, tempting companies to flout the law and incur the fine.

But this is an important first step and a vital precedent. Let's hope that other nations follow suit. This is a worldwide problem, and one that requires a worldwide solution.
Meredith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 14th July 2010   #2
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Join Date: August 2005
Posts: 28
Default Re: Israel bans underweight models

I'm not surprised. Today's models are reminiscent of the horrific scenes of concentration camps - those photos of people nearly starved to death, gaunt, weak, sickly, barely hanging on. It does not surprise me in the least that the government of Israel has taken a bold step - they probably think of the same thing I do when I see bones jutting out. There is nothing attractive about starvation - it's not an aesthetic, it's a health crisis.
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Old 9th December 2010   #3
Join Date: July 2005
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Default Re: Israel bans underweight models

How encouraging to finally see at least one nation determine the lone, rational solution to the crisis that the fashion industry has created. Nothing less than a bill such as this can possibly solve the problem, which is the fashion world's systematic promotion of an anorexic appearance--which inevitably leads triggers anorexia itself in many women, not to mention all of the stages leading up to that disease (starvation, self-imposed malnutrition, etc.), all of which imperil women's health and well-being

Meredith identifies exactly why this bill is so effective: it leaves no loopholes, and allows no part of the industry to slyly deflect responsibility onto another part, resulting in no action ever being taken:

Originally Posted by Meredith
What's brilliant is the comprehensiveness of the bill. Members of the fashion industry have always passed the blame onto each other -- photographers onto editors, editors onto agents. This ban extends to all three. Emaciated models can't be in magazines, they can't be represented by agencies, and they can't be photographed.

The bill does not engage in mere half-measures, it doesn't vacillate, and it succumbs to no mixed messages. Rather, it is crystal clear in its wording and intent:

1. Eating disorders are widespread and potentially fatal.
2. The fashion industry promotes such eating disorders through its toxic imagery, which glamourizes underweight models.
3. This criminally irresponsible use of underweight models must stop, therefore such models are banned. Period.

Nothing less than this is necessary. Every other nation in the world should simply take the text of this bill, change the name of the country to its own, and pass such a law, immediately.

At last, this is a bill that actually would solve the "fashion problem," would turn the industry into a responsible entity, and would end pro-anorexia propaganda once and for all.

The only caveat that we would make is to add a positive prescription as well as a negative one; that is, to add to this bill (or to introduce in a complementary bill) a specific mandate for the use of models over a size 14.

After all, certain designers or editors might be so sociopathically curve-o-phobic that when faced with such a bill, rather than using fuller-figured models, they would use no models at all. But a further law enforcing the use of genuinely full-figured girls would fulfill the intent of this bill, which is to curb eating disorders and foster positive body image.

The mandated use of plus-size models over a size 14 (a perfectly reasonable size stipulation for any fashion purposes) would immediately turn the industry into a force for good, preserving all of its artistic integrity in terms of photography, clothing, etc., yet governing it with a wholesome, womanly aesthetic--the aesthetic of Classical feminine beauty, which should never have been suppressed in the first place.

Fashion, and the culture as a whole with it, would thus be righted after a century of running off the rails, and women in general would rediscover the intrinsic beauty of being comfortably well-fed. They would realize that there are no such thing as "body flaws," that visible curves are lovely features, and that they look good in whatever style of clothing they prefer--but especially in traditionally feminine fashions, which would inevitably make a lasting comeback.

Ironically, despite being a prohibitive bill, the effects of this Israeli law will be wholly constructive, because it will eliminate the pro-anorexia poison that is infecting the fashion industry and preventing it from blossoming into a truly creative and positive artistic enterprise.

Jessica West (Ford Toronto, size 14/16) modelling for Tikita, fall/winter 2010:

The image has a certain contemporary fairy-tale quality to it, with the model's fair skin and coal-black hair, innocent expression, wooded backdrop, and hooded garment--like a "White Riding Hood" variant on the Grimm Bros. motif.

- Click to view full size

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