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Too-Skinny Model Ban Takes Effect In Israel...

Posted by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:21 PM
  • 15 Replies

 

Too-Skinny Model Ban Takes Effect in Israel

By Beth Greenfield

Images of models are in question.A controversial Israeli law banning too-skinny models went into effect with the start of 2013, prompting observers around the world to buzz about how much weight it will hold.

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The law, approved last March by Israel's legislating Knesset, requires models to prove they have maintained a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 18.5 for three months prior to a fashion shoot or show. That means a woman who is 5'8'' tall can weigh no less than 119 pounds. It also requires advertisers who thin out a model's body with retouching software to make it clear that they have manipulated the images.

"This law is another step in the war against eating disorders," said physician and law co-sponsor Rachel Adatto (with Danny Danon) after a 2011 reading of the draft, according to the Times of Israel. Underweight models, she explained, "can no longer serve as role models for innocent young people who adopt and copy the illusion of thinness."

But critics of the law in this country say it and others like it-the Madrid Fashion Show's ban on women whose BMI is below 18, for example, and Milan's Fashion Week's ban on models with a BMI below 18.5-are misguided, focusing on weight instead of health. They also say the Israeli ban is bound to fail because of the muscle of the fashion industry.

"I think it's an approach that isn't going to work," eating disorder expert Susan Ice told Yahoo! Shine. Ice, vice president of clinical services at Renfrew Center, a pioneer in the treatment of eating disorders, worked with the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) to create guidelines for models which, rather than focusing on BMI, strive to educate the industry and foster a healthy working environment.

"I think that's a much more enlightened approach, a more likely-to-succeed approach, and an empowering approach," Ice says. Plus, she says, through working with the CFDA, "I've learned that designers are really artists, and we have free speech here. We can't tell anyone how to do their art....If designers want women to look like boys or if designers want women to look like 8-year-olds, you're not going to change that."

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But a champion of the new law, Adi Barkan, a former fashion-model agent in Israel, told Tayla Minsberg of the Atlantic last year that he was drawn into the issue after meeting an aspiring model who looked like she needed to be hospitalized. "I became immersed in this world very quickly. I gave up the agency and photography and delved into the dark world of anorexics and bulimics," he said. "I realized that only legislation can change the situation. There was no time to educate so many people, and the change had be forced on the industry. There was no time to waste, so many girls were dieting to death."

Others in the industry around the world have agreed, including the organizers of the fashion shows in Italy and Spain. Years ago, the lower house of French Parliament voted in favor of a vague bill that outlawed "publicly inciting extreme thinness." And, in 2011, the UK banned a web-based ad that used a model with "highly visible" ribs, calling it "socially irresponsible." Vogue, at its magazines globally, instituted guidelines last year that enforce weight and age guidelines for its top models.

Still, wrote Ray A. Smith and Christina Binkley in the Wall Street Journal this week, "The efforts to regulate models' weight in Spain and Italy have not resulted in significant changes, in part because of difficulties in determining reliable methods of measuring weight and health."


Still, folks including Ice say there's no denying that images from Hollywood and the fashion industry can be difficult for young women to deal with. "Certainly I don't believe the modeling industry has caused the rise in eating disorders, but it makes it harder," she says. "It's a difficult recovery environment, worshiping thinness as the beauty ideal."

by on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:21 PM
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Replies (1-10):
stormcris
by Christy on Jan. 2, 2013 at 8:26 PM
1 mom liked this

Pro Ana and Mia are going to have a field day with this as discrimination.

stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 9:23 PM

I'm sure it won't get anywhere.  

This does remind me, though, of an undrewear catalog my husband got in Egypt.  The women in it were FAR from even "average" sized, but they were so much bigger than Victoria's secret models that at first they looked kind of big.  But they weren't at all.  They all had small waists and curves, and not one of them had that hollow-cheeked starved look.  Thin, definitely, but not all angles, kwim?

Arroree
by Ruby Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 9:28 PM
1 mom liked this

Every store in the mall windows have nothing but size 0 models in the pictures and size 0 mannequins showing off the stores clothes.  As a 6ft woman who can't possibly be a size 0 no matter how much i starved myself *my pelvic bones alone are larger than a size 0* it can be a bit depressing not seeing ANYTHING marketed to people larger than a 0.

Personally it would be nice to see how things actually look on people my size, or any size other than a 0.  Heck even the same sizes on models of different heights look completely different.


Arroree
by Ruby Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 9:31 PM


Quoting stacymomof2:

I'm sure it won't get anywhere.  

This does remind me, though, of an undrewear catalog my husband got in Egypt.  The women in it were FAR from even "average" sized, but they were so much bigger than Victoria's secret models that at first they looked kind of big.  But they weren't at all.  They all had small waists and curves, and not one of them had that hollow-cheeked starved look.  Thin, definitely, but not all angles, kwim?

The problem is that a bmi of 18 at one height will look smaller or larger than the same bmi at another height. It's like clothing size. At 6ft in a 12 i'm only 6lbs over my ideal weight, but at 5'6" in the same size 12 my sister is much larger

Clairwil
by Ruby Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 10:59 PM

It is a start.

stacymomof2
by Ruby Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 11:03 PM

That's true.  The BMI stuff isn't very accurate.  This kind of rule is kind of BS.  I was more commenting that the super skinny look has influenced what we see as attractive.

After looking at that catalog of Egyptian models I really noticed how really, really thin so many models are.  There isn't much variance in high fashion.  It's not  BMI issue, it's a perception issue, at least in this country.

Quoting Arroree:


Quoting stacymomof2:

I'm sure it won't get anywhere.  

This does remind me, though, of an undrewear catalog my husband got in Egypt.  The women in it were FAR from even "average" sized, but they were so much bigger than Victoria's secret models that at first they looked kind of big.  But they weren't at all.  They all had small waists and curves, and not one of them had that hollow-cheeked starved look.  Thin, definitely, but not all angles, kwim?

The problem is that a bmi of 18 at one height will look smaller or larger than the same bmi at another height. It's like clothing size. At 6ft in a 12 i'm only 6lbs over my ideal weight, but at 5'6" in the same size 12 my sister is much larger


mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Jan. 2, 2013 at 11:07 PM

This just might be what needs to happen all over. The designers use these thin models because they cost less. Less fabric to show off on them. Also, they want them to look like a hanger. 

News flash assholes, I want models who look like me so I can have a decent idea of what the clothes will look like on me. I'm not a big person but I am very curvy for a white girl. It's kinda nuts. 

And besides, who doesn't want to see models like this? She's beautiful and looks like the vast majority of women all over the world. She looks a lot like how I do and I know the clothes she models would look somewhat similar on me: 


Also, this picture is from a burlesque show I went to. Most of the women in the show were shaped like her. A few were thin, some were average, a couple were thicker. And ya know what? Everyone in the crowd cheered regardless. I think we are way too hard on ourselves. Regardless, we are beautiful. Skinny, average, thick, fat, whatever. The clothing designers use ultra thin models to save money. That's it. Screw them. 


TerriAnne2606
by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:46 AM

I don't know what that means.  Could you give me more info?  I'm totally for legislation like this and the bans in Spain and Italy.  We need to quit giving the impression that being that thin is good for you.  It's dangerous.  

Quoting stormcris:

Pro Ana and Mia are going to have a field day with this as discrimination.


TerriAnne2606
by on Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:48 AM
1 mom liked this

OMG - she's gorgeous!  Love her shape.  Wow!

Quoting mehamil1:

News flash assholes, I want models who look like me so I can have a decent idea of what the clothes will look like on me. I'm not a big person but I am very curvy for a white girl. It's kinda nuts. 

And besides, who doesn't want to see models like this? She's beautiful and looks like the vast majority of women all over the world. She looks a lot like how I do and I know the clothes she models would look somewhat similar on me: 






mehamil1
by Platinum Member on Jan. 3, 2013 at 10:48 AM

Pro ana are those who support anorexia and bulimia. As in it's a legit form of weight control. 

I'd also like to see thin stop being held up as the standard. It's not. Very few people (most notably women) look like that. I personally believe that thin women are just as beautiful as everyone else. But they are held up as the standard because it's very difficult to get to (thus making the diet industry billions) and also the designers use them because they cost the least cloth wise. 

Quoting TerriAnne2606:

I don't know what that means.  Could you give me more info?  I'm totally for legislation like this and the bans in Spain and Italy.  We need to quit giving the impression that being that thin is good for you.  It's dangerous.  

Quoting stormcris:

Pro Ana and Mia are going to have a field day with this as discrimination.


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