Industry news

France on a war footing against extreme thinness: minimum BMI, photo retouching and penalties

The Official Gazette of the French State published yesterday has revolutionized the fashion industry. It includes certain guidelines that agencies and models must meet at the risk of receiving financial penalties: the models must present medical certificates that ensure that your body mass index (BMI) falls within the healthy and those retouched images to gain weight or lose weight the silhouette of the models must indicate it explicitly. With these measures, the French Government advocates for health and the improvement of the image of its fashion.

France's fight against anorexia

Anna Selezneva at the DSquared2 Spring-Summer 2011 parade

The extreme thinness imposed as a fee on the catwalks was debated in the French Parliament in 2015, where the socialist deputy Olivier Verán exposed "the dangers of apologizing for malnutrition and of commercially exploiting people who endanger their health" and added "The models are the mirror where young women look at each other, which poses an even greater danger". After this intervention by the deputy, the Minister of Health approved in 2016 two decrees that penalized the apology of anorexia, although it has not been until now when French fashion has been affected.

How will this regulation affect the fashion industry?

Censored Saint Laurent Spring-Summer 2015 Campaign

From today the models that parade in France must prove, through a medical report, that they are in an optimal state of health. This status will be evaluated according to the Body Mass Index (BMI), an indicator that relates the weight of the person to their height and is considered a reliable guideline that determines the lack or not, of weight.

He medical certificate requested will have a duration of two years and must be prepared by a doctor specialized in Occupational Medicine. In addition, to issue this certificate, the healthcare professional must study other parameters such as the age of the model, the regularity of menstruation and your medical history.

Agencies or firms that hire women with lower BMI than recommended will be subject to fines of up to 75,000 euros and six months in jail.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) people with a BMI below 18.5 are too thin. Thanks to this new regulation, those BMI models that denote malnutrition cannot parade in France. In addition, agencies or firms that hire women with BMI below this figure will be exposed to fines of up to 75,000 euros and six months in jail.

Also, in October the second regulation included in the BOE published yesterday and focused on the advertising field will come into force. Since then Altered photographs to lose weight or fatten the silhouettes of the models must be presented next to the label "retouched image" in newspapers, magazines, posters, billboards, Internet or catalogs.

Spain among the pioneer countries in the battle against extreme thinness

In 2006 Madrid was the first European capital to regulate the weight of the models. From that moment on, models with BMI below 18 points cannot get on the catwalk of Spanish fashion.

Countries like Chile or Belgium they have similar standards to the one published yesterday by France and in the case of Israel, the Photoshop law 2012 prohibits the hiring of models with a BMI below 18.5, in addition to using the touch-up program without indicating it.

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