Israel’s new law that seeks to regulate the weight of fashion models has gone into effect today. So what exactly does this mean for the fashion industry? Well, the law prevents advertisers and designers from hiring models who are too thin, and by “too thin,” we mean with a body-mass index (aka BMI, which is a measure of weight proportionate to height) of 18.5 or lower. The law also forces magazines and advertisers to inform readers and viewers when they’ve actually used Photoshop or other image altering tools to make models appear thinner than they actually are.
While the effort seems well-meaning, this isn’t the first time that the fashion industry has tried to impose laws regarding models’ weight. In Madrid Fashion Week, models are required to have a BMI of 18, while during Milan Fashion Week, models must have at least an 18.5 BMI. Although lawmakers in Israel are hoping their new legislation will help discourage young women from adopting eating disorders like anorexia and bulimia in order to stay thin, we suppose this trend will have to take off internationally before it has any serious impact, given the small size of Israel’s fashion industry. We were concerned that the law might be slightly discriminatory towards women who are naturally very thin, but it turns out that a model who is under the 18.5 BMI in Israel can still model if she has a doctor’s note that says she’s healthy.
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Photo Courtesy of: LaIsha (לאשה)