It seems that world is waking up to the need to stop the craze of ‘being skinny’ in the fashion industry. France is the latest nation to ban excessively thin models. Now, health experts have suggested that US health regulators should make sure that fashion models, who are ultra-thin are benched.
An editorial by two experts on eating disorder affiliated with the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health in Boston have said that fashion models require protection in the same way as coal miners and garment factory workers.
Models are at risk of eating disorders like anorexia nervosa. Katherine L. Record and S. Bryn Austin said that the US government regulates if any industry exposes its employees to harm. “Professional fashion models are particularly vulnerable to eating disorders resulting from occupational demands to maintain extreme thinness”, affirmed Record.
In America, a woman is considered underweight if her body mass index is below 18.5. But the authors have found that a typical model taking part at an international fashion show has BMI below 16, which as per the World Health Organization is ‘severe thinness’.
Many nations have implemented a ban on excessively thin fashion models. In April, France has passed a law that requires models to show that they have a health BMI, of at least 18, and then only they can work.
If models fail to prove the same, their agents and fashion houses that hire them could face steep fines and jail time. The US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) should also come up with a similar policy.
If America also comes up with similar restrictions like in France, it would definitely shake the fashion industry. Designers would be hard pressed to maintain a presence in the fashion industry without taking part in the New York City and Paris Fashion Weeks.