I read an article this week that delighted me, and angered me all at once.
The article? One of many hundreds that discuss Israeli legislators’ attempts to pass a law that will ban models that do not have a BMI above malnutrition status (per the World Health Organization). This delighted me. Very, very much.
In fact, and for bonus bonus points activists in Israel, they are even asking that there be a message to viewers that models’ photos have been digitally altered to show them thinner than they actually are (images in the mirror are way way bigger than they appear. let’s face it; they have to be).
The response? The law was pushed by one of Israel’s top model agents, who became disheartened after seeing models become skinnier and sicker-looking over the years. Others, some Israeli models included, are upset that the law focuses on BMI (height/weight) and not on “health.” The hope is that Israel’s government will pass the law and that other countries will follow.
Turns out, Madrid’s fashion week has BMI requirements. So does Milan.
Now, what about us?
Sure, the US has guidelines, but the fashion industry remains self-regulated. The entertainment industry remains largely unregulated with regard to the use of too thin actresses. And, the result? More men and women suffering from eating disorders. More children following the lead of too thin actors and actresses in fashioning their own diets and body images. More unrealistic images flashed across America of what the human body “should look like” and messages that accompany these images that tell us we can get these unrealistic bodies in seven days (or less!)
Come on, US. Let’s do this. In our move to end ED (much like our recent movement to ban trans fats), let’s get together on this one. No one benefits from having models who are unhealthily thin. Not the models. Not the industry. Not us. So, let’s do this one for each other. Let’s ban models who are too unhealthy to walk the runway, or walk anywhere for that matter. Let’s do what we should have done all along. Let’s put health first. Turns out, beauty follows closely behind.