News24

Israel bans ultra-skinny models

2012-03-20 22:28

Jerusalem - Israeli lawmakers have banned underweight models from catwalks and commercials, a measure they hope will reduce eating disorders and promote a healthy body image.

The law, passed late on Monday, says women and men cannot be hired for modelling jobs unless a doctor stipulates they are not underweight, with a body mass index (BMI) - a measure expressing a ratio of weight to height - of no less than 18.5.

The law also bans the use of a person who "appears underweight" and says advertisers must explicitly state if graphic manipulation was done to make a model look thinner in a photo.

‘Beautiful is not underweight’

Rachel Adato, one of the lawmakers who pushed the bill, said ahead of the vote she hoped the law would protect youth from pursuing unattainable ideals of beauty.

"Beautiful is not underweight, beautiful should not be anorexic," she said.

The fashion industry's use of wafer-thin models on runways and in magazines has for years sparked heated debate.

Critics say the practice promotes an unhealthy body image among women, which contributes to anorexia and other eating disorders.

Designers and agencies have often been criticised for putting relentless pressure on their models to stay unhealthily thin. After two anorexic Latin American models died in 2006, countries including Italy and India banned underweight models from the catwalk.

‘Difference between life and death’


Adi Barkan, an Israeli fashion photographer and model agent who collaborated with Adato on promoting the law, said impossible standards set by the fashion industry were getting too dangerous.

"I look (back) 15 to 20 years ago, we shot models (sized) 38. Today, it's size 24." Barkan said on the set of a photo-shoot in Tel Aviv.

"This is the difference between thin and too thin. This is the difference between death and life," he added.

Danit Rozman, an Israeli model on Barkan's set, said it was important for young women to accept who they were.

"I think it's better to bring something more real to the industry and in general to the world," Rozman said.

Comments
  • Jaba - 2012-03-20 22:57

    Beautiful is not underweight

      zaatheist - 2012-03-21 04:15

      @Jaba It is news because we should be doing the same. Stick insect models are unhealthy and very unattractive.

      Jeeves - 2012-03-21 07:02

      @zaatheist Agree 100%!

      Peter - 2012-03-21 07:13

      Jaba, I'm afraid you are clutching at straws. This is important news, unlike news that Malema did not pay his R12 ANC membership. The fashion industry is affecting the health of women, it needs to be brought to our attention. It has nothing to do with a preference for Israeli news stories. Don't allow your hatred of Israel to affect your judgement.

      Jaba - 2012-03-21 09:07

      You are correct. I was looking at it from a political view. I have removed my comment from yesterday - as I agree with you (and others) that it is out of line, and the importance of the issue is more essential than my alarm of the constant propaganda against Israel (i.e. Israel always in the news... for good or bad.) I was reading this article from the wrong angle and in the wrong attitude I guess.

  • pjcbs - 2012-03-20 23:10

    Now that one country has stood up to this problem, I sincerely hope that more will follow. Young girls starve themselves to look like skin covered bags of bone, and that is suppose to look "cool"? Well done Israel for setting a president on this issue.

      Fidel - 2012-03-21 03:40

      precedent.... pedantic I know!

  • Se-a Spencer Ikeremm - 2012-03-21 00:15

    Bravo!!

  • Grant - 2012-03-21 01:43

    I wish the article had photos so I could see what is considered 'too thin'. I like a slim but shapie woman but I know it can be overdone. I recall a gilfriend of mine years back who tried all sorts to put on weight. She was so self concious that she wouldn't let me near her boobs

  • janti.cloete - 2012-03-21 06:53

    Great!!! Now they should do something about obesity which is going to be a much bigger problem.

  • Phiwo Gasa - 2012-03-21 07:13

    Ban obesity as well!

  • Peter - 2012-03-21 07:20

    Half the problem is that most of the designers are gay, and they merely use these girls as coathangers to put their outfits on. If they were hetero they would want the girls to look sexy with a few curves. You can call me homophobic, but its the truth. These girls look terrible, real men prefer the look of lingerie models - because more body is exposed they use ladies with good bodies. Imagine one of those coathanger girls in skimpy lingerie, it would not be good to look at.

  • Mark Jacobs - 2012-03-21 07:20

    I hope the rest of the world follow Israel and ban underweight models!

  • Mark Jacobs - 2012-03-21 07:24

    Zaatheist- Like Peter - Like Jaba you are an idiot. It is very important news. It could be the beginning of a whole new fashion industry!

      Jaba - 2012-03-21 09:03

      You are correct. I was looking at it from a political view. I have removed my comment from yesterday - as I agree with you (and others) that it is our of line, and the importance of the issue is more essential than my alarm of the constant propaganda against Israel (i.e. Israel always in the news... for good or bad.)

  • clivecorbz - 2012-03-21 08:19

    You'd think the fashion industry would know it was a good idea to advertise to your target market. If you make "normal" clothes, show "normal" people wearing them. But it is us, the public, that gives them this power to successfully use size 0 models. We shouldn't need the government to enforce these things.

  • AskJoe - 2012-03-21 10:56

    I may be against Israel on many political issues; but this one I agree... well done... Obesity is next...

  • phathuchicos - 2012-03-21 13:32

    ?? ??? ???? ??? ??? ... ????? ????? ?? ??? ????? ????? ????? ??? ????????? ??? ?? ?? ???? ...

  • pages:
  • 1