The models will need to present their body mass index when they apply for modeling jobs, according to the new law.
The BMI of the models needs to be at least 18 in order for the agencies to be able to hire them.
Back in 2009, the average BMI of French women was approximately 23.2.
Agencies that do not comply with the new legislation could face a fine of €75,000 and at least six months of jail time.
The new amendment was passed today and it’s part of a larger effort to fight eating disorders in France.
Marisol Touraine, France’s health minister talked about the new law, saying that it aims to protect not only the fashion models who starve themselves in order to be accepted by the agencies, but also to help young women who are harming themselves trying to fit into the beauty standard imposed by the fashion industry.
France is not the first country to take measures regarding this issue. Other countries like Israel and Italy have issued BMI requirements.
In New York, there was a committee formed by the Council of Fashion Designers of America that aims to promote a healthier lifestyle for the fashion models. Also, committee is trying to help the women and men who admire the models and have issues with their body images.
But not everyone agrees with France’s new law that requires model agencies to ask for the BMI of the models before hiring them.
Sara Ziff, one of the founders of Model Alliance, a nonprofit organization that aims to help fashion models by improving their work conditions, said that the BMI alone does not indicate the health of the models accurately.
Ziff said that it’s neither fair nor reasonable to reject an otherwise healthy model just because she has a lower BMI than the approved one.
Others complained that the new law only applies to women models when there are plenty of male models in the same situation.
Image Source: nbcnews