'In an article I read this afternoon in Reuters, Andrew Hay reports on Madrid's new ban on super skinny models. The "ban has caused outrage at model agencies and raised the prospect of restriction at other catwalk pageants." The ban was imposed because of complaints that super skinny models during Madrid fashion week were causing young girls to view themselves poorly and develop eating disorders. "Organizers say they want to project an image of beauty and health, rather than a waif-like, or heroin chic look."
Elite modeling agency North American director struck back in the piece stating "I think its outrageous, I understand they want to set this tone of healthy beautiful women, but what about discrimination against the model and what about the freedom of the designer." She also added that the move towards a healthier look could hurt the careers of naturally "gazelle-like" models.
The government of Madrid, who issued the ban, says it doesn't blame individual designers or models but the fashion industry as a whole as they should have been promoting healthy body image from the start. Medics will actually be on hand to test the BMI of models. 30% of models who participated in Madrid fashion weeks previous events have already been turned away. BMI must be around 18% or higher. Both the top Spanish model, Esther Canadas, and Kate Moss would be out of the running to participate based on these numbers.
When Mr. Hay tried to reach designers, all declined to comment or said that they didn't want to get involved in the controversy.
My question to Gather members:
One of the things mentioned in the article was that Madrid would seek legal action just like many have done with tobacco companies if somethinng doesn't change.
What do you think about the ban on super skinny models during fashion week in Madrid? Should this be something that becomes the norm across every fashion week in every city that hosts one (New York, Milan, Paris, London)? Is it a good idea? Why and why not? Is the fashion industry to blame, in whole, in part, or not at all for the high percentage of girls AND guys with eating disorders not just in the United States but around the globe? Is legal action the answer or is that going too far?