A law today was passed in France by the government that bans ‘skinny’ or excessively thin models and that also includes jail time for those who hire them. All France based models will now have to present a medical certificate to show their BMI approval of a minimum of 18 before being hired for a job.
The BMI for a person is defined as their body mass divided by the square of their height—with the value universally being given in units of kg/m2. So if the weight is in kilograms and the height in metres, the result is immediate, if pounds and inches are used, a conversion factor of 703 (kg/m2)/(lb/in2) must be applied.
The objective of this is to end a growing culture of anorexia by president Francoise Holland. The law also targets media entities that promote excessive thinness such as that promoting certain looks or irregular eating habits resulting in risk of mortality or damaging to health, incriminating those responsible with fines and jail time as well.
France is not the first, other countries that have already taken a stance against really thin models are Israel and Madrid’s regional government. So how far will this travel across Europe. It will also be interesting to see how would it affect the fashion industry. Would it create more jobs for fuller women, or would work be outsourced to countries such as Italy that are immune from the ban?