Reflecting a Realistic Image?
Israel recently passed a law making it illegal for men and women to be hired for modeling jobs if they are underweight according to the body mass index (BMI) scale. The new law will require models to produce a medical report from within the past three months certifying that their BMI is above 18.5. Similarly, advertisers must say if an image is manipulated to make the model appear thinner in the photograph than he or she actually is. This law was passed in an attempt to combat the spread of anorexia and bulimia. In Israel, as in many other developed countries, approximately 2% of teenage girls suffer from severe eating disorders. Supporters of this law claim that the fashion industry is, in part, to blame for their idealization of extreme thinness. They hope that promoting the use of healthy models will play a role in transforming cultural standards of health and beauty.
Meanwhile, critics of this legislation claim that the law should focus on health rather than weight alone. By focusing on numbers on the scale, they believe the fashion industry will be perpetuating another myth that fuels eating disorders – that health and beauty can be determined by pounds alone. Additionally, body weight fluctuates throughout the day, meaning that doctors’ tests may be inaccurate.
What do you think about this new measure? Sound off below!