Not everyone is pleased with the new French law banning excessively thin models. The French government is putting legislation in place that will require models to produce a medical certificate with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 18 or over. Fashion houses and agencies that fail to adhere to the law may face six months in prison or a fine of 75,000 euros (about $81,000).
Several high-profile names in the French fashion industry have taken issue with the law, according to WWD. Isabelle Saint-Félix, the general secretary of Synam, France’s union of model agencies, said international models shouldn’t have to contend with “a different system for different countries.” Paris-based stylist Simon Gensowski said, “Rather than body-shaming women with eating disorders, it would have been wise to reconsider current sample sizes.”
Despite criticism, the French government is moving forward with even more laws that govern body image in the fashion industry. Next year, a new article will go into effect that regulates photoshopping. If a model’s face or body has been airbrushed in a photo, the mention “retouched photograph” must accompany said image.
France is finally cracking down on the damaging standard of beauty perpetuated by the fashion industry. In our opinion, it’s a welcome change.