It’s been a long discussed issue that when it comes to body dissatisfaction, fashion is one industry to point our fingers to. For a long time indeed, by displaying excessively thin models and unrealistically touched-up images, fashion has a notable contribution in promoting unrealistic body ideals. The effect of this unreal portrayal of human body has varied effects. It’s also been closely linked to eating disorder such as anorexia.
As one of the countries in which fashion most immensely evolved in, French Government recently took an action. Last Thursday, Deputies in France’s National Assembly adopted a law to ban excessively thin fashion models. This new provision requires models to have doctor’s certificate confirming that “the state of the health of the model, assessed with regard to her body mass index (BMI), is compatible with the exercise of her profession”. It also requires publications which alter photographs of models “in order to narrow or widen the silhouette” to include the caption “photograph touched up”. The latter act is to be effective starting January 2017. French government also don’t seem to take this issue lightly. They upholds fine up to 75,000 euros (IDR 1.121.311.578 at the current exchange rate!) or six months in prison for models, agencies, or the clients who violate it.
The similar law restricting the use of very underweight models has been previously applied in countries like Spain, Italy and Israel. British government also recently launched an inquiry regarding the health of models working in the UK. Considering the serious effects, this can indeed be for the best. While it might take time for the industry itself to adjust, we can optimistically face the future of healthier, more body-image friendly culture in fashion.