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models & anorexia

five models hoping to be booked for madrid’s major fashion show were banned from participating because they are too thin. this is the first time organisers of a fashion show have applied weight limits set by the world health organisation. the decision was also based on a spanish law aimed at fighting anorexia. like boxers, 68 international models stepped on the scales and five of them failed. the girls had a body mass index of under 18, the limit set by the regional government of madrid.

this 'anti-thin' move has been criticised in the fashion centres of paris and new york. the president of the french fashion federation says fashion cannot be regulated and a similar decision would be laughed at if it was taken in france.

what do you think? is this a good way to fight anorexia or is this just discriminating and should they mind their own business?

the body mass index is your body weight (in kg) divided by the square of your height (in meters)
oh i calculated my own and my 'score' is 17.44..


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 18th, 2006 10:51 pm (UTC)
I don't like unnecessary government regulation. However,if this is the industry applying these recommended standards then I applaud them. I am in favor of the industry uniting and applying these standards.
Sep. 30th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)
right now fashion designers and magazine editors are basically telling us what to like and what we should regard as beautiful. with government regulation people would be more or less telling us what not to like.. :p

the idea of the whole fashion industry uniting, no i don't see that happening..
Sep. 18th, 2006 10:55 pm (UTC)
My sense is that this is a welcome uprising against an impossible idea of thinness, cruel for models, bewildering for young women, perverse for society in general.

BMI under 18 is a meaningful measure-----it suggests serious problems with nutrition and does not occur often as a spontaneous phenomenon------

I do not know if this is a good way to fight anorexia-----but it has called useful attention to the bizarre discrepancy between real women's bodies and the bodies of clothing models they are meant to emulate.
Sep. 30th, 2006 02:59 am (UTC)
well they could ban the really emaciated ones. i wouldn't have a problem with that.
but bmi is a very old and not very accurate measurement. like i wrote, my own bmi is less than 18. that puts me in the catagory underweight. i can assure you that is not the case.
i'm sure there are better and more modern ways of checking if a person has an eating disorder. there are too many factors that this bmi doesn't take into account.
Sep. 30th, 2006 03:02 am (UTC)
it's true that every measure can run into exceptions-----% of ideal body weight is another one, but there really isn't a sure-fire formula that defines thinness to the point of illness......
Sep. 18th, 2006 11:21 pm (UTC)
I think it's a step in the right direction. Body dysmorphic disorders and eating disorders are on the rise throughout the western world, and a lot of it has to do with the idealized body types that we're bombarded with in all forms of visual media. These walking mannequins and the industry that creates them and fosters their continued existence should be held accountable for their part in promoting unhealthy lifestyles. And requiring models to meet a certain BMI really isn't a draconian measure. Eat a couple of calorically significant meals a day and lift a weight now and then.

Of course the 'fashion centers' of ny and paris are in an uproar. These are people so myopically focused on issues like whether military style or buccaneer/pirate motifs will rule the runway this season. The same people who are more than happy to stich a factory farmed rodent carcass into a handbag or boots. We're talking about selling clothing, stuff that you wear to keep you warm/cool and look good at the same time. Fashion is not about clothing the homeless (although next season may bring us 'downtown-dumpster-dweller couture), feeding the starving, finding shelter for refugees, or bringing and end to war. It is masturbatory and selfish; it's ruling principles are classist and vacuous. And it can only ever pretend to be high art--fashion is ultimately about taking something that is necessary and functional and making it somewhat interesting/unique. So, when an idiosyncratically-obsessive industry that could only exist within a postmodern, advanced-capitalist economy is actively contributing to the spread of mental disorders, it is a public health issue, and no longer one of celebrating the emperor's new clothes.

Sep. 18th, 2006 11:23 pm (UTC)
Anorexia is an illness and should be treated with understanding and kindness. Taking away a person's way to earn money over it is simply cruel. It will not stop that person from starvation or purging it will only make it harder for them to live. I think a woman should have a slight bit of meat on her bones. I like my women to look like women not the boy next door. But, I would never hold it against a woman simply because she is thin.
Sep. 19th, 2006 02:49 am (UTC)
Here in the U.S. we have rather the opposite problem, but it’s politically incorrect to call it a problem even as doctors are screaming about it. Anyway, these dopey rules won’t change a thing, and people should just hire who they want to hire. The end customer is the public, and the public seems to prefer women who look like women (as opposed to looking like street posts). Legislation rarely helps. Trust the marketplace. (I hear the fashion folk are fighting back.)

Incidentally, the BMI thing is bunk. I’d have to be insanely thin to be considered healthy by that standard, but I suspect my bones are made from depleted uranium.
Sep. 19th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
if a person is thin and lightweight naturally, it kinda sucks for them, but i think it's great that they did ban those models.
Sep. 19th, 2006 02:00 pm (UTC)
On another note you could say that they firstly led the models to anorexia and now that using them does not seem nice to the industry to use them anymore they ban them.Unfair.
Sep. 26th, 2006 07:04 pm (UTC)
So you cant be a mod in spain? gee, thats sad.

I think this is silly. BMI is a guidline, not hard fact. Also it fluxuates throughout the day right?


Oct. 1st, 2006 02:54 pm (UTC)
Maybe instead of banning something, they could positively encourage diversity of body types in the industry by including everyone instead of excluding some. This, of course, will never happen, but if it did, being the thinnest would not grab the attention that an anorexic needs to have (and as an ex-anorexic, I feel it is OK for me to say that) and it would rapidly weed out the ones who were in competition for fence-post-of-the-month while not excluding those who are naturally thin based on some arbitraty BMI number.
Oct. 8th, 2006 02:40 am (UTC)
yes i'd like that, but it'll never happen.
then again, if i were a fashion designer i probably wouldn't want anyone to tell me what to do either..

magazine editors claim that if you put a skinny girl on the cover of a magazine you sell more copies. giving the people what they want and nothing else? i'm not sure if it's really such a supply and demand thing..
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )