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The French Ban The Too Skinny


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The French Parliament has created a new bill that would make it illegal for anyone to publicly promote extreme thinness. This includes everything from magazines, newspapers, websites, anything media related.



PARIS - The French parliament's lower house adopted a groundbreaking bill Tuesday that would make it illegal for anyone including fashion magazines, advertisers and Web sites to publicly incite extreme thinness.


The National Assembly approved the bill in a series of votes Tuesday, after the legislation won unanimous support from the ruling conservative UMP party. It goes to the Senate in the coming weeks.

Fashion industry experts said that, if passed, the law would be the strongest of its kind anywhere. Leaders in French couture are opposed to the idea of legal boundaries on beauty standards.

The bill was the latest and strongest of measures proposed after the 2006 anorexia-linked death of a Brazilian model prompted efforts throughout the international fashion industry to address the repercussions of using ultra-thin models.

Conservative lawmaker Valery Boyer, author of the law, argued that encouraging anorexia or severe weight loss should be punishable in court.

Doctors and psychologists treating patients with anorexia nervosa — a disorder characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming overweight — welcomed the government's efforts to fight self-inflicted starvation, but warned that its link with media images remains hazy.

French lawmakers and fashion industry members signed a nonbinding charter last week on promoting healthier body images. Spain in 2007 banned ultra-thin models from catwalks.


But Boyer said such measures did not go far enough.

Her bill has mainly brought focus to pro-anorexic Web sites that give advice on how to eat an apple a day — and nothing else.

But Boyer insisted in her speech to lawmakers Tuesday that the legislation was much broader and could, in theory, be used against many facets of the fashion industry.

It would give judges the power to imprison and fine offenders up to three years and $71,000 if found guilty of "inciting others to deprive themselves of food" to an "excessive" degree, Boyer said in a telephone interview before the parliamentary session.

Judges could also sanction those responsible for a magazine photo of a model whose "excessive thinness ... altered her health," she said.

Boyer said she was focusing on women's health, though the bill applies to models of both sexes. The French Health Ministry says most of the 30,000 to 40,000 people with anorexia in France are women.

Didier Grumbach, president of the influential French Federation of Couture, said he was not aware how broad the proposed legislation was, and made no secret of his strong disapproval of such a sweeping measure.


21-year-old model Ana Carolina Reston who died as a result of anorexia in 2006 [seen above]

"Never will we accept in our profession that a judge decides if a young girl is skinny or not skinny," he said. "That doesn't exist in the world, and it will certainly not exist in France."

Marleen S. Williams, a psychology professor at Brigham Young University in Utah who researches the media's effect on anorexic women, said it was nearly impossible to prove that the media causes eating disorders.

Williams said studies show fewer eating disorders in "cultures that value full-bodied women." Yet with the new French legal initiative, she fears, "you're putting your finger in one hole in the dike, but there are other holes, and it's much more complex than that."

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A model displays a design by Jose Miro during the Pasarela Cibeles fashion show in this Feb. 16, 2006, file photo. Spain's top fashion show has turned away models because they are too thin. Organizers of the fashion shows, known as the Pasarela Cibeles, used a mathematical formula to calculate the models' body mass index -- a measure of their weight in relation to their height -- and 30 percent of the women flunked, said the Association of Fashion Designers of Spain.


A model gets ready before designer Bora Aksu's Autumn/Winter 2007 show at London Fashion Week in London, Feb. 16, 2007.


A very thin model turns on the runway at the Zac Posen spring 2007 fashion show, Sept. 14, 2006, in New York. The Council of Fashion Designers of America released a list of recommendations on Friday, Jan. 12, 2007, three weeks before the fall fashion showcase in New York, as part of a new health initiative to help models be healthy, not anorexic, not bulimic and not chain-smokers.


A model presents a creation for French fashion house Guy Laroche as part of their Spring/Summer 2007 ready-to-wear fashion collection in Paris, Oct. 7, 2006.


very thin model walks the runway at the Rosa Cha spring 2007 fashion show, on Sept. 10, 2006, in New York.


A model presents this creation by Italian designer Valentino for his Spring/Summer 2007 ready-to-wear fashion collection in Paris Oct. 4, 2006.


A model displays a creation as part of Dsquared2's Spring/Summer 2007 women's collections during Milan Fashion Week, Sept. 29, 2006.


A stick-thin model wearing a design by Australian label 'FashionAssassin' poses on the catwalk during a show at Australian Fashion Week in Sydney, May 1, 2007. Australian festival organisers were accused of allowing super slim models onto catwalks despite a promise to avoid the half-starved look that fell out of favour globally after the death from anorexia of Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston.


Spain's top fashion show has turned away models because they're too thin.


The excessive skinniness of models in fashion shows is said to set a poor example for young women, who are suffering from eating disorders in increasing numbers.

Can any of you name some of those models, because I know I can, and you know what it's not ok that they look like walking skeletal racks. This bill is a step in the right direction in the world of fashion, and for the way people see beauty. How can any of you consider this to be ok. These woman are not healthy, not by any stretch. Yes some people are naturally skinny, but if you're showing ribs, your sternum, your spinal cord... THAT IS NOT HEALTHY!

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I think a good Pheno speach is in order :hehe: . *chants* "Pheno speech, Pheno speech, Pheno speach, Pheno speech...:D " :whistle: .

Thanks for the article. Not bashing those of you who are naturally thin, but to those that starve themselves beyond what is natural for them under a healthy diet is dangerous and those who are on a pedistal influencing young girls to go far beyond their natural limits is hazardous. Not eating enough is just as dangerous as eating way too much, only it's the opposite. Thanks for the article (Y)!

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It is about time something is done about the too thin..It's sad how unhealthy some of these models are sometimes.. It is not just in the women's model industry though. Have you seen how grossly small some of these men are? Sorry, men are do not seem to get looked at much in the industry, I had to bring that up.

The models are even getting younger which means they are doing all this unhealthy stuff when they should be focusing on maturing into a healthy person with a good diet and excerise. A not do drugs, be anorexic, smoke cigarettes, and/or whatever else they do that is unhealthy to be thin.

I will thank you for bringing this to my attention. I will really be interested in how France ends this. I realize that things should be free thought, free choice and free rights but fashion does not just present glamour it promotes an idolism that some of the fans may think they have to follow. And with that much influence a country should stand for their people and protect them from what ever may hurt them. SO I hope the message the French promoting is sent loud and clear to the people who need to hear it.

And please don't misunderstand, I do not have a problem with naturally healthy thin people. I do know that some people have high metobolisms and can be healthy with their eating and excerise and still seem be extremely thin.

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The article's not about personal attacks, but there had to be some examples to bring the point home more. If this no longer applies to someone used as an example, that's great and even if someone used in the article is a fintess trainer today, they themselves aren't the issue, the fashion industry is the issue (and would have replaced them with 3 more like them by now). I could write a book on the girls I've known, seen and read about who have starved themselves at some point in order to imitate a high fashion hero, so I'm at least glad that the fashion industry is finally taking some steps :) .

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I don't know how this law will work in reality.....

I mean, look, in one of these pics there's Lily D., world's top model. I can't imagine that model of this status would be banned form the catwalks.

And is there really a border between what's too thin and just naturally thin?

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I think models who are very famous will not be banished but they will take weight! because sorry but I work a little bit in fashion industry and it's impossible to be so thin naturally....I swear it!!! you can be thin like is for exemple Carla Bruni or Charlotte Gainsbourg...but not soo thin , because on pics it's photoshooped but when you see these models in reality they are very very thin!!!!! there is a big space between their thigh, and if it was natural why many models become thiner! look natasha poly young and now....I love her! but she was bigger before.......so now model industry must take models slim but not too much!!! I think a woman's body is more beautiful like a children or teenager body with woman face......

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:yuckky: Those pictures of those girls with the ribs showing is disgusting. I guess I shouldn't have read this thread while eating because it makes me want to vomit. How can someone ever hire those girls to begin with. I can't even look at the models to check out the clothes they are wearing in fear that I will be physically sick from seeing ribs and spinal cords sticking out.

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