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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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i read an interesting story that relates to this thread in a serious way

this is an article i read, not somehting that someone told me, it is factual

bearing in mind that the french just passed all that legislature to try

and get the industry to act right,

american model ali michaels, who every season in every fashion capitol

walks alot of shows, put on apparently 5 lbs, i dont remember the reasonb, maybe her young body

was just growing up, or maybe her mom was just feeding her right, because her mom is her manager

and makes sure she doesnt get stuck in any of the negative sides of the industry

well anyways, she puts on this slight bit of weight and is then told

by casting agents that her thighs are too big. and she only got picked for one show in paris

yoji yamamoto

she has an ed in this months edition of russian vogue

scans by achat

this is the TOO BIG ali <_<

edit: i cant remember exactly which publication i read this in.. if anyone remembers which mag

it came from, let me know!!

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now it comes back to me, it was in the wall street journal

heres the official word

Ali Michael Kicked Out of Paris Fashion Week For Being Too Fat!

Have you guys read the very disturbing Wall Street Journal article? February 2008 Teen Vogue cover girl Ali Michael got booted out of Paris fashion week for being too fat! Ali debuted on the runways in Fall 2007. She walked 31 shows during Spring 2008 show season (Dior, Chanel, etc she even opened Lanvin) and for Fall 2008, she only walked 10 shows in New York, ZERO shows in London and Milan... and only 1 show in Paris. Why? According to Ali's mother, she got sick for trying to keep her weight down... now that she decided to get "healthier", she gained five pounds and everyone thought she got thick in the legs!

On Tuesday morning in Paris, as the fashion elite were gathering at the Balenciaga show, 17-year-old model Ali Michael was heading home to the U.S. far earlier than anticipated.

Miss Michael was last season's model du jour, and she looks wraithlike, with a still-developing body and a 23-inch waist. But this season, after gaining five pounds, Miss Michael was told by casting directors for the runway shows that her legs were too plump, according to her mother, Mary Ann Michael, who travels with her daughter to appointments and shows. And so, after doing a string of major supermodel shows in September, Miss Michael snared only the Yohji Yamamoto show in Paris this time around.

You know what's even sad? On that one and only show that she walked in Paris, she didn't even get to strut on her own. She appeared in a group setting

i dont think anything is going to change in this industry

legislation or no :/

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I read this story about Ali.

She's cool :cool:

But well....I still can't imagine how would this work.

I mean....imagine that eg. Siri T. (who is VERY skinny) wouldn't fit in new standards, and Karl Lagerfeld would like to have her in his show....

Or imagine Karl, or Galliano, or whoever else, in jail, after hiring too skinny models :|

I don't think that this law would have an influence on designers, they choose models they want to have in their shows :idk:

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thats so true, layla

how to really enforce it??

but being a model lover since the mid 80's, to see how things have changed

it breaks my heart. you used to have to fit into a size 6 to walk the shows

and a size 6 on a woman close to 6 feet is slim indeed

now to have to be a 0,2 or 4 at the same height just doesnt make sense

i mean, there are so many of the girls who are naturally skinny

i have no problem with that, but we saw from the article that Ali

was doin things detrimental to her health to maintain that size

how many other models are doing the same??

ah well, we could talk about it forever and ever,

but to ever exact a real change --if we really dont

like whats going on, we need to speak with our money

cuz youre right, layla, the designers are going to choose

who they wish

but if they start losing money over it,

if the magazines start losing money

perhaps THEN a message will be received.

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  • 2 years later...

You don't approve of a law that is attempting to allow models a chance to remain healthy and still look good? You would rather have them starve themselves in order to fit into a size zero? That's absolutely asanine. I believe I stated it already this is but one step in the right direction and I fully think it should be enforced. These designers have an unrealistic outlook on what is considered fashionable. I realize clothing looks 'better' on a more petite frame but when 90% of the world doesn't fit the mold they are going for, and a good 50 or 60% of those girls who are actually wearing the designs are putting themselves in an unhealthy situation just to attain the standards they've been given to even get work perhaps they need to rethink what's actually appropriate.

Anyone who disagrees with an attempt to create a healthier environment for these men and women is quite should really step back and take a second to re-evaulate their opinions and perspectives because no matter how I look at it, disagreeing with it is flat out wrong.

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Though well meaning, because of the new rules set in place by the Administrators to disuade weight discussions and weight debates (see the announcement at the top of any Bellazon sub-forum http://www.bellazon.com/main/index.php?act...;f=25&id=53 ), this thread will likely have to be closed either indeffinately or until further notice.

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