France bans thin fashion models to promote body positivity
Traditionally fashion models have always been shown as impeccable, without any blemishes, sporting a waif-like figure on the ramp or in print campaigns, setting impossible standards. With the fashion industry now coming of age, things are improving slightly. And now in a welcome change to promote body positivity, France has banned the use of unhealthily thin fashion models. Here's all about it.
According to the new law, models will have to give a perfect bill of health by providing a doctor's certificate showing that his/her body mass index (BMI) is in tune with the normal standards. French Health Ministry said that the directive has been passed to contain the alarming rise of eating disorders and botched up ideals of beauty.
Usually when models tend to push themselves to the extremes to get that lithe figure, it not only puts them at risk, but youngsters also get influenced into believing that this is the ideal beauty. There have been instances of people pushing themselves to borderline life-threatening situations and even death by opting for unhealthy crash diets to achieve that false "perfect" figure.
Firms will also need to sport a "photographie retouchée" (retouched photograph) tag on the pictures that have been digitally altered to change the model's appearance, starting from October as per the new rule. Those caught flouting these rules will face a punitive fine of up to 75,000 euros (roughly INR 53,04,806) and may land themselves into serving six months of jail time.
France's Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Marisol Touraine said, "Exposing young people to normative and unrealistic images of bodies, leads to a sense of self-depreciation and poor self-esteem that can impact health-related behaviour." Italy, Spain and Israel are some other countries that have similar rules to prevent the modelling agencies from brandishing image standards that are not practical or healthy.
India may not suffer from this issue but, thanks to its colonial hangover, is still obsessed with having fair skin and numerous instances of the same can be seen in advertisement billboards and matrimonial ads. Recently, Abhay Deol criticized, on Facebook, how Bollywood fuels the harmful craze by promoting fairness creams, while indirectly praising actress Nandita Das for her 'Dark Is Beautiful' campaign.