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France Bans Agencies From Hiring Underweight Models

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at American chapter.

France has officially approved a law that prohibits underweight models from being hired by fashion agencies, and anyone who violates the law can be charged up to $80,000. Many are aware of the scrutiny that the fashion industry has faced in recent years. Consumers are used to seeing models who are too thin walking the runways of big name brand companies. France has decided to address this issue. France is one of the strongest fashion powerhouses of the world. This is why the country decided to set some necessary ground rules for hiring fashion models.

At the beginning of 2015 France decided that extremely thin models would no longer be allowed to be hired by fashion agencies; these agencies are now not able to hire a model without checking her medical history beforehand, especially her BMI. This rule is applicable to men and women. If this medical documentation is not presented or up-to-date, the models cannot be hired. In addition to the fine, employers could also receive up to six months of jail time.

The new law isn’t limited to runway models; it also encases photoshoots that take place in France. If an image is retouched, it must say “retouched image” on it. These are all efforts to break away from the impossible physical perfection the fashion industry has created and commodified.

Although Parliament has already approved this new law, the fashion industry is less than thrilled with the news, but this is a step in the right direction as a way to prevent eating disorders among younger generations. Although France is the only country taking these measures, it is a start and hopefully in the near future more international names in fashion will decide to view this as a positive change and implement the same measures that France has.


Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4