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Modeling Standards: A Call to Action

France instituted a pair of new laws in May and it is just now gaining attention in the states an WE NEED TO TALK ABOUT IT.

When the recent presidential election took place in May, two new laws pertaining to health were voted into action. These new laws and guidelines were put in place to protect the well-being of the country’s models and to prevent models from being retouched or airbrushed in publications or any other form of advertisement. Models must now provide a medical note from their doctor verifying that he or she is of a healthy weight and BMI (Body Mass Index). Not only does this apply to French models working solely in France, but for French models working all across the European Union. Working models over the age of 16 will be held to these rules and can hold their medical documents for up to two years until they must revisit the doctor again. The other half of the law began on October 1, 2017. This law can fine publications or commercial advertisers that retouch the appearance of the model’s face or body in photos. Fines can reach upward of $41,000 (37,000 Euros) if the publication or marketer does not disclose if the company retouched the image. Another fine can go to companies and agencies that hire underweight models and do not obtain their medical documents, these fines can even mean a minuscule amount of jail time.


Why are these laws so important? France’s capital city is Paris; this city is known for being one of the fashion capitals of the world and home to thousands of designer meccas and gorgeous women looking to catch their big break. The desired “look” that models possess has surely changed over the years, but not necessarily for the better. Within the recent years, it has become pretty obvious that models these days are thin and have goddess-like faces with their glowing auras and perfect features.

Now that a great chunk of young girls have social media and televisions at their disposal, these girls are doing a lot of comparisons between themselves and these runway queens. It’s a false form of advertising as the models we see are not what the average, healthy woman looks like. I know that I don’t walk around campus seeing a plethora of tall, skinny women that weigh 100 pounds with a full face of makeup. Instead, I see all kinds of women in different shapes and sizes and all of them are individually beautiful in different ways because let’s face it; WE ALL DO NOT LOOK ALIKE (unless you have an identical twin, then I will make an exception). It pains me to hear young girls say they aren’t pretty because they are lacking a “desired” trait like blue eyes or big boobs, or they just flat out aren’t skinny enough. Enough is enough ladies. Stretch marks, brown eyes, curly hair, freckles, an uneven chest, etc… IT IS ALL GORGEOUS BECAUSE THAT IS WHAT MAKES YOU, YOU! Our country should step up and implement new laws or sanctions just as France has to present a more body positive models that show women across the country it is perfectly normal to be a 29-year-old who is 5’7″ weighs 155 pounds and can fit into a size 8 pant. Babes support babes y’all, and it’s about time we do more to promote healthy body images and start idolizing those who are healthy and confident in their own skin. 


For more information and tips on body positivity, visit thebodypositive.org


Journalism student at The University of Kansas who loves to travel. Lover of mac n' cheese, Post-It notes, and The Office. Writer and social media extraordinaire with a bad shopping habit. ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK
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