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France Aims to Ban Models Who Are Too Skinny

The days of stick-thin models may soon be behind us. France is the latest country (joining the likes of Italy, Israel and Spain) to propose a new law reprimanding models who are too skinny. By the National Assembly’s standards, for a woman to qualify as a model in France, she must have a BMI of at least 18 or greater. In addition, the models must also attend regular weight check-ups to confirm they weigh enough to be working.

Of course, a BMI of 18 is still on the lower end of normal standards; according to the CDC, in the United States, the average woman has a BMI of 26.5, with the healthy range being between 18.5 to 24.9.

The penalty for failing to meet the standards? A hefty fine and possible jail time. Underweight models face a fine of 75,000 euros (about $80,000) and a potential six months behind bars. Not so glamorous, is it?

The bill, which will be presented to the National Assembly on March 31, also plans to address pro-anorexia websites and other skinny supporters. The penalty for those behind these sites would be a fine of 10,000 euros ($10,500) or a year in jail. 

With such an influential bill being discussed in some of fashion’s biggest countries, the fashion industry is coming a long way from the days of the cotton ball diet and models passing out on a regular basis. This bill, combined with the first ever plus-size model being featured in Sports Illustrated‘s swimsuit issue, makes for a huge year for a healthier fashion industry. 

Mary Paige Nesfeder (known as MP on the volleyball court) is a junior Media and Communication Studies major at The Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. She is about as contradictory as the Instagram accounts she follows (her faves are dcfoodporn and yoga_girl)! She finds solace in Jack Johnson, her Pinterest account and a good nap. She can't go a day without talking to her mom or daydreaming about the future.  
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