A French Law Banning Excessively Thin Models Has Gone Into Effect

Image via Getty.
Image via Getty.

France passed a law in 2015 that demanded runway and print models meet a standard of health based on Body Mass Index, but it has taken some time to come into effect and has changed somewhat since its inception.


The BBC reports that the bill eventually abandoned the BMI standard, making the requirement a doctor’s examination that accounts for a model’s age, weight and body shape to determine a model’s health. Models will be obligated to prove they are healthy with a certificate from a doctor, and fines levied at fashion magazines or designers who ignore the requirement are steep: up to 75,000 euros (around 82,000 USD) in fines and potentially six months in jail. Beginning October 1, all retouched images must be labeled “photographie retouchée” with fines for violators that, as of 2015, started at 37,500 euros (around 41,000) or “up to 30 per cent of the sums spent on advertising,” according to the Telegraph.

France’s Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Marisol Touraine, released a statement on Friday, saying, “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 behavior.

“These two texts aim to act on body image in society to avoid the promotion of inaccessible beauty ideals and to prevent anorexia in young people,” she continued, “The objective is also to protect the health of a sector of the population particularly at risk—models.”

Contributing Writer, writing my first book for the Dial Press called The Lonely Hunter, follow me on Twitter @alutkin


Mrs. Fingerbottom

Eh. I know this comes from a good place and we should all remind young women that fashion models are NOT average bodies/not have women starve themselves for a gig, but the idea of using a BMI index to ban people from a job doesn’t sit well with me.

ETA: as people pointed out immediately, I confused the BMI rule that was abandoned with the now required doctors certificate standards, but I’m still not convinced of this method.