France's Attempt To Ban "Inciting Thinness" Incites Jeers From Some

Illustration for article titled Frances Attempt To Ban Inciting Thinness Incites Jeers From Some

The lower house of French Parliament voted in favor of a bill today that outlawed "publicly inciting extreme thinness," reports the AP. What does "inciting thinness" even mean? Well the definition, according to law author Valery Boyer, is pretty vague. The new bill would allow judges to imprison or fine offenders almost $50,000 if found guilty of "inciting others to deprive themselves of food" to an "excessive" degree, says Boyer. The law is ostensibly targeted at magazines, advertisers and the fashion industry — but how can a judge definitively determine if someone has "incited" someone else into anorexia? Writer Devorah Lauter points out that there is not a one-to-one correlation between media images of extreme thinness and the onset of disordered eating. Marleen S. Williams, a psychology professor at BYU who researches the effect of media on anorexics, tells Lauter that this new proposed law is like "putting your finger in one hole in the dike, but there are other holes, and it's much more complex than that."


HAHAHAHA HOLES. FINGERS. DIKES. Sorry. Anyway, The president of the French Federation of Couture, Didier Grumbach, really hates the new bill. "Never will we accept in our profession that a judge decides if a young girl is skinny or not skinny. That doesn't exist in the world, and it will certainly not exist in France." Grumbach's attitude seems to be a common one in the fashion industry (see Lagerfeld, Karl), so perhaps it would be more effective to encourage the fashion industry itself to start policing excessive thinness as opposed to writing too-vague laws that, if passed, are ultimately subjective.


France May Make It Illegal To Promote Extreme Thinness [ABC News]

Related: La Merde Et La Mode
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If one is naturally thin (and most of these girls are), there is NOTHING wrong with that. The problem is these women are being pushed to do put themselves in harms way by not eating properly and actually distorting their bodies and their bodies' limits to unnatural extremes. I would compare this kind of behavior to the government doing nothing to protect, say, miners, from going to work in unsafe conditions every day. Yes there's an inherent risk with the profession, but when it is obvious that the companies are acting unethically and dangerously, it is up to someone to step in and defend the workers (in this case, waify models).

But, in this legislation, the wording is too vague and rather pointless.