Ban On Skinny Models
Behind the bright lights and makeup debate, the fashion industry is raging over the issue of ban on skinny models. The runway is all set with the perfect orchestration of lighting, pulsating music, photographers, renowned designers and makeup artists. The countdown begins backstage – 3, 2, 1… And a spate of models adorning the perfectly choreographed catwalk illuminates the runway. The bling, the drama, the razzmatazz is strewn all across with one thing visibly common among them all – their tall and slender bodies.
This shall not be the scenario for long, for behind the bling and jazz, a debate is raging in the fashion world over the ban of skinny models. France has become the latest country to bring about the ban on skinny models (excessively skinny models) from working in the fashion industry. Joining Israel, Spain & France by doing so!
Under a new law passed by France to combat Anorexia, models will now need to provide a doctor’s certificate which states that they are healthy and that their Body Mass Index (BMI) is over 18. Any breach should result in 6 months jail-time and fines up to € 75,000 ($82,000).
Magazines also have to indicate when the photograph of a model has been digitally touched to make her look skinnier or bulkier. Non-compliance of which should lead to €37,500 fine or up to 30% the sum spent on advertising.
Anorexia – the Model’s Disease
There are an estimated 40,000 people in France suffering from Anorexia, of which 90% are adolescents. This ban on skinny models was an essential requirement in order to bring in some precautionary measures to reduce the deaths which occur due to Anorexia and Bulimia.
It’s a highly daunting situation as models in order to maintain a skinny figure, eventually ending up with Anorexia. Bulimia is an emotional disorder characterised by a distorted body image and an obsessive desire to lose weight. While, Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterised by attempts to lose weight, some times to the point of starvation.
With the enforcement of this law, we may soon see a gradual change in the fashion industry. Soon normal to medium sized models shall soon be seen adorning the silhouettes of the most esteemed fashion labels on Milan Fashion week. Since most of the designs which feature in Paris also feature in the United States of America as well, we are hoping that the implications of this law shall eventually impact the runway shows in U.S.A too.
Why the Obsession Over the Skin-and-Bone Look?
After reading all this, the only question that arises In my mind is – why is the world so obsessed with perfect structures and streamlined figures even when we know the repercussions of pushing ourselves to it unnaturally? Why is the world of glamour obsessed with ‘perfect bodies’, ignoring the fact that we are humans? We are made different not to be stereotyped as robots.
Why is it that the fashion industry which flairs with creativity and flamboyance still has reservations with regards to body types? Why can’t we be creative enough to embrace all body types with equal acceptance?
Celebrity Take On Body Types
Take look at actresses like Vidhya Balan, Huma Qureshi, the slaying Grammy award winner Adele, Bharati Singh, Farah Khan, Saroj Khan, Ganesh Acharya are phenomenally outstanding at what they do, irrespective of how much they weigh. Their creativity isn’t marred by their appearance.
International sensations like Nikki Minaj, Beyonce and Kim Kardashian flaunt their curves with all pride and elegance.
The bylaws of the glamour industry are so compellingly stringent, in order to keep yourself abreast in the race. Celebrities like Sonam Kapoor, Alia Bhatt, Arjun Kapoor and the most noticed Parineeti Chopra and Sonakshi Sinha have literally transpired themselves into acceptable figures to do so.
Why can’t the industry be generous enough to understand that even they are humans blessed with different attributes? Yes, this industry of glamour has a deemed pre-requisite of looking good at all times.
Beauty is Within and Not Just Appearances!!
Why do we forget that feel good is more important than look good? Why is it that we give so much importance to the shams of a pseudo life? To me the definition of beautiful is not how slim or fat you appear to be. It is how amazing you are what you do.
By the statements mentioned above, I don’t intend to state that you should not be slim or have a perfect frame. All I intend to say is that it shouldn’t drive you to do crazy things. The most absurd reason why designers prefer extremely skinny models is so that the attention is not diverted from the design, to the attractiveness or beauty of the model. Can anything be more horrendous?
Why do they fail to understand that the model is not a hanger you hang your clothes on! The mounting pressure from the agencies and designers compel these models to maintain lean frames at the cost of starvation. This could even result in death. This is the main reason behind the ban on skinny models.
Models with Anorexia
Models like Valeria Levitine, Nana Kargianni, Hellen Gillespie and Racheal Farookh are some examples of what Anorexia can do to you. The worst case so far, was of model Ana Carolina who died due to Anorexia.
The problem is that models fail to understand the difference of having a healthy body and having a skinny body. After such serious ramifications there has been a certain sense of awakening in the fashion industry, regarding the health of the models.
There is soon going to be a change in the course of fashion industry’s obsession with skinny. The CEO of H&M, Karl Johan Persson, admitted that “Some of our models are too skinny and we owe responsibility towards the society by showing diversity in advertising. And not give people the impression that girls have to look a particular way. This is why the company recently hired a plus size model.”
Genny Runk a size 12 to 14 is to be star of H&M’s swimsuit campaign. While, Calvin Klein, roped in a model, Myla Dalbasio, who is size 10.
You’re Perfect the Way You Are!
This change shall flow smoothly only when we change our perspective of what beauty is. We really need to embrace beauty in all shapes, sizes and colours.
It is of extreme importance to understand the impact that our views can have on someone else’s confidence and self-esteem. Denigrating comments made by near and dear ones can have a self-deprecating impact. They start questioning their own beauty. Stuff like this can shake their mental and emotional stability.
Some of our mother’s/sister’s aren’t that perfectly figured but, do we question our love for them based on her size? We love her irrespective of how they look but, instead on what they mean to us. Is it really so hard to look at other girls in the same regard? Can’t we just learn to respect them for who they are instead of judging her based on her weight?
Aim for Healthy and not Skinny
It is a great move on the part of the legislation of France to enforce the ban on skinny models. They intervened and took matters in to their hands, when the fashion and advertising industry had failed to do so. Prioritizing the health of the models over the stereotyped ethos, and bringing in to practice the supervision and monitoring of medical professionals, to prevent the promotion of Anorexia and Bulimia. This may be a small move but this ban on skinny models shall go a long way in the evolutionary change in the fashion industry as a whole.
Along with the Government’s efforts to bringing changes in the regulatory forces, we need to bring some major shift in ourselves. At the same time, we need to widen our horizons by learning to embrace it in all forms, colors and body types.
Women need to realize that her view is more important than anyone else’s. This change might occur slowly but, it will be the beginning of a new evolution!
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