In France, an estimated 30,000 to 40,000 people - almost all of them adolescents - suffer from anorexia nervosa, an eating disorder with a high mortality rate. French lawmakers had proposed that a minimum body mass index (a measure of body fat based on height and weight) be imposed for models. However, it led to howls of protest in the fashion industry.
The parliamentarians on Thursday, December 17, 2015, adopted a bill forcing ultra-thin models to furnish a doctor's certificate confirming they are healthy. It will also require magazines that Photoshop their silhouette to tag the images as 'touched up'.
‘French parliamentarians have adopted a bill forcing ultra-thin models to furnish a doctor's certificate confirming they are healthy. The bill also requires magazines that Photoshop their silhouette 'narrower or wider' to tag the images as 'touched up'.’
The bill stipulates that models must obtain a medical certificate stating that their health, assessed in particular in terms of body mass index, is compatible with the practice of the (modelling) profession. Breaches of the law will be punishable by up to six months imprisonment and a fine of 75,000 euros ($82,000).
The lawmakers also voted that images of models that are altered to make the silhouette narrower or wider should be labelled 'touched up'.
An earlier version of the bill also made it an offense punishable by up to a year in jail to encourage excessive thinness, a measure aimed at 'pro-ana' websites that are seen extolling and promoting anorexia or bulimia.
That proposal too was excised from the text adopted by the National Assembly or lower house of parliament on Thursday.