Israel bans super skinny models

ALYSSA ROSENBERG
Last updated 05:00 07/01/2013
Models change at the end of a fashion show to open the 2012 Tel Aviv Fashion Week.
Reuters

DAYS NUMBERED? Models change at the end of a fashion show to open the 2012 Tel Aviv Fashion Week.

Relevant offers

Fashion

NZ daily street style: April '14 The evolution of a princess Kate Upton: 'I wish I had smaller boobs' Paula Bennett struts her stuff From Cabinet to the catwalk Kate's sell-out impact Rabbit fur hat fit for a duchess Best & worst dressed celebrities Skinny model debate flares up in Australia Top trends from iD Dunedin Fashion Week

OPINION: The debate over how much models should weigh rages on, but this week at least one country codified its position: Israel now has a law setting minimum model body mass index for advertisements and requiring that fashion magazines disclose Photoshopping that cuts pounds off of models in editorial spreads.

Whether body mass index is actually a useful measurement of physical health remains an open question, and whether Israel's law will promote healthy body image is another—disclaimers don't speak as loudly as the pictures themselves. But what about the fashion spreads themselves: Will these regulations produce more interesting and varied editorials in fashion magazines?

It's not going to make fashion more interesting and creative if magazines respond by working only and consistently with models whose weight puts them just over the legal threshold, rather than with models of varying body types. And even if editors want to include models of different body types, how can they if fashion labels persist in only providing clothes in one or two very small sizes—something Alexandra Shulman, the British Vogue editor, has pointed out as an issue in the past? (This is, of course, a chicken-or-egg question: Do magazines favor certain body types to fit the clothes, or do the designers size their clothes to fit the image that magazines, which promote the clothes, want?)

Ultimately the goal for fashion magazines, and the wider fashion industry, shouldn't be so low as to simply ensure that models don't look ill. It should be to show all of their readers, at all sizes, how they can express themselves through fashion.

Because it's not only women who fit into sizes four to eight who purchase and wear clothes, or who care about design or have an eye (and a wallet) for style.

It's a mystery why, for so long, so many labels and magazines have ignored so many potential customers.

-Slate

Ad Feedback
Special offers
Opinion poll

What's the most stylish age for women?

In their 20s, when they are bold enough to try new trends.

In their 30s, when they've got a sense of what suits them.

In their 40s, when they're not slaves to fashion.

In their 50s, when they can dress to suit themselves.

In their 60s and beyond.

Style is not limited to age.

Vote Result

Related story: (See story)

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content