The French fashion industry is serious about eating disorders.
In a world where obesity is at epidemic proportions, there is a section of society that has a whole different problem with food.
Eating disorders are on the rise in young women, and increasingly, young men.
While the intricacies of eating disorders are many and varied, it is believed that the rise of the internet, namely social media and other image-based sites have played a significant role in the increase of eating disorders.
Since the beginnings of the catwalk model as a high profile media figures, the vogue was for supermodels to be healthy looking, but this was replaced by the desire for models to be as thin as possible, and the ‘size zero’ fad was born.
Many high profile fashion houses have been criticized for exhibiting very thin models on their catwalks, many of whom are significantly underweight and despite this criticism the thinnest models continue to be used.
But now France have introduced a new law to tackle the issue, and it seems they are serious about it. Fashion brands can be fined up to €75,000 and even face imprisonment for using underweight models.
Marisol Touraine, Minister of Social Affairs and Health explained the groundbreaking decision 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 behaviour.
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. The objective is also to protect the health of a sector of the population particularly at risk – models.”
It is not uncommon for models to pass out on the runway and extreme starvation has even led to the death, as in the case of Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston.