News: Israel passes controversial law banning underweight models

Israel has made headlines with a controversial new law that prohibits the hire and use of any model to be considered underweight (a BMI of less than 18.5). This law is the first of its kind and applies to both male and female models in advertising and on the catwalk. For example, a 5'11'' tall […]

runwaymodel

Israel has made headlines with a controversial new law that prohibits the hire and use of any model to be considered underweight (a BMI of less than 18.5). This law is the first of its kind and applies to both male and female models in advertising and on the catwalk. For example, a 5’11” tall model must weigh at least 132.7 lbs (giving them a BMI of 18.51) in order to be hired for a job in Israel.

Under the new law, when models go for jobs they must now produce a doctor’s report that is no more than three months old which certifies their weight. Publications must also state if the image of the model has been digitally edited to make them appear thinner.

According to the Associated Press (via BBC News), approximately 2 percent of Israeli girls between 14 and 18 suffer from severe eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. That rate is also estimated to be similar in Canada and the U.S.

While, yes, some people are naturally very thin and do not necessarily have an eating disorder, a BMI of 18.5 is underweight by the World Health Organization’s standards. I think Israel is setting an important precedent here on an issue more countries should be concerned about.

Banning underweight models and being forthcoming about photoshop use is a start, but if campaigns are using young models at the ages of 14 and 16 for adult based ads, the message is the same: thin is in. Models this young do not yet have a woman’s body and with the amazing things that can be done with makeup, could easily be made up to look as if they’re an adult while still maintaining a slim, hipless shape. Maybe we need to look at the age of the models appearing in ads as adults as well.

Do you think Canada should follow suit with a similar ban on the use of underweight models?

Related:
News: Victoria’s Secret Model drinks only protein shakes pre-show
Body image: Do magazine images influence how you feel about your body?
6 ways to build healthy body image in your kids

Related content:

  • Body image: Imagine Barbie with actual human proportionsBody image: Imagine Barbie with actual human proportions Barbie's got a bad reputation when it comes to promoting a healthy body image in young girls ' and it's not for no reason. If Barbie were a real person her measurements would mean she […] Posted in Blog post
  • Death by blogging?Death by blogging? According to an article in The New York Times this weekend, the symptoms of a new illness include weight gain or loss, sleep disorders, exhaustion and more. No, it's not some exotic new […] Posted in Blog post
  • 3 ways weight and debt are connected3 ways weight and debt are connected Lean financial times don't necessarily lead to tighter belts. Here's how your expanding waistline is related to your shrinking bank account Posted in Weight Loss
  • In the news: public anorexiaIn the news: public anorexia There was an interesting article in yesterday's Globe about Aimee Moore, an Ontario woman who has suffered from anorexia and bulimia for the past 16 years. She has tried many kinds of […] Posted in Blog post
  • Debate: Should Canada raise the cigarette-buying age?Debate: Should Canada raise the cigarette-buying age? Nicotine has been shown to be as addictive as heroin or cocaine, yet young Canadians are given the opportunity to form an addiction as early as 18-years-old. (In Canada, the legal age for […] Posted in Blog post

Secrets to Staying Healthy & Happy

abswoman_18

Banish belly fat

Melt your muffin top and fight belly fat with our 15-minute flat-abs workout

healthy-me-week

Best Health supports Healthy Me Week

Best Health is proud to support Healthy Me Week’an annual health initiative "that empowers Canadian kids and families to lead a healthier, more active lifestyle"