Super Skinny Models Are Now Banned In France

We frequently see the faces and boney bodies of super thin models splashed all over the media, giving the impression that being unhealthily thin is the way to be.

Much pressure is placed on these models to be skin and bone if they want to be hired, resulting in many becoming anorexic.

Young girls (often in their teenage years) seeing this false side of beauty as fashion or the in thing, often end up with anorexia or various other eating disorders in the process, as they desperately try to be like the models.  For this reason, France has now banned super skinny models – (as of early April 2015).

The multi-billion dollar fashion industry has long been criticized for promoting super thin models, but nothing was ever done about it until Israel banned super skinny models in 2012, and various other countries utilized a voluntary code of conduct procedure to help protect models.

Under french President Francois Hollande’s, the French National Assembly (parliament) has taken this stance to crack down on anorexia and voted for this new law to include:

  • The lawmaker behind this bill had previously said, Models in France will have to supply a medical certificate to show they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) – of at least 18, about 55 kg for a height of 1.75 meters before they get hired.

    The legislation states (Reuters) – The activity of model is banned for any person whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is lower than levels proposed by health authorities and decreed by the ministers of health and labor.

    Any agencies/employers caught breaking this new law by hiring models below the legally required BMI level, could be fined up to  €75,000 and/or be imprisoned for up to 6 months.

  • Any website that encourages people to,“seek excessive thinness by encouraging eating restrictions for a prolonged period of time, resulting in risk of mortality or damage to health,” will face up to 1 year in jail and a fine of up to €100,000.

According to health experts approximately 40,000 people suffer with anorexia in France – 90% are women and girls, with most of them being teenagers.

CNN – France Bans Ultra-thin Models

Tel Aviv model photographer Adi Barken gives insight into the destruction and exploitation he sees of anorexic models, also stating that he has had an anorexic model die in his arms during his career.

Adi helped to push the law to ban skinny models in Israel and notes that the new french law does not yet include the photo shop clause.

Under the Israeli law – If an image has been photo shopped (altered/edited) to look unrealistic, the image has to include a notice stating this.  Another words it must be clear if the model in the picture is 100% real or just a fantasy one.


In 2010 an anorexic former French fashion model Isabelle Caro aged 28 years, died after posing for a photographic campaign to raise awareness about anorexia.  It is good to see that a few countries have since made laws to protect models and stop promoting the skin and bone look as acceptable.
While many along the way tried to oppose this new law in France, for reasons such as the new law making France less competitive in the fashion industry, many are hoping similar law changes will be implemented internationally.
NOTE:  If you feel you or some one you love may have an eating disorder, having a chat to your doctor is a good place to start.  If you are not ready to be talking about the eating disorder face to face yet, the following websites are full of helpful information.

Article written by Wen Dee: Google +

SUBSCRIBE to Zip Zap Insights – Latest Articles

Related Sources

Reuters:France Bans Super-skinny Models in Anorexia Clampdown

2006 – With model’s death, eating disorders are again in spotlight

2012 – Israel Insists on Curves on Catwalk

The Cosmopolitan – What the Models Think


'Zip Zap Insights is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate Advertising program
designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to, Amazon EU Associates Programme, Amazon CA Associates Programme & other associated Amazon stores.