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France Aims to Ban Models Who Are Too Skinny

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The days of stick-thin models may soon be behind us. France is the latest country (joining the likes of Italy, Israel and Spain) to propose a new law reprimanding models who are too skinny. By the National Assembly's standards, for a woman to qualify as a model in France, she must have a BMI of at least 18 or greater. In addition, the models must also attend regular weight check-ups to confirm they weigh enough to be working.

Of course, a BMI of 18 is still on the lower end of normal standards; according to the CDC, in the United States, the average woman has a BMI of 26.5, with the healthy range being between 18.5 to 24.9.

The penalty for failing to meet the standards? A hefty fine and possible jail time. Underweight models face a fine of 75,000 euros (about $80,000) and a potential six months behind bars. Not so glamorous, is it?

The bill, which will be presented to the National Assembly on March 31, also plans to address pro-anorexia websites and other skinny supporters. The penalty for those behind these sites would be a fine of 10,000 euros ($10,500) or a year in jail. 

With such an influential bill being discussed in some of fashion's biggest countries, the fashion industry is coming a long way from the days of the cotton ball diet and models passing out on a regular basis. This bill, combined with the first ever plus-size model being featured in Sports Illustrated's swimsuit issue, makes for a huge year for a healthier fashion industry. 


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