Friday, September 15, 2006

Super thin models banned from Madrid fashion show

Models whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is less than 18 will not be allowed to take part in the upcoming Madrid Fashion Week.

Depending on which source you look at, the minimum 'healthy' BMI is considered to be 18.5-20. This means that to participate in the fashion show, the models can be slim, but not not super skinny.

According to the news article, Medics will be on hand to check the models weight and 30% of the models who participated in the event last year would now be banned under the new rule.

The ban has been set by Madrid's regional government who say that the fashion industry has a responsibility to portray healthy body images. Of course the modelling agencies are complaining. Apparently they think it's unfair and discriminatory against super skinny people.

And if that isn't enough to make you think 'what the??', then behold the following unbelievable quote from one of the top modelling agencies:

"I think its outrageous, I understand they want to set this tone of healthy beautiful women, but what about discrimination against the model and what about the freedom of the designer...".
What the?? Freedom of the designer?? Oh, silly me, obviously the 'freedom of the designer' is considerably more important than all the health issues associated with young girls developing eating disorders, distorted body images, and low self esteem from trying to copy the waif-thin catwalk models.

Well done, Madrid. Let's hope we see more places following your example.


Levi said...

Allow me to disagree. It's not discrimination against the models that's a problem here, but it is infringement of designer's freedom of expression (and freedom of speech with it). Here's why: models are chosen for their looks, so discrimination on basis of personal appearance may not apply to them. Fashion designers (and the industry) on the other hand have no responsibility to promote health, they are not doctors. But they do have their basic right to express themselves. Same as individuals have their right choose whether to follow the advice of their doctor or their fashion designer, and the responsibility to face consequences of that choice. After all no one is forcing you to be thin, same as no one is forcing you to wear what you see on the catwalk.

RobC said...

Scuse my french Jasmine but to Levi I say. Bullshit!
Designers know about all the illnesses and phobias caused by their wanting rakes for models so I say to hell with them.
If we have to have safety rules in sport we should have corresponding rules for modeling too.
I am involved in motorsport and we have weekly lists of injured competitors that have to have a medical certificate before they may compete again. These competitors would take part with stiches and casts if they could!
The same applies to the fashion industry... there are models out there that are on the verge of death due to the pressure to be thin, they need treatment as well as the nutcases that want to see unnatural attire on unnatural bodies...
Sorry Jasmine but this is a pet peeve...

Levi Aarons said...

Well… first of all I do not share your sense of urgency of the problem. When I look at people on the street, I often wish they’d take more notice of the thin models. It’s not like everyone if starving to death out here (I admit do not live in Madrid though). But my point is that to be free we must take responsibility of our actions, and stop blaming “influence of others”. ‘Cause if we don’t forget excuses like: “Can’t eat because of the models”, “Can’t stop eating because of McDonalds”, “Had to rub a bank because I watched it on TV” soon, we well see a lot of other “bad things” outlawed pretty soon. Use your imagination.

BagelHot said...

Although I personally do not find super skinny models attractive I have to say I think banning super skinny models from doing catwalks seems a bit much. Also having skinny models on the runway doesn't seem like it's affected the number of heavy kids getting fatter by the day in the US. Instead of banning super skinny models perhaps we should be promoting models of all sizes to walk the catwalks.

From a designers point of view this would probably be hell as they would have to design with various sizes in mind. One nice thing about super skinny models is you don't need as much material to cover them.

Anonymous said...

I think the whole banning of skinny models is stupid. I am 15 years old. My BMI is way under 18. I am definatly not anorexic I eat alott, but I run three times a week. I consider myself healthy. So why should I not be aloud to model?

Skinny models will not ever leave magazines or runways because clothes look better on better looking people. You will never see very large people taking over skinny because the outfits do not look as good on them. Sorry but it is the truth.

Anyway anorexia is a way smaller problum than obesity.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, the ban on super skinny models sets a good example for teenage girls everywhere. I am only 15 years old and I wouldnt say that I was overweight, but I do have some fat on my body. Seeing girls walking down the runway that look like they've starved themselves for months makes me look at myself and feel horrible. I know I cant compare myself to models, but there should be a limit to how skinny a model should be. Girls around the world look at these amazing models and wish they could be them. But we shouldnt be looking at them and then thinking that our body is disgusting, its just not right. I agree that models should not be obese or overweight and that they should be in shape in order to show designer's clothes, but the clothes shouldnt be hanging off of them. This ban sets a great example for girls all over the world, and in my opinion it will help teenagers look at themselves with more self esteem.

Anonymous said...

I think if they ban super skinny models, then they should ban plus sized models. Both have eating disorders.

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Anonymous said...

I do not think that fashion designers are as free as other creators, for their working material is human being´s bodies.

Also, what they create is intended to be sold, such as architect´s creations. They´ve got to please clients.
And then, their obstination in wanting to change the whole human race looks is a tragical, unsuccessful, pathetical and, allow me to say, irresponsible quest, that they do not understand was lost a long time ago.

MADRID has become to me Avantgarde, and I shall pay a visit to such an intelligently ruled city as soon as I can.