FOLLOWING ON THE HEELS OF FRANCE’S recently passed law banning overly thin models (see video below), California has a bill in front of it that would produce similar results. According to LA Weekly, State Assemblyman Marc Levine has introduced a bill calling for stricter health standards for models. If passed, models would be required to have a doctor’s certificate stating they’ve met the specific health standards set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board.
Among the countries (Italy, Spain, and Israel) to have introduced similar laws, France was the most recent. Its new law requires models to have a body mass index (BMI) of at least 18 before they can be hired. That means for someone standing at 5’7″ they have to weigh at least 121 lbs. In addition to this all Photoshopped images are required to be tagged as “touched up.” The max penalty for an agency breaking this law is 75,000 euros and six months in jail.
“Society has these outrageous expectations for what women are supposed to look like, and for most women, it’s impossible to look that way,” Marc Levine says. “With my bill, we can protect the health and safety of fashion models, but we can have a societal impact to make sure that women and girls have a healthy body image.”
The intention is to address what’s seen as an unhealthy culture in the fashion industry where many models develop serious eating disorders. If the bill passes in California it will be the first of its kind in the US.