Israel Bans Underweight Models, Requires Photoshop Disclosure

In an attempt to rid the world of eating disorders and over-zealous Photoshopping, Israel just passed a law banning underweight models from working. They are also making publications disclose post-production work.

The law would require models to produce a medical report every time they work on a project in the Israeli market. The report can only be dated back three months and has to include their body mass index, which is the World Health Organization’s standard for measuring malnutrition. This means that models who want to keep their jobs have to visit the doctor four times a year.

Advertisements in Israeli publications will also have a disclosure notice stating if any digital nip-and-tucks were performed. Foreign magazines, however, don’t have to keep to these laws, so images of stick-thin models will presumably still be around.

This is the first official law against the fashion industry’s use of underweight models, but this is a perennial discussion. Earlier this month, the London School of Economics revealed an economic analysis of anorexia and suggested that regulations should be implemented to limit the use of skinny models. French Parliament also banned images of “extreme thinness” in 2008, and the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority also has strict ad screening regulations.

While we applaud Israel for their efforts, we can’t see it being too successful. It’s like jaywalking — it’s illegal on paper, but who actually follows the rule? Even CFDA board member and fashion kingpin Marc Jacobs doesn’t adhere to model regulations.

[AP via The Washington Post]


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