Israeli Fashion Biz Bans Too-Skinny Models

A basic fact: many criticize the fashion industry for filling its runway shows and ad campaigns with models whose body mass indexes lie a few miles south of healthy. Has this supposed PR problem damaged the power or standing of the fashion and beauty business? Not that we can see. But it has led to lots of posts on the ways in which the industry’s history directly promotes unhealthy life choices (despite Karl Lagerfeld’s laughable claim that “nobody works with anorexic girls”).

Now Israel’s fashion industry has decided to follow the lead of Milan Fashion Week and counter its poor reputation by insisting that designers and advertisers only hire models within a given body mass index range and that they disclose the use of “altered images of models to make… women and men appear thinner than they really are.”

OK, we understand the well-meaning desire to push the fashion industry and limit its reliance on ultra-thin women to showcase the work of top designers. But is this really an effective way to improve the businesses practices and reputation (and to help young women develop healthy relationships with their own bodies), or is it just a way for regulator to sleep better at night? Do any of those who closely follow fashion really care about the obvious prevalence of eating disorders within its ranks? Color us skeptical.