French Models Now Need A Doctor’s Approval To Walk The Runway

A new bill in France will require models to pass along a doctor’s note before hitting the runway or starring in photoshoots.

The National Assembly passed new legislation this week in an attempt to diversify the body sizes and shapes seen in the media—an honorable initiative—and decrease the prevalence of eating disorders among the population, primarily teens. In France, there are over 30,000 known cases of anorexia nervosa. The belief is that the appearance of super-thin models encourages unhealthy habits.

In accordance with the new labor code, models are required to see a physician for approval. It’s up to each doctor’s discretion if each individual meets a healthy BMI (body mass index) according to gender, age, height, and weight. Agencies that break this law by hiring malnourished models will be subject to a 75,000 euros (over $ 80,000) or six months in prison.

In another portion of the bill, all advertisements that have been altered digitally must be labeled “photograph edited.” The penalty for this crime is 37,500 euros (about $ 40,000) or up to 30 percent of value of the advertisement.

This year the body positivity movement has taken off worldwide with brands like David’s Bridal and Christian Louboutin featuring plus-size models. Perhaps this will encourage even more campaigns to highlight a wider diversity of healthy body types.

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