This is extraordinary sensible. BBC News: Madrid bans waifs from catwalk.
Madrid fashion week, one of Spain’s most prestigious shows, is banning underweight models on the basis of their body mass index (BMI). UN health experts recommend a BMI of between 18.5 and about 25, and some models may fall well below the minimum. The Spanish Association of Fashion Designers has decided to ban models who have a BMI of less than 18. Unhealthily skinny models at last year’s fashion shows led to protests from doctors and women’s rights groups. The association agreed to use the BMI – a calculation based on height and weight – in response to local government pressure. It suggests that 30% of would-be participants fail this test and this year’s fashion week, which begins on 18 September, will offer medical treatment to excessively thin models.
Not everyone’s happy about this:
Cathy Gould, of New York’s Elite modelling agency, said the fashion industry was being used as a scapegoat for weight-related illnesses. "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?" she asked, adding that the careers of naturally "gazelle-like" models could be damaged.
According to the BMI scale, people aren’t "naturally" that thin and still healthy. I’d like to see models that are a safe weight, not scary twig-people second cousin to a skeleton. The idea that 30% of models would fail the test is worrisome. I wonder how the models feel about having to be a proper weight?