Jerusalem, Israel- In a daring attempt to limit the damage caused by eating disorders, the Israeli parliament today passed a law making it illegal to show overly skinny models in advertising. In addition to that the law now says that photos that have been altered or Photoshopped must carry that information on the picture.
The law is the first attempt by a government to legislatively take on eating disorders and the fashion world that seems to encourage them. The Israeli government is hoping the law will serve as an example to other countries so they can follow suit.
The law's supporters said they hoped it would encourage the use of healthy models in local advertising and heighten awareness of digital tricks that transform already thin women into rail thin sticks.
"We want to break the illusion that the model we see is real," said Liad Gil-Har, a professor who helped draft the law
The new law requires that any photo that is going to be used in the Israeli market be accompanied by a medical report not more than three months old from a licensed and recognized health professional that the model is not undernourished.
The standard being set by the law is to have a Body Mass Idenx higher than 18.5. According to that standard, a woman 5-feet, 8-inches tall should weigh no less than 119 pounds. Any advertisement published for the Israeli market must also have a clearly written notice disclosing if the model shown in it was digitally altered to make her, or him, look thinner.
the law was first proposed and supported by Adi Barkan, the largest fashion agent in Israel. He said that he has become sickened by the women and how they are getting skinnier and sicker every year.
"They look like dead girls,"
Legislator Adato said only 5 percent of women had BMI that naturally fell under 18.5. He is quoted as saying to critics,
"On the one hand, maybe we'll hurt a few models. On the other hand, we'll save a lot of children.
The Madrid fashion show bans women whose BMI is below 18. Milan's fashion week bans models with a BMI below 18.5.
Since there are fewer than 300 models in Israel it is unlikely the law will have a major impact but it is a step in the right direction.
Do you think the fashion industry should be policed to avoid showing images of unnaturally skinny women?