France has previously criminalized the employment of unhealthily thin or undernourished models in catwalk shows. Now it’s also ruled that models will have to provide a doctor’s note to confirm they are not “too thin”.

As part of the same amendment to French law, magazines will have to label any Photoshopped images that have been “touched up”.

Doctors will make conclusions on a model’s health by examining whether she or he is healthy for their height. This is a slight amendment to previous rules determining a minimum BMI (body mass index) for models, but many refute that the method is an accurate way of determining health, seeing as it reviews only the relationship between weight and height and disregards the difference in mass between muscle and fat.

Models will therefore have to provide a certificate proving that their health, “assessed in particular in terms of body mass index, is compatible with the practice of the (modeling) profession”.

The laws are not “skinny-shaming”. Any new legislation that is put in place regarding a model’s health is not to stop her being thin, but dangerously thin. And that can only be a good thing.

Agencies and design houses are probably going to be fair more careful in what they encourage, as breaches of the law could result in up to six months in prison or fines of €75,000 (more than $81,000).


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