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Israel bans underweight models

Reuters
Mar 22, 2012 at 01:05pm IST

How thin is too thin? That's what Israel lawmakers have called into question with new legislation that bans underweight models from the catwalk. Legislator Rachel Adato is helping set the precedent in the hope that it will save lives.

Rachel Adato, Israeli lawmaker and bill sponsor, saying: "We believe that by this bill, there will be a new way to protect the kids and a new way to look what is beautiful. Beautiful is not underweight. Beautiful shouldn't be anorexia. Anorexia is a very, very dangerous disease and that's the reason, that's the justification why we need this legislation."

The law stipulates that men and women cannot be contracted for modeling work without a doctor's stamp of approval - meaning that models body mass index ratio of weight to height must exceed 18.5 percent. Fashion photographer Adi Barkan says he's watched the fashion industry set impossible standards and supports the new law.

Israel bans underweight models

Israel passes a law preventing the use of underweight models.

Adi Barkan, fashion photographer and model agent, saying: "I look 15-20 years ago. We shot models at size of 38. Today it's 24. That means that we lost two sizes in 20 years. Why? Why? And this is the difference between thin and too thin. This is the difference between death and life. So we must pass the law and then we can save a lot of girls every year." The law also prohibits the use of images where models appear underweight and calls on advertisers to explicitly state if a major graphic manipulation was made to a photo. Israel joins Italy and India in placing an underweight model ban, but they're hoping other countries will follow suit. Kilmeny Duchardt, Reuters.

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