By: Lorène Belotti, IATG Contributor February 4, 2016
Last December 17th, a big step was made in France. Deputies adopted a law to fight fashion models’ excessive thinness. From now on, models will have to provide a medical certificate to prove they’re at a healthy weight in order to work. Moreover, the special mention “photoshopped picture” is now obligatory for all pictures used for a commercial purpose.
This is a huge deal here in France, where fashion is so important. This world is an untouchable field where glamour prevails over health and where all types of excess are minimized and/or tolerated for the love of “beauty and art.”
I’m very happy with this law. The role of the State is to protect its citizens, and this is a great example of it doing so. Sometimes our society’s dogmas, trends, and influences lead to unhealthy behaviors, but this law helps to reduce this in the modeling industry.
Nevertheless, Pierre-François Le Louët, fashion specialist and President of the firm Nelly Rodi is doubtful of the law. He said on the French radio Europe 1, “I’m not sure it can change things…I’m not comfortable with it because they try to make us think a law will be the answer to a problem linked to the women’s image in the Media.”
He’s not wrong. The origin of the problem is deeper, bigger, and more vicious than catwalk rules.
The dilemma of excessive thinness and photoshopped images exists everywhere. The fashion industry is simply a magnifying glass of our society: competition over collaboration, over exhibition on social media, self-esteem dependency on external approval. Superficiality is dividing and hurting us.
However, our society is so much on the glorification of stars and models that regulating this world may be the first step to regain balance. Everyone feels the pressure to look a certain way to fit in, and this feeling increases tenfold for fashion models. The thing is, a lot of girls, especially the young ones, are watching them and looking up to them.
This law is surely a drop in the ocean, but I hope the pressure will be a little bit less consuming for the models. I hope that the fashion industry will realize the importance of employing happy, healthy girls and will spread a positive body image around the world. So yes, I like to think the revolution is underway. We’re worth it, and we’ll fight for it.
What do you think of France’s new law? How do you think it will impact the community France and the rest of the world? What can you do to help promote a healthier body image for girls everywhere?
Lorene lives in the French Alps and loves to try to solve the world’s problems while having a great meal with her loved ones. She is passionate about foreign languages, self-development books, American TV shows, and people. She’s a total nerd of Academic studies (when she’ll win the lottery, she’ll go to Harvard).
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