France will ban excessively thin fashion models and expose modelling agents and the fashion houses that hire them to possible fines and even jail, under a new law passed on Friday.
France, with its fashion and luxury industries worth tens of billions of euros, joins Italy, Spain and Israel which all adopted laws against too-thin models on catwalks or in advertising campaigns in early 2013.
The measure is part of a wider crackdown on anorexia backed by President Francois Hollande’s government. Lawmakers also approved a separate measure making it illegal to condone anorexia, a move targeting Internet sites that encourage dangerous weight loss.
“The activity of model is banned for any person whose Body Mass Index (BMI) is lower than levels proposed by health authorities and decreed by the ministers of health and labour,” the bill said.
The lawmaker behind the bill previously said models would have to present a medical certificate showing a BMI of at least 18, about 55 kg (121 lb) for a height of 1.75 metres (5.7 feet), before being hired for a job and for a few weeks afterwards.