We were both shocked and elated with the BBC article of September 13, 2006, telling us that The Spanish Association of Fashion Designers was banning models who had a BMI of less than 18 from their prestigious show. Shocked because we never thought anyone would have the courage to stand up and declare that allowing anorexic-looking models to be seen as the standard of "beauty" was wrong. Elated because someone, finally, had the courage to do so.
We Googled "Spain bans skinny models" and a good number of articles came up:
- CNN: Skinny models banned from catwalk: Just look at the photo in this CNN article. What are your thoughts when you see her?
- TheAge.com: The article quotes Cathy Gould, of new York's Elite modeling agency as saying the ban is "outrageous." What do you think?
- Kickaction.ca: Girls and Young women acting for social change writes, "Madrid's regional government, which sponsors the show and imposed restrictions, said it did not blame designers and models for anorexia. It said the fashion industry had a responsibility to portray healthy body images." It then quotes Concha Guerra, regional official for Madrid's regional government, as saying, "Fashion is a mirror and many teenagers imitate what they see on the catwalk." What are your thoughts on this?
- MS NBC: Spanish fashion show rejects too-skinny models. The article starts out, "Spain’s top fashion show has turned away a slew of models on grounds they are too skinny — an unprecedented swipe at body images blamed for encouraging eating disorders among young people." Do you think Spain was right in introducing such a ban?
- ABC News: New Message to Models: EAT! "Some of the world's top models may be about to be kicked off the catwalk after a recent ban on super-thin models from runways in Spain." The article also states that, "The average runway model is estimated to be 5 feet 9 inches tall and to weigh in at 110 lbs.— resulting in a BMI of just 16, according to the British newspaper the Evening Standard." Click to watch ABC News video clip on this story. (You first see a short commercial then the news clip comes on). Do you know that the United Nations health experts recommend a BMI of between 18.5 and about 25 as healthy?
- TimesOnline: Skinniest models are banned from catwalk. This excellent article quotes the organizers of London's Fashion Week as saying that they, "would not be introducing a similar rule. According to the leading agency Models 1, the models with the biggest pulling power are likely to be those with the smallest waistlines." And those quoted say this because they're talking about girls aged 15 and 16 who are models. But we specially liked what Lisa Armstrong, the Times fashion editor had to say, "Why do casting agents persist in using 15 and 16-year-olds to sell clothes to women in their thirties and upwards?" ... Why, indeed!
We could go on. But we'd rather hear from you now. Go to our message board and/or blog and send us the links of articles you find that deal with this topic. We'd love to hear from you!