You may have heard of some of the model horror stories: eating cotton balls to starve off hunger or collapsing, and even dying, backstage minutes after walking down the runway.

The average BMI (body mass index) of a runway model is 16, defined as underweight by the World Health Organization.

Not only are these models at risk, but also the young girls whom they are influencing are affected as well. Anorexia nervosa is the deadliest mental disorder with a murder rate of 10%.

Occupational demands are placed on models as a skeletal body frame is required for some designers’ “looks”.

France has joined Italy, Spain and Israel in passing a law that prohibits agencies from hiring models with a BMI under 18. The consequence for disrespecting this law: a $82,000 fine and up to 6 months in jail.

Perhaps the United States and Canada should follow in the footsteps of these countries and ban unhealthy, paper-thin models from the fashion industry.

For more:

Calculate your BMI here

Paris-thin“: the regulation

NPR: Is it time to set weight limits for the fashion industry?

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