By Bethany Morrison
For so long, the fashion industry has been criticized for continuously promoting impractical and overtly unhealthy standards of thinness. Years of psychological research has shown that these unachievable beauty ideals contribute to the promotion of body dissatisfaction and shame in young women(Newsweek).
France has taken the step of passing a new law to counter the promotion of underweight bodies. It will require brands to state when photos have been digitally manipulated. Fashion models in France will also need to provide medical certificates, that prove they’re healthy enough to model and those considered unreasonably thin will be banned (The Guardian). French doctors are being urged to be attentive to models’ body mass index and this is remarkable, because Under World Health Organization guidelines an adult with a BMI below 18.5 to be underweight, 18 is malnourished and 17 is severely malnourished. The average model measuring 1.75m (5ft 9in) and weighing 50kg has a BMI of 16 and that’s below severely malnourished.
Since the announcement of the new rules, France’s health minister has stated that the aim is to prevent anorexia and stop the promotion of inaccessible ideals of beauty (The Guardian). Unrealistic images lead to a sense of self-deprecation and poor self-esteem that can negatively impact health-related behaviors.
Bethany Morrison is a recent college graduate with a B.S. degree in Health Psychology and she has been writing for as long as she can remember. She thoroughly enjoys brainstorming her thoughts and is looking to one day pursue a Masters in both Health Psychology and Journalism.