Tag Archives: weight issues

Israel Passes a New Law: Against Making Models Appear More Slim

Hi Pouters!

The on going issues with photo manipulation, namely within the fashion realm is one that doesn’t seem to have an end in sight.

Crystal Renn will agree: she told Glamour magazine she was “shocked” to see startling photos of her posing for a Fashion for Passion promotion, looking far, far skinnier than her size 10 or 12 plus-size model frame.
These pics were especially troubling given Renn’s hellacious bout with anorexia while trying to be a “straight size” model, which she described doing battle with in her recent memoir, Hungry. Rest assured, Renn has not re-developed her eating disorder. Instead, it’s just that Photoshop has struck again.“When I saw the pictures (black-and-white on the left), I think I was silent for a good five minutes, staring with my mouth open,” Renn told Glamour “I don’t know what was done to those photos or who did it, but they look retouched to me. And listen, everybody retouches, but don’t make me into something I’m not.” Indeed, behind-the-scenes video stills from the shoot shown here (in color on the right) show Renn looking like her usual zaftig self.

Take a gander at this J. Crew online catalog image (that’s since been removed) and try and guess what might have happened here. Is it a hot dog bun that the model was surreptitiously hiding in his pants until the right moment? A poor assistant’s fingers that somehow escaped the airbrusher’s skilled eyes? Or something more sinister?

It seems like more fuel is constantly being fed to the fire. England was the first to ban an advertisement featuring a malnourished model last year and it would seem that Israel seems to be following suit. The country gave the go-ahead to a new law on Monday, a mandate that forces all advertisements to explicity admit the usage of digital imaging in order to make a model appear slimmer. Liad Gil-Har, an assistant to one of the law’s sponsors said:

We want to break the illusion that the model we see is real.

UK Advertising Watch Dog (ASA) banned this advert for British fashion label Drop Dead, after showcasing the model’s extreme thinness was deemed “socially irresponsible.”

There is also an additional clause in the legislation that will require minimum Body Mass Index (BMI) of 18.5, which is figure acknowledged by the World Health Organization as underweight or malnourished, for all models who wish to participate in advertisements for the Israeli market. It’s a positive testament to the country’s outlook on their very own top model, regarded as a national celebrity, Bar Refaeli. Make no mistake, she is slim but she’s also curvaceous, athletic, and ultimately healthy, lacking in the sunken-faced depravity made popular by European models of the past 5 – 7 years. Yet, Adi Barkan, one of Israel’s top model gents, affirmed that in his 30 years in the industry, he’s seen the models he’s encountered become “skinnier and sicker” as they exert themselves to fit inside the ever-shrinking castle of what is considered desirable. Adi proclaims that “they look like dead girls” – disturbing yet not at all suprising.

I do think that the standard of the law has put in place is somewhat misguided, considering BMI is hardly a good indicator of health and fitness. Critics are in agreement; David Herzog, a psychiatric professor and leading American expert on eating disorders, insists that “the health of the model should be evaluated”. Maybe give them a burger or something to eat and follow them around and see if they throw up, maybe thats a no-go situation then. ha ha.  Regardless, this regulation is  a step in the right direction for the industry as a whole, and I hope Israel’s efforts make an imprint on other countries as well.



Filed under Beauty, Celebrities, Daily Banter, Fashion, Media, Models, Weight