The deputies in France voted in favor of banning ultra-thin catwalk models on Friday, despite series of protests from modeling agencies in the fashion capital of the world.
“Anyone whose body mass index… is below a certain level will not be able to work as a catwalk model,” said the amendment that was voted in the National Assembly Lower House of Parliament.
The agencies that are found hiring models, who are considered too thin, could be liable to be fined up to 75,000 euros (or USD 85,000) and imprisonment of six months.
Olivier Veran, the deputy proposing the amendment, said, “The prospect of such a punishment will have the effect of regulating the whole sector.”
Veran said that various similar measures had already been taken in Italy, Israel and Spain.
Health Minister Marisol Touraine has always strongly recommended for a good diet for young models.
“This is an important message to young women who see these models as an aesthetic example,” said the health minister.
The National Union of Modeling Agencies has expressed reservations over the ban, saying this would affect the competitiveness in the French modeling industry.
The new legislation comes after the passing of a similar amendment that would punish those people who incite others to opt for “extreme thinness”. Such people can get a year imprisonment and a fine of 10,000 euros.
Up to an estimated 40,000 French people suffer from anorexia. Nine out of 10 of the sufferers are women and girls.