I forget who said it, but I once heard that a model is not really a person on the runway, but more of a living coat hanger. With that in mind, it makes sense that the models must all be rather tall, slender, and roughly the same size and shape to ensure clothing drapes beautifully Ė the way it was designed. But is there such a thing as too thin for a model?
The United States has had a great deal of television and news dedicated to the celebrities and models in the spotlight. Apparently there is a tremendous amount of pressure on these young ladies to stay as trim and fit as possible. Unfortunately, many of these women crack under the pressure and chose unhealthy means to reach their target weight. That weight and size might also be extremely unhealthy as well.
Unfortunately, while body image might be a huge consideration for models and celebrities, it has trickled down to those who are not living in the spotlight. Eating disorders and image problems have never received as much press as they have in recent years. Young girls everywhere are getting ill from not eating correctly simply because they want to look like the beauties on the runways and magazines.
Some countries are beginning to take control of the situation, however. Many countries, led by Spain, are beginning to ban models under the age of 16 and of a certain weight. Italy is the latest of the group to be working on a manifesto stating exactly how far is too far for these women.
The countries making the changes are some of the most fashion forward, and it is likely that others will be joining them. In Spain, models must now have a body mass index (BMI) of more than 18.5. This means that they are healthy overall for their height. Underweight models will be banned from the catwalks.
While this regulation might seem a bit silly, or perhaps a long time in coming, it has roots in serious events. A model in Brazil, Ana Carolina Resto, actually died from complications of anorexia. In her desire to stay thin, she brought about her own death. A month before another model, Luisel Ramos, died from heart failure brought on by anorexia. Many of the governments now feel obligated to step in and help put a stop to unhealthy practices on the runway and magazines.
What It Means
While most of us are not in the group being banned from the catwalk, the new legislation does have an impact on everyone. Instead of being inundated with images of super skinny girls wearing the latest styles, we might actually get to see healthy beauty on television and in magazines.
Perhaps over time the standards will change and we'll get to see more models like Cindy Crawford, Tyra Banks, and others who are more interested in looking healthy and beautiful than skinny and beautiful. It can only be a change for the better to start admiring those who exercise and eat well rather than making celebrities of those simply not eating at all.