French Parliament to ban skinny models

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MPs in France have approved a law that bans excessively thin models from walking the catwalk.

Under the law, models will have to show they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) above a certain level. The average BMI for a woman in France is believed to be 23.2.

Modelling agents that break the rules and use a model with to low a BMI will face fines and six months in jail.

A separate bill was passed making it illegal to encourage anorexia. This targets internet sites that encourage dangerous weight loss.

Up to an estimated 40,000 people suffer from anorexia in France, nine out of 10 of them women and girls.

The new law on fashion models won a majority vote in the National Assembly lower house of parliament on Friday. It must now be approved by the Senate.

The move would allow agencies to be severely punished if they forced models to undergo excessive weight loss, endangering their health.

There will be regular checks to enforce the rule. Models would have to present a medical certificate showing a BMI – the ratio of height to weight – of at least 18 before being hired for a job.

To calculate your BMI, CLICK HERE

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