PARIS — Deputies in France’s National Assembly on Thursday adopted a law to ban excessively thin fashion models.
Under the new legislation, models applying for a job in the country must furnish a medical certificate proving their overall health and that their Body Mass Index is appropriate for the métier.
Breaches of this by modeling agencies or fashion houses can result in six months imprisonment and a fine of 75,000 euros, or $81,076 at current exchange.
The deputies also agreed to an article saying commercial photographs of models whose corporal appearance has been digitally altered — to appear either thinner or larger — must be accompanied by the mention “retouched photograph.”
Any violation of this will result in a fine starting at 37,500 euros, or $40,535, and possibly going up to 30 percent of the spend on the advertising.
The law regarding photographs is to go into effect by Jan. 1, 2017, at the latest.
Regarding the models’ certificates, a ministerial order is to set out the terms and conditions for the law enforcement including its timing, following an opinion of the French National Authority for Health.
National Assembly deputies were voting on numerous updates to France’s code of public health.
Measures to ban ultrathin models have been winding their way through the French legal system for months.
In early April, members of the country’s Parliament approved a provision banning the activity of modeling for any person whose BMI is lower than levels proposed by health authorities and decreed by the ministers of health and labor. They also green-lighted the “retouched photograph” appellation.
Israel in 2012 passed a law banning underweight models, and Italy and Spain have adopted measures to send superthin models home.
For its part, Denmark opted for the path of industry commitment, based on a recently updated ethical charter that has been signed by brands, model agencies, magazines and photographers.