London Fashion Week refuses to ban 'size 0' models from catwalk
Friday 26 January 2007
Dangerously thin models will not be banned from catwalks at London Fashion Week, despite an appeal from the British Fashion Council to use "healthy" models.
Last September, Spain introduced rules banning models with a Body Mass Index (BMI) under 18 appearing on the catwalk in Madrid. This followed the death of the Uruguayan model Luisel Ramos, who died of heart failure after eating nothing for days.
Two months later, the death of the Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston was linked to her battle with anorexia nervosa.
Milan followed Madrid's lead while Paris described it as a "non-issue", but despite pressure from politicians and physicians, ultra-thin models will not be prohibited from appearing during London Fashion Week. Instead, a task force will draw up a voluntary code of practice to promote the use of models larger than the American size zero (British size four), who are aged 16 or over.
The Secretary of State for Culture, Tessa Jowell, said that she welcomed the move to promote the use of healthy models. "Too many teenage girls try to starve themselves into unhealthy thinness, at great risk to their health," she said.
"The fashion industry is hugely powerful in shaping the attitudes of young women and their feelings about themselves. Teenage girls aspire to look like their role models. If their role models are healthy it will help inspire girls to be the same."
The British Fashion Council said: "We believe regulation is neither desirable nor enforceable. What will make a difference is the commitment of the fashion industry to change attitudes through behaviour and education."
Doctors and members of the fashion industry will join the taskforce to find a workable solution to the concerns about the use of thin models. Sponsors of London Fashion Week, including Topshop, Superdrug and MAC, have agreed to support the code. Stuart Rose, chairman of the fashion council and chief executive of Marks & Spencer, said: "I think this code is a step in the right direction. The health of the model is paramount and the image that fashion projects is something that needs to be addressed."
Susan Ringwood, chief executive of the Eating Disorders Association, said that although the fashion and celebrity industry does not cause people to have an eating disorder, "it is part of the context". She said that none of 100 young people with eating disorders recently questioned by the association said they were trying to emulate thin models or celebrities. "But once they were unwell, it became very hard for them to get better once they were surrounded by these images," said Ms Ringwood.
The World Health Organisation uses the BMI - a ratio of height to weight - to calculate the healthy size for an individual. A BMI under 18.5 is regarded as underweight, while a BMI between between 18.5 and 24.9 is considered healthy.
- 1 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
King Salman: Just five days in, Saudi Arabia's new king has already overseen a beheading
Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
Mystery man who gave mum heart-warming note on train 'wanted to put a smile on her face'
Michelle Obama highlights harsh restrictions faced by Saudi women after meeting King Salman without wearing a headscarf
Chilling drone footage captures Auschwitz ahead of 70th anniversary of liberation
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
Liberal Democrat minister defends comments suggesting immigration causes pub closures
£70000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Head of Finance - Financial Controller - Fina...
£24000 - £28000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Wim...
£25000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Front End Web Developer is re...
£250 - £300 per day: Investigo: Growing international marketing business requi...