Saturday, September 16, 2006

Thin Ain't In

I am on a bloggin' roll today! Just saw this little nugget and thought I'd link to it - anything that puts the fashion industry into a "tizzy" is fun reading. But it's an interesting issue.

Apparently Spain has implemented a ban on its runway fashion models who don't have a Body Mass Index of at least 18.5, the standard set by the World Health Organization - anything less is technically "underweight." Most of the runway models have an average BMI of only 16. (Just for perspective, for someone who's 5'7", a BMI of 19 is 128 lbs. - after scones this morning, my big toe has a BMI of approx. 12)

Here's a snippet from the news story:

"The Madrid initiative followed the death of 22-year-old Luisel Ramos during a fashion show in Uruguay last month. The emaciated model died of a heart attack moments after stepping off the catwalk - a result of having eaten nothing but green leaves, washed down with Diet Coke, for three months."

Tonight, Milan is quaking with fear that the mayor will implement the same ban on its own models, which would of them I would imagine. But it's right before their own fashion week and that would be bad news for them.

Now, I'm all for it (timing notwithstanding) - I think it's absolutely terrifying that the women who are considered plus-sized models look like almost every normal person I see. This news story is interesting because they're interviewing a lot of model agencies who are either for or against the ban (probably depending on who they represent). But they keep talking about the negative image a "size zero" model has on other catwalk models. But it doesn't stop there, I think - the repercussions of that iconic body shape reach much further.

There are some interesting comments on that story as well - one from a doctor who suggests that being under a BMI of 18 is not as much of a disease as people who are technically obese (i.e. BMI of 35-40: 5'7" = 236 lbs.). Hmmmmm.....I think there's so much more to being healthy than just BMI - it varies so much according to the individual, muscle mass, etc. That's one thing the doctor mentions - trying to establish a true "standard" on either end can get a little tricky.

Have a look.



At 7:51 AM, Anonymous Laustic said...

Having a BMI of 18 may not be a disease, but the method by which some of the models with that index achieve such extreme thinness certainly is a disorder. I mean, leaves and soda for months? Malnourishment anyone?

And while being underweight may not qualify as an illness, it can cause all kinds of health problems if accomplished intentionally. Organ failures and electrolyte imbalances top the list.

Anyhow, you know all this. What really drives me nuts about all this are the "innocent" agencies that claim not to endorse this disordered eating. Maybe they don't give out handbooks, but I have a hard time believing that the women they represent aren't continuely encouraged to lose weight. I've seen the Lifetime movies...

At 7:22 PM, Blogger molly said...

Interesting article. My 15 yr old is tiny, a size 1, but she's only 5' tall. Sizes have changed over the years. I'm 5'4-1/2" and weigh 130. 10-15 years ago at this weight I was wearing a size 10 jean. Now I'm wearing a size 6, and they're not even snug.

The female ideal keeps getting skinnier and skinnier, the fashion world seems to want us to disappear altogether. Never happen to me, I just love to eat.


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