Unfortunately, the perfect body (as though there were such a thing), may still be most commonly identified to women via the fashion world. And in this world, skinny, or even ‘super-skinny,’ is still the accepted norm, especially for young women in the most impressionable phases of their development.
Through the years there have been times when fashion trends have seemed to embrace models of such emaciated stature that instead of wanting to buy a designer’s clothes, we might actually have felt more compelled to donate to CARE.
Organizers at the Madrid Fashion Week are going against the fashion world grain this year by saying no to super skinny models. Although fashion week in Spain does not yield the press and prestige as their bigger and more prestigious brethren (New York, London, Paris), they are still standing up to speak against the industry. Many in Spain feel that super-skinny models with a BMI of less that 18 is unhealthy and sends the wrong message to women. Consequently, this year, designers have been ordered to disallow any model on the catwalk that has a BMI of less than 18.
Raymond Hainly writes in the Sunday Mail UK,
A recent trend for waif-like models has upset many within Spain’s fashion industry, with some demanding the banning of material that could lead to bulimia or anorexia. A spokesman for the Association of Fashion Designers of Spain said, "We want models to project an image of beauty and health and shun a gaunt, emaciated look."
The Madrid ruling means 5ft 9in models must weigh at least 123 pounds. That’s still pretty skinny in my book, but I think we all realize that models will always resemble hangers more than they’ll resemble you or me, but it’s a start and I’m impressed.
Just so you know, if this new ruling were applied to all models it would disqualify Kate Moss, Gisele Bundchen and Elle MacPherson and I’m sure several other Victoria Secret icons. Who knows if this will catch on, but at least one country is standing up for its women in a positive and forward thinking way and I can’t imagine that Kate, Gisele and Elle wouldn’t welcome the occasional ice cream sundae.