Dying To Be Thin

By Cindy Bishop
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In a post just last week I reported that Madrid Fashion Week organizers were banning models that they perceived to be unhealthy (at a BMI of 18 and under), from participation in this years fashion shows.   I commended their efforts.

However, an important piece of that story was missing. It seems that much of the concern around very skinny models emanated from the unfortunate death of a young model, Luisel Ramos, a 22-year-old model from Uruguay, who reportedly died of heart failure on the stage during Fashion Week in Montevideo, South America. It is after this incident authorities from Madrid instituted the ban. According to noted fashion designer Jesus del Pozo, the decision was made as part of a voluntary agreement with the Madrid regional government. It would have been much more uplifting a story had someone not died on the catwalk to get everyone’s attention.

In a follow up this week, British Culture Secretary, Tesse Jowell, a member of the British Cabinet called Saturday for organizers of London Fashion Week to follow their Madrid counterpart and ban super thin models as well. They declined.

But in more positive news, Colin McDowell, creative director of the Edinburgh Scotland’s annual fashion shows told Alastair Jamieson, Consumer Affairs Correspondent of The Scotsman, that he wanted to use "models who speak of glamour, not anorexia". Mr McDowell said fashion designers will always choose taller and thinner women to show off their clothes, but that models should not be "excessively underweight". Consequently, they are embracing the ban. Reportedly, Milan is set to follow suit.

Currently, the average BMI of catwalk models who participate in runway fashion shows is 16. The World Health Organization identifies underweight as a BMI less than 18.5.

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The picture above was taken from an article referenced in spotlightingnews.com.

5 Responses (Add Yours)

  • Jane says:

    my own bmi apparently is 29 percent or thereabouts….I guess that leaves modeling out as a career for me huh

  • Cindy says:

    Hey Jane, no kidding…you and about 99.9% of the rest of us! The PTB in the fashion industry have always justified such slender models by suggesting that their clothes look better on that body type when prancing down the catwalk. What difference does that make if the intended recipient of said clothes looks nothing like that? Baffles the mind. Thanks for stopping by.

  • ElizaF says:

    I had to laugh at the woman at storm (modelling agency) who hire out Kate Moss when she said they do not have overly thin models on their books. BS!

  • Cindy says:

    It is alleged in one of the articles I read for this post that Kate has a BMI of 15.

  • monique says:

    i am a model and i think the ban on super thin models is a great idea, I’m 26/f/ 106 lb 5’4 , the united states should get in on this ban. at least that way the model and aspiring model will not die,the United states needs help.

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