Madrid bans too-thin models from catwalk - U2 Feedback

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Old 09-09-2006, 06:44 AM   #1
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Madrid bans too-thin models from catwalk

from AFP

Excessively skinny fashion models will be barred from a major Madrid fashion show later this month for fear they could send the wrong message to young Spanish girls, local media reported.
Madrid's regional government, which is co-financing the Pasarela Cibeles, has vetoed around a third of the models who took part in last year's show because they weigh too little.

The authorities collaborated with a Spanish health organisation to come up with a minumum body mass -- a height-weight ratio -- of 18 for the models.

Spanish daily ABC said it was the first time such restrictions had been imposed on a fashion show, although a recent wedding dress exhibition in Barcelona banned fashion models who took a dress size below 38 (British size 10, US size eight).

Several models at last year's show provoked a row when they claimed their careers would be under threat if they put on weight.

Organisers said they wanted to "help ensure public opinion does not associate fashion, and fashion shows in particular, with an increase in anorexia, a disease which, along with bulimia, is considered ... as a mental and behavioural problem".

The event will take place on September 18-22.

I don't know if I've ever heard of this. On one hand, I think it's about time. We're bombarded with enough messages that the "ideal" woman is a size 2, and the reality is that a good number of us never will be (and couldn't be even if we tried). It would be refreshing to see fashionable clothes designed and modelled by women that more accurately reflect the average woman (although I don't know if the standard they set really reflects that or not ). On the other hand, is it fair to the models who are "too thin"? hmmm....

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Old 09-09-2006, 07:46 AM   #2
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I think that's a great idea

Sure some people are naturally thin, but how many models are naturally as thin as that? Size zero is not a natural size. Odds are in most cases they're starving themselves or using other methods to stay that thin. There is plenty of work for most models other than runway.

I bet this would never happen in the US, but "plus size" (size 12 is a plus size for models even though the average American woman is a 14) models are rarely seen on the runway.

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Old 09-09-2006, 10:27 AM   #3
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I think this is a great idea. Girls will get the message that there really is such a thing as "too thin" and this will help those with eating disorders, hopefully.
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Old 09-09-2006, 12:38 PM   #4
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I agree with sulawesigirl. But I'm not a fan of bannings, I do think something needs to be done about changing the perception of women, but this may not be the greatest way to do it...
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Old 09-09-2006, 01:23 PM   #5
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I'm all for it. Especially when you consider how many of these ultra thin models are that was naturally. I have to think it's somewhere between slim and none. (Sorry about the pun.)
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Old 09-09-2006, 01:27 PM   #6
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as i understand it, and i would love for someone to correct me if i'm wrong, having extremely thin girls modelling clothes is because the fashion houses only provide tiny sizes to start with. they are not going to waste money on mass-producing articles of clothing with more material if the piece does not show well at the fashion shows. in fact, the girl's body is not supposed to detract from the article of clothing itself.

unfortunately, in a society, and industry, where women are highly objectified, these thin bodies are not only the focus, but have somehow become the ideal. so when real women with real curves try on these clothes, they feel fat because they don't look like the model. therapists and the fashion industry have made a killing off the fact that many women feel inadequate for not being a size 0.

so while skinny people need love too, i think excessive thinness is what has been celebrated and flaunted as the ideal of beauty - to the detriment of the emotional and physical health of many women. kudos to the spanish officials for taking steps to ensure that the idea of beauty is inclusive of and reflected in a greater portion of the population.
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Old 09-09-2006, 02:05 PM   #7
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That's probably a move in the right direction although like BVS and sula I wonder if outright bannings are really the right way to go about it. Not that I can think of a better way.

Maybe this just reflects how my definition of too thin has been influenced by the media blah blah...but when it comes to fashion shows I think a BMI minimum of 18 might be a little too harsh and cut out too many models. It's not average but I do know plenty of tall skinny body type people who can be at that weight without having an eating disorder.

Anyway I'm shocked that only a third of them qualified to be banned. All I've seen of fashion shows are clips on TV, etc but of what I've seen I would never have believed that 2/3 of them have BMIs over 18. Maybe that's a sad statement I dunno but I actually think it's encouraging in a way that "only" 1/3 of them were under that.
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Old 09-09-2006, 07:40 PM   #8
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Wow, a use of government force that people can agree with
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Old 09-11-2006, 08:43 AM   #9
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I have been reading some of the comments online about this piece of news, it is disgusting but honestly not all that surprising. When you have men who feel this way and feel free to express it, well what does that say about this issue? A man wrote this one on Yahoo..

"This is an unfortunate decision. I applaud the thin models and the industry that encourages them and other young women to adhere to eating habits that promote a svelte look. It's excellent to encourage these habits while young so that they become ingrained; to do otherwise will result in women becoming big disappointments to their husbands later in life."

Yeah, it's all about not disappointing men
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:58 AM   #10
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Would Naomi Campbell really be banned under these rules? Seems to me given the standards for models these days, she's considered fat. Anorexia is a "rare phenomenon" in the fashion business? Yeah, ok

MILAN (Reuters) - Italy's fashion capital is in a tizzy over a ban on overly thin models at Madrid's fashion week, fearing it could be next with its own catwalk extravaganza less than two weeks away.

Milan's mayor, Letizia Moratti, told a newspaper this week that she may bring the Spanish ban on underweight models to Italian shows.

Madrid is turning away models whose body mass index, based on weight and height, falls below a certain level.

"With those kind of rules, we'd have to turn away 80 percent of models. Naomi Campbell wouldn't be able to walk down the catwalk, she'd be too thin," said Riccardo Gay, head of the model agency of the same name that used to represent Campbell in Milan.

He also said Madrid had exaggerated the issue.

"Some designers have used extremely thin models, but we haven't. We tell models to exercise, eat well, go to bed early -- sensible rules," he added.

Madrid's regional government imposed the rules on fashion week to protect the models as well as teenagers who may develop anorexia as they try to copy underweight catwalk stars.

Mario Boselli, head of the Italian fashion industry's chamber of commerce, said anorexia was a "rare phenomenon" in the fashion business.

"You don't solve these problems with new rules. We have to use common sense and work with everyone in the industry -- including the models -- to spread awareness and deal with the problem," Boselli told Reuters.

Moratti was unavailable for comment, having left on a trip to Japan.

Milan fashion week, which brings together top designers such as Versace, Armani, Gucci and Prada, starts on September 23.
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Old 09-16-2006, 06:15 PM   #11
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Now London is doing the same...

A British Cabinet minister on Saturday called for London Fashion Week to follow its Madrid counterpart and ban extremely thin models from the catwalk.
Fashion Week organizers rejected the call _ but said they were canceling the event's opening photo call to avoid giving the issue more publicity.

Last week Madrid's Fashion Week, the Pasarela Cibeles, announced it was banning models with a Body Mass Index, or height to weight ratio, below 18.

Organizers of the Spanish event said they wanted models to project "an image of beauty and health" and shun a gaunt, emaciated look.

"I applaud the decision taken by Madrid to ban super-thin models, and urge the organizers of London Fashion Week to do the same," British Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell.

The World Health Organization considers people with a BMI below 18.5 underweight. To achieve a BMI of 18, a 5-foot-9 model would have to weigh about 125 pounds. The average runway model at that height is 115 pounds.

The body mass index is a tool for doctors who study obesity. It is calculated by dividing weight in pounds by height in inches squared, and multiplying that total by 703.

If the resulting number is between 18.5 and 24.9, the person's weight is considered normal. Below 18.5 they are underweight.

"The fashion industry's promotion of beauty as meaning stick thin is damaging to young girls' self image and to their health," Jowell said in a statement.

"Young girls aspire to look like the catwalk models _ when those models are unhealthily underweight it pressurizes girls to starve themselves to look the same."

The British Fashion Council, which runs Fashion Week, said in a statement that it "does not comment or interfere in the aesthetic of any designer's show."

"The BFC has canceled the photo call on Sunday because it is unwilling to add any more impetus to the publicity surrounding this complicated issue," it added,

London Fashion Week opens Monday and runs through Friday.
I think its a good idea. I've watched some of the fashion shows on TV, and some of the models must have eating disorders, and with so many celebrities walking around with skin and bones bodies (Nicole Ritchie, Kate Bosworth, etc), I think its time someone put a stop to it.
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Old 09-16-2006, 06:54 PM   #12
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Stick thin women are pathetic and awful what's that all about?
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Old 09-16-2006, 11:40 PM   #13
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I really don't know how I feel about this. I'm all for being proactive against the whole emaciated/coke addict/eating disorder look.

But on the other hand, when I'm flipping through pages of fashion models in women's magazines, it strikes me that many of the girls have an almost lifeless, androgynous look about them and in a way, I think it helps put the fashion pieces in the spotlight and not the person wearing them. They all basically look like mannequins and don't distract from the designs they're showing. Also, when I watch some shows it seems like the thinner girls have an advantage because they are able to fit into anything made by anyone. At the best fashion shows, they have to be changing outfits in like ten seconds flat! I know with my figure, it would be impossible, even though I consider myself an average size with healthy curves.

I'm happy that something drastic is being done, but I wish that it would have come from within the industry itself. For example, designers cattering to "real" women and not just the mannequin ones.
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Old 09-18-2006, 10:37 AM   #14
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Maybe its just me, but when I look thru mags like Vogue I DO notice the girls FIRST and then pay attention to the clothing. If she looks like a cokehead, I don't care what designer she's wearing I'm already turned off by the ENTIRE image.

I have always been naturally thin, yup even wore size 2. I eat heartily, I just had a great metabolism. I stand at 5'8. As i got older and finally hit 28, I finally started putting on more weight and I"m now at 135 at age 31.

I *could* freak out that I'm not a 2 anymore, but I'm completely happy w/ my image now that I can't imagine going back to being that thin. I think it has ALOT to do w/ self-esteem too. I have never looked at a mag and beat myself up because i don't look like them. As a photographer , I know damn well they do NOT look like that w/ out alot of help
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Old 09-18-2006, 02:59 PM   #15
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Brilliant idea. I'm all about healthy-looking models.

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