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Old 04-16-2008, 10:20 AM   #1
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France May Make It Illegal To Promote Extreme Thinness

France may make it illegal to promote extreme thinness

By DEVORAH LAUTER, Associated Press WriterTue Apr 15

The French parliament's lower house adopted a groundbreaking bill Tuesday that would make it illegal for anyone — including fashion magazines, advertisers and Web sites — to publicly incite extreme thinness.

The National Assembly approved the bill in a series of votes Tuesday, after the legislation won unanimous support from the ruling conservative UMP party. It goes to the Senate in the coming weeks.

Fashion industry experts said that, if passed, the law would be the strongest of its kind anywhere. Leaders in French couture are opposed to the idea of legal boundaries on beauty standards.

The bill was the latest and strongest of measures proposed after the 2006 anorexia-linked death of a Brazilian model prompted efforts throughout the international fashion industry to address the repercussions of using ultra-thin models.

Conservative lawmaker Valery Boyer, author of the law, argued that encouraging anorexia or severe weight loss should be punishable in court.

Doctors and psychologists treating patients with anorexia nervosa — a disorder characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming overweight — welcomed the government's efforts to fight self-inflicted starvation, but warned that its link with media images remains hazy.

French lawmakers and fashion industry members signed a nonbinding charter last week on promoting healthier body images. Spain in 2007 banned ultra-thin models from catwalks.

But Boyer said such measures did not go far enough.

Her bill has mainly brought focus to pro-anorexic Web sites that give advice on how to eat an apple a day — and nothing else.

But Boyer insisted in her speech to lawmakers Tuesday that the legislation was much broader and could, in theory, be used against many facets of the fashion industry.

It would give judges the power to imprison and fine offenders up to $47,000 if found guilty of "inciting others to deprive themselves of food" to an "excessive" degree, Boyer said in a telephone interview before the parliamentary session.

Judges could also sanction those responsible for a magazine photo of a model whose "excessive thinness ... altered her health," she said.

Boyer said she was focusing on women's health, though the bill applies to models of both sexes. The French Health Ministry says most of the 30,000 to 40,000 people with anorexia in France are women.

Didier Grumbach, president of the influential French Federation of Couture, said he was not aware how broad the proposed legislation was, and made no secret of his strong disapproval of such a sweeping measure.

"Never will we accept in our profession that a judge decides if a young girl is skinny or not skinny," he said. "That doesn't exist in the world, and it will certainly not exist in France."

Marleen S. Williams, a psychology professor at Brigham Young University in Utah who researches the media's effect on anorexic women, said it was nearly impossible to prove that the media causes eating disorders.

Williams said studies show fewer eating disorders in "cultures that value full-bodied women." Yet with the new French legal initiative, she fears, "you're putting your finger in one hole in the dike, but there are other holes, and it's much more complex than that."
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Old 04-18-2008, 08:50 PM   #2
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"The French parliament's lower house adopted a groundbreaking bill Tuesday that would make it illegal for anyone — including fashion magazines, advertisers and Web sites — to publicly incite extreme thinness."


Don't you just love a goverment that represses freedom.

Briget Bardoe, the French actress (not sure I spelled her name correctly) recently appeared in a French court and fined (for the fourth time) for breaking France's "Hate Speech Law."

Don't you just love a government that fines its citizens for expressing their opinions.


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Old 04-18-2008, 09:33 PM   #3
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It works fine here, I disagree in principle and as far as extreme thinness goes I let biology decide and go for hourglass.
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:50 PM   #4
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It works fine here, I disagree in principle and as far as extreme thinness goes I let biology decide and go for hourglass.

"It works fine here,"



What do you mean?

Laws against certain types of speech?
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Old 04-19-2008, 07:18 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally posted by the iron horse
"The French parliament's lower house adopted a groundbreaking bill Tuesday that would make it illegal for anyone — including fashion magazines, advertisers and Web sites — to publicly incite extreme thinness."


Don't you just love a goverment that represses freedom.

Briget Bardoe, the French actress (not sure I spelled her name correctly) recently appeared in a French court and fined (for the fourth time) for breaking France's "Hate Speech Law."

Don't you just love a government that fines its citizens for expressing their opinions.


The Brave New World is a Happy Place
I guess you don't ever have really read up about the reasons for hate speech laws in European countries, have you? It's pretty much rooted in the experiences made in the first half of the 20th century and somewhat of a legacy of that time.
Only very few here in Europe see that as such a dire repression of our free speech.

Of course there are legitimate arguments why even that kind of speech should be legal, and probably the most prominent was even brought up by the Vice-President of the Council of Jews in Germany, that with allowing everyone to spew the crap he wants you not only can expose those nuts, but it also is easier to refute their "arguments" and show how ridiculously stupid and insane they are. He echoed the concern that by silencing them it becomes easier for them to recruit as they are encouraged to disguise their speech and uphold the argument of being the oppressed folks that cannot speak their minds.

I'm inclined to agree with him here, and besides for wanting those idiots to be fined or jailed if they once again released too much hot air (which in times of global warming really is unnecessary) I also see this barring the risk of giving them too much of attention and a too prominent platform.

But nevertheless, laws limiting speech that is hateful and intolerant have their deep roots in our collective history which you might want to consider the next time you start lamenting our oppressive regimes.

Furthermore, I'm sorry, but I would say it goes over the top to mourn the freedom that has been taken so violently by the French government to promote anorexia.

Freedom, yes, but with that as with so many other topics, there is not only black and white.
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Old 04-20-2008, 03:37 PM   #6
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I've very much respected the French for staying out of the genocide in Iraq. But after reading this I must say I don't respect them as much as I did 5 minutes ago.
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by the iron horse



"It works fine here,"



What do you mean?

Laws against certain types of speech?
My own mind is a place.
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:05 PM   #8
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Originally posted by the iron horse
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Is the Unrestricted Free Market a Happy Place?
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:12 PM   #9
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Originally posted by financeguy


Is the Unrestricted Free Market a Happy Place?
Yes.

All the proponents of it are happily in line getting government handouts as we speak.
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