New British Agency Bans Size 0 Models

These girls are not "size 0": from left, Silvia Peretzki, Myriam Wiedemann, and Selena Breed. Photo: Courtesy of Quintessentially Models

We've known for a long time that in order for the number of frighteningly thin models on runways and in magazines to diminish, someone would actually have to do something rather than just talk about it. It would have been awesome if that person were, say, Marc Jacobs, but we'll settle for Camille Parker Bowles's nephew Ben Elliot. He's just launched a modeling agency in the U.K. called Quintessentially Models which doesn't sign any "size 0" girls. It's also working with the Beat, an eating-disorder charity in the U.K., to help raise awareness of eating disorders. Style.com reports three of the agency's models have signed contracts with Lancôme, Olay, and Nivea. So, woo-hoo, girl power, rah-rah, etc! Right?

Well, let's put things in perspective: These are commercial companies rather than the high-fashion labels that employ the scary-thin girls. After all, not many people complain that the girl in the Nivea commercial looks like she's dying, right? Which makes sense because you don't really want to buy skin cream from someone who isn't radiant and full-cheeked.

We checked out to see if the models really appear healthy on the Quintessentially Models Website, and though they don't look shockingly thin, they're still very thin. Many have 24-inch waists and 34- or 35-inch hips, which is not much different from the girls at any other agency. However, Quintessentially kindly lists the models' body mass indexes, which at an average of 18 are about half a point under the definition of "healthy." So maybe they're not a "size 0" — whatever that means anyway — but they're a size 1 or 2. However, if baby steps are all we've got, we'll take 'em. Here's hoping these girls book Prada.

All Bod Cons [Style.com]