France is not ignoring the skinny-model problem, pas de tout. In fact, members of the French Fashion Federation, the National Union of Modeling Agencies, and the French Advertising Standards Authority got together in Paris yesterday to draw up guidelines to promote "body diversity." Basically, they intend to do something about the images of young girls who look extremely thin — as long as it doesn't involve passing any more laws. WWD reports:
According to Didier Grumbach, president of the French Fashion Federation, the charter is intended to educate the public about body image rather than impose regulations. "We will attack anything that encourages excessive weight loss, but the idea is not to create more rules," he said, adding that regarding the fashion industry, France's laws for monitoring health are already extremely protective. "Generally speaking [the charter] is a decision to be extremely careful and fight [negative body image] in any way we can, but no more legislation," he said.
Lawmakers know better. Valerie Boyer, a deputy from France's UMP party, hummed a very different tune yesterday when she called for new legislation that would impose a $50,000 fine on anyone who promotes anorexia (like pro-anorexia bloggers) and put them in prison for two years.
Currently in France, modeling agencies must obtain a license from the government and special authorization for models younger than 16. Girls under 16 are also encouraged to get regular medical checkups. But despite current French law, girls on the catwalks and in fashion magazines over there have remained superthin, so we're skeptical of the effectiveness of any new charters — especially since they're voluntary. Do we really expect Karl Lagerfeld to voluntarily pore over the new charter and cast his next shows and campaigns in compliance with them? Of course not. He's too busy deciding which rings he's going to wear that day.
French Groups Promote Body Diversity [WWD]
Skinny Models Are Out In France As The Fashion Industry Fights Anorexia [All Headline News]