Do you have a BMI of less than 18? Chances are great you can no longer work in France as a model.

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That’s what the French Health Minister Marisol Touraine announced this Monday . 


It’s important for fashion models to say that they need to eat well and take care of their health, especially for young women who look to the models as an aesthetic ideal.

By banning thin models from the catwalks, campaigns and magazines by law, the Minister hopes that the number of French people struggling with the eating disorder anorexia decreases. Currently 30,000 to 40,000 French people suffer from the disease.

Image: T. A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images

BMI-ban for models

If the law passes, you must provide a certificate to your French modeling agency that shows that your BMI is at least 18. You must also be able to demonstrate that you are at least 18 years old.

Bill for your agency or client

If you work without the proper certification, your modeling agency or the client that you booked risks a € 75.000, – bill and up to six months imprisonment.


To date, the law has not officially passed yet. Updates on whether or not to take the law passes will be added to this article.

Mu opinion

Protection of models

In general, for an adult a BMI below 18 is not healthy. In that case, such a law is a good way to protect models in terms of health. It is easy to (consciously or unconsciously) fraud with BMI-certification though. Without going into details: I know all about it. 

An occasional job should be okay

Prohibit under-aged models to work is, in my view, exaggerated. I think a younger model is able to occasionally work, whether or not accompanied by a parent. What’s the demur of letting a 16 year old girl that gets good results at school, model every now and then after school?

Anorexia caused by models?

Finally, I certainly agree that (too thin) models in the media have a social impact on young women (and please do not forget about men and older women). An important question is though: is anorexia caused by looking at thin models? No. But it càn be a trigger when someone is susceptible to anorexia. Thin models in the media are certainly a factor that may play a role in the development of anorexia, but absolutely no direct cause. A ban is very unfair for healthy models with a BMI of -18. Perhaps labeling models’ pictures is an option?


What do you think of this law? Will it solve the anorexia problem in France? Do you think that boys and girls under the age of 18 should not be allowed to do modeling? And do you think the BMI-ban is useful to protect models?
Copyright featured image: AP Photo/Ariel Schalit


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About Author

Hey! I'm Angela; a 30-something mommy and a now REAL #fitchick, digi nerd, photo & film shooter hobbyist, MSc specialized in Health Education, marketingspecialist and an international fashion model for 20 years. I've worked for eg. Viktor & Rolf, Nivea, Escada, Elle, Vogue and Glamour.

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