Kit Steinkellner
June 06, 2015 1:11 pm

In April, the French Parliament put a law into effect banning underweight models from fashion jobs. Now, in France, a model must present proof of her body mass index when up for a gig, and her BMI must be 18 or above if she is to be hired. If employers fail to adhere to this new law, consequences can include fines up to $82,000 and as well as a potential six months of jail time for the individual(s) responsible for hiring a dangerously thin model.

That law just got tested, as the International Business Times reports, with an Yves Saint Laurent ad that the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority has deemed  “irresponsible” for its use of an “unhealthily underweight” model in an advertisement that ran in Elle UK.

The ASA took the ad to task on a few counts- the model’s visible and prominent ribcage, the fact that her knees and thighs appear to be a similar width, and that the lighting and the model’s positioning serve to emphasize her extreme thinness.

YSL responded to the ASA’s complaint, expressing that they did not believe their model was “unhealthily thin,” while Elle chose not to comment.

We’re glad that country’s like France and Israel have laws in place now forbidding the use of underweight models and that there are groups like the ASA vigilantly watchdog-ing to ensure these laws are enforced. The fashion industry needs to understand the enormous role it plays in the world of body image, and it needs to use its power responsibly and not glamorize unhealthy and dangerous lifestyles.

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