Like England before them, Israel is making inroads to ban insidious photoshopping. Along the way, they’ve apparently made the first attempt to regulate the use of excessively thin models by government legislation. On Monday night, Israel passed a surprising new law that will not only require any advertisement published for the Israeli market to clearly disclose the use of digital manipulation to make subjects appear thinner… it will also hold models to minimum weight standards.
While the CFDA has an extremely toothless set of “guidelines” in place and other fashion capitals expect the industry to self-regulate (it won’t), Israel will soon require models to prove that their Body Mass Index (BMI) is higher than the World Health Organization’s indication of malnourishment: 18.5. They’ll need to do so by producing a medical report, no older than three months, at all shoots to be used in the Israeli market. The law won’t apply to foreign publications that are sold in Israel.
Israel has a very small group of working models–about 300, according to The Telegraph–the most famous of whom is Bar Refaeli up there. It’s a tiny market, compared to the thousands that work in New York, Paris, Milan, etc.
Although we think BMI is a dubious measure of health and wellness, we do think this represents positive change in a hugely fucked-up industry. Moreover, if that fucked-up industry can change, it’ll have an impact outside itself: people, after all, are overwhelmingly influenced by standard of beauty depicted in advertisements.