Another Fashion Week, another scandal for an industry in crisis. In Milan, where underweight models now have to produce medical certificates, an advert has been banned from billboards for "commercially exploiting" anorexia. The controversy over the provocative Nolita ad, which features a severely anorexic woman alongside the caption No Anorexia, has provoked further debate over the use of super-skinny models for whatever purpose.
© Philippe O'Reilly (Barbara Bui catwalk, winter 2007)
How thin is too thin? Last year in Madrid, Spanish authorities took a ground-breaking stand by banning models with a BMI under 18 from the catwalk. And after several high-profile deaths, including that of tragic Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston, who died of anorexia aged 21 weighing just six stone, the industry is under increasing pressure to act.
After refusing to set a standard in September, London Fashion Week is now being urged to ban the superthin. Amid calls for mandatory health checks, minimum weight requirements, drug testing and blanket bans on medically underweight, under-16 and size zero models, it's not just the fashion industry that's talking about the plague of eating disorders. Politicians and celebs are all quick to have their say...but what do you think?
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