It’s the talk of the fashion industry: The country of Israel is the first to ban super thin models and require a disclaimer when fashion photos are digitally manipulated.
“Wow, that’s a big stand to take,” said Kit Garrett the owner of Portland’s Option Model Management, “I do admire their courage.”
An Israeli photographer is behind the ban. He held one of his models in his arms as she died of anorexia.
“A child looks at the TV and they want to be skinny just because they see skinny girls,” explained Adi Barkan.
He pressed politicians to make it illegal for women to model if their body mass index is less than 18.5. That would be a weight less than 118 pounds for someone 5-foot-7.
Could the change eventually take hold in the United States? Kit Garrett doesn’t think so.
“When you establish a norm, it’s difficult to change. Clothes look better on a woman who is taller and thinner,” she said.
The Israeli law also requires advertisers to identify images that have been digitally manipulated with a clear written statement saying, "The pictures you are seeing are photoshopped."
“We put disclaimers on everything in our society from alcohol to cigarettes, ” Garrett said. ”People should know things aren’t always as they seem. We beauty them up to make them more appealing for sales."
The Israelis behind the ban plan to fly to New York in April to lobby the U.S. fashion industry to make a change.
Garrett doesn’t expect any new laws, but she adds there has been some improvement since the 1990s, with more awareness about anorexia within the American fashion industry.