It seems there has been a shift recently away from that "heroin chic" thin look. Dove did the ad campaign with real women in it and I was impressed by their willingness to step outside traditional definitions of beauty.
Madrid fashion show snubs skinny models
September 10, 2006
BY DANIEL WOOLLS
MADRID, Spain -- Spain's top fashion show has turned away a slew of models on grounds they are too skinny -- an unprecedented swipe at body images blamed for encouraging eating disorders among young people.
Organizers of the pageant, known as the Pasarela Cibeles, used a mathematical formula to calculate the models' body mass index -- a measure of their weight in relation to their height -- and 30 percent of the women flunked, said the Association of Fashion Designers of Spain.
The association said Friday it wanted models at the show running Sept. 18 to 22 to project ''an image of beauty and health'' and shun a gaunt, emaciated look.
The decision was made as part of a voluntary agreement with the Madrid regional government, said Jesus del Pozo, a designer who is part of the association.
Last year's show, also called Madrid Fashion Week, drew protests from medical associations and women's groups because some of the models were bone-thin.
Promoting healthy images for young girls
This time, the Madrid regional government decided to intervene and pressure organizers to hire women who could be positive role models for girls obsessed with being thin and prone to starving themselves, said Concha Guerra, deputy finance minister of the regional administration.
Fashion shows, Guerra said, ''are mirrors for many young women.''
Del Pozo said this was the first time skinny models have been snubbed at a major international fashion show.
Ryan Brown, director of marketing and public relations in North America for the Elite modeling agency in New York City, agreed. ''It is very unprecedented,'' said Brown, who has nothing to do with the Spanish show.
He welcomed the decision, saying, ''I think it is great to promote health.''
Madrid's show, which features mainly Spanish designers, is not as prestigious as catwalks in Paris or Milan, but ''it is not at the bottom of the pile,'' he said.
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Madrid bans waifs from catwalks
Madrid fashion week, one of Spain's most prestigious shows, is banning underweight models on the basis of their body mass index (BMI).
UN health experts recommend a BMI of between 18.5 and about 25, and some models may fall well below the minimum.
The Spanish Association of Fashion Designers has decided to ban models who have a BMI of less than 18.
Unhealthily skinny models at last year's fashion shows led to protests from doctors and women's rights groups.
The association agreed to use the BMI - a calculation based on height and weight - in response to local government pressure.
It suggests that 30% of would-be participants fail this test and this year's fashion week, which begins on 18 September, will offer medical treatment to excessively thin models.
"The restrictions could be quite a shock to the fashion world at the beginning but I'm sure it's important as far as health is concerned," Leonor Perez Pita, director of the Madrid fashion show, was quoted as saying by Reuters news agency.
Madrid's local government says it wants to set a more positive, healthy image of beauty for teenagers to follow.
"Fashion is a mirror and many teenagers imitate what they see on the catwalk," said regional official Concha Guerra.
Spain's Anorexia and Bulimia Association says if designers refuse to follow these voluntary restrictions the government should legislate to ban thin models.
However, some sections of the fashion world have expressed outrage at the idea of weight restrictions.
Cathy Gould, of New York's Elite modelling agency, said the fashion industry was being used as a scapegoat for weight-related illnesses.
"I understand they want to set this tone of healthy beautiful women but what about discrimination against the model and what about the freedom of the designer?" she asked, adding that the careers of naturally "gazelle-like" models could be damaged.
Madrid bans too-thin models from catwalk
MADRID (AFP) - Excessively skinny fashion models will be barred from a major Madrid fashion show later this month for fear they could send the wrong message to young Spanish girls, local media reported.
Madrid's regional government, which is co-financing the Pasarela Cibeles, has vetoed around a third of the models who took part in last year's show because they weigh too little.
The authorities collaborated with a Spanish health organisation to come up with a minumum body mass -- a height-weight ratio -- of 18 for the models.
Spanish daily ABC said it was the first time such restrictions had been imposed on a fashion show, although a recent wedding dress exhibition in Barcelona banned fashion models who took a dress size below 38 (British size 10, US size eight).
Several models at last year's show provoked a row when they claimed their careers would be under threat if they put on weight.
Organisers said they wanted to "help ensure public opinion does not associate fashion, and fashion shows in particular, with an increase in anorexia, a disease which, along with bulimia, is considered ... as a mental and behavioural problem".
The event will take place on September 18-22.