Posted by: Nathan | October 3, 2006

Uber-Skinny Model Ban

Spain recently passed a rule that any girl with a Body Mass Index under 18 is not permitted to model in fashion shows, and this has caused a huge fallout all over the fashion industry. Some insiders say that fashion is being unfairly linked to bulemia and anorexia — c’mon! Unfairly linked? You fashionistas have been parading models who more closely resemble toothpicks than women for years.

Major DAP to whoever thought of the idea of banning girls who are too thin from modeling, and more DAP to Spain for carrying it out. I for one am completely sick of women being forced into looking like pool queues to feel sexy. I think the BMI system is also a lot more fair than using only weight as the gauge of health. Yes, fashion industry, Hollywood, and advertisers everywhere, you do have a responsibility to consider the tremendously horrid effect you have on so many young women (and women in general for that matter) all over the world.

Another critique of the ban is that is punishes girls who naturally have BMI’s under 18. Maybe it does. My advice? Have ’em eat two or three of these for a week and then model.

Looks like London and Israel are considering following suit with this idea. Here’s to hoping it changes how women see themselves for the better. Women, don’t starve yourself for any reason, but especially don’t do it to please your peers/men. As a man, I’ll say this: women look much worse when they’re as thin as a string. Eat, drink and be healthy. You’ll feel better, and I guarantee you’ll be more attractive too.

Those of you who are women and still read my humble blog after all the sports-themed posts of late, I welcome your comments especially on this issue as you’re more affected than I am.


  1. I couldn’t agree more. Well said.

  2. Smart move, Madrid! 70% of the models had a BMI over 18; skinny is still in, and most models wouldn’t be affected. I’m surprised that only 30% were considered underweight. Critics have said that the ban is unfair for prepubescent models who would naturally have a lower BMI, but the industry’s penchant for dressing up girls to look like women is part of the cause for the unrealistic ideal body image we have today, and has its own set of issues… So I can’t muster any sympathy for the industry’s complaints. (But then I’m probably biased, as my own BMI places me squarely in the overweight category.)

  3. That’s wonderful I look forward to seeing a fashion show from Spain! I wonder if this will truly spread to many other countries.
    Maybe this is really cynical, but one of the first things I wondered was about was with what people will replace their desire to be “as skinny as the models”. I hope that there will really be a turn for a much healthier outlook (both body and mind), and that something won’t just push in and make women feel bad about something else.
    To all the other women readers out there – remember that you’re beautiful just the way you are. Don’t be taken by the media’s/anyone’s lies.
    Ok, that’s all.

  4. Let me go on record as saying that it’s not MALES who have set the appalling standards for models. I didn’t understand how the fashion industry works, but it’s not driven by real men.

    Look at Victoria’s secret models and the pages of any men’s magazine. Sure those ladies are skinny, but they’ve got curves. I think it takes SOME body mass to bring on the roller coaster of lady lines, doesn’t it?

    I’m going to stop now before I start quoting Sir Mix-a-Lot. Oh what the heck: “when it comes to females,
    Cosmo ain’t got nothin to do with my selection”.

  5. Thanks for the comments, ladies and Jason! JL, you’ve definitely got a point that a BMI over 18 doesn’t mean normal-lookingness; unfortunately, skinny is still inny in fashion. E, I think you’ll end up being prophetic if this turn away from the too thin trend becomes a shift in appearance values in Western Culture. But as Screwtape brilliantly points out in Lewis’ masterpiece, women have been forced from extreme to extreme throughout the history of fashion. Either chubby is the look (cf. The Rennaissance), or it’s skinny (now), or it’s big hips, etc. ad nauseum. Just be yourself and be healthy.

    Jason, couldn’t agree with you more, and our choice of wives reflects that — ridiculously skinny doesn’t hold a candle to curvy. Now that’s all I’m going to say. Good Mix-a-lot quote though.

  6. Item one: It is not just boys who like your sports blogs, fuzzy. Don’t forget to tip your hat to the longer-haired sports lovers. And I don’t mean hippies.

    Item two: What the spam does DAP mean? You get a blog and go all techno-lexi-verba-metry on me.

    Item three: I still think you should have stayed at Augsburg for the sole reason of taking Larry’s CS Lewis course. I don’t think anyone could have enjoyed it more.

  7. I don’t know who you are Ms. “The C”, but I have to say I like your style. First of all, you called someone “fuzzy”. Secondly, you see the value in a course about CS Lewis (too many Christians THINK they know a lot about him, but in fact don’t know diddly). And most importantly, you say “what the spam”. I am liking this using “spam” as a curse word. I’m not ashamed to let you know, I plan to use it in that general context regularly now. Many, many thanks to you.

    Oh, and just for the record; DAP means “digital audio player”. That’s not the context that Fuzzy uses it in, but what do you expect from the guy who coined “squi”?

  8. Whoah, careful there, Jason. We all know squi will take the world by storm; it’s only a matter of time. Just you wait till I get tenure somewhere!!

    As for “DAP,” I guess it’s slang for giving someone kudos, praise, or congratulations. I have know idea what its orgins are; I picked it up from my boy Michael Wilbon on ESPN’s tremendous show PTI.

    Yeah, that Lewis course, Prof. Larry, and you, C, were the things I missed most after leaving Augsburg. And I didn’t know you were a sports fan, unless you’re not and you’re merely speaking on behalf of the female sports fans around the globe. Either way, DAP to you for speaking up. Basically, those little side comments about my blog being too sports-oriented comes from my inner ambitions to make the subject matter of Ahab’s Quest diverse.

  9. Oh, that anonymous was me, Nathan.

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