A modeling revolution?

Models in Israel must have a healthy body mass index (or BMI, a measure of weight proportionate to height) to be hired for a modeling job.

A new law passed on Monday requires that male and female models in Israel must have a BMI of no less than 18.5, which is a standard used by the World Health Organization.  Or they must obtain a note from a doctor saying they are not underweight before they can be hired for a modeling job.

Models who “look underweight” will not be allowed under the new legislation.  Also, advertisers must disclose whether they have altered images to make models look slimmer using graphic programs like Photoshop.

Israeli lawmakers are hoping that the legislation will help encourage a healthier body image.

What do you think? Is this extreme or necessary?



Maria Lianos-Carbone is the author of “Oh Baby! A Mom’s Self-Care Survival Guide for the First Year”, and publisher of amotherworld.com, a leading lifestyle blog for women.


  1. I remember all the hooplah a few years ago when a famous model actually died from anorexia. Everyone decided that they would create industry standards however, some designers refused to comply. I for one am glad that they passed this law.

    Models have gotten thinner and thinner over the deacdes. Int eh 1980s it was teh athletic model adn that was good. However, after that movement there was heroin chic, and pushing women to be a size 2. Women are supposed to have breasts and his and after childbirth a little pooch too.

    Young girls have a hard enough time with body image without having to see unreal expectations on every magazine cover. I like that Israel also made it a crime to airbrush covers to make models look thinner than they are too. Having worked in the magazine industry for a short time, they take unreal liberties with reality. Eating disorders are rampant and it is about time that someone actually stepped forward and took some control away from those who obviously don’t care a whit about their effect on culture and the young.

    • We’ve seen a few changes in the past few years in the industry but it’s been a slow process. Hopefully with this latest news, it will push other countries to follow. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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