[Israel Takes a Stand to Promote a Healthy Body Image]


Go ahead…click it, watch it.

This week, Israel took a big step…a step that is really against the grain of the fashion industry, but they did it to protect their girls.  According to Reuters, “The law, passed late on Monday, says women and men cannot be hired for modeling jobs unless a doctor stipulates they are not underweight, with a body mass index (BMI) — a measure expressing a ratio of weight to height — of no less than 18.5.”  According to the World Health Organization, anything below 18.5 is considered underweight and indicates malnutrition…and many argue anorexia.  Another favorite facet to this new law is that advertisements need to disclaim if there has been significant Photoshop manipulation to an image.

“Beautiful should not be anorexia.” -Legislator Rachel Adato

I absolutely agree with the law and applaud them for standing up for something that is being so overlooked in many societies.  The impossible standards set forth by the fashion industry are driving so many girls to the extreme…a deadly extreme.

I’ve heard some argue that this new law may discriminate against naturally thin women; however, I believe they have the BMI set low enough to avoid that.  I’m going to let it all out of the bag here girls…I’m 5’6” and 140 pounds.   For fun, I calculated my BMI and found I’m a 22.6…happily right within the normal BMI zone.   I also calculated how low my weight could be in order to still be able to model in Israel with the new BMI restriction…I could technically be 115 pounds and they would still allow me to model.  Y’all, that means if I weighed 25 pounds LESS, I could still fit within the 18.5 BMI requirement.  Umm, have you seen my picture…I couldn’t (and wouldn’t want to) lose 25 pounds if tried!  5’6” and 115 pounds…seriously?!   And even if I was 5’6” and 115 pounds, under the new law, if I was looking too underweight in an image, they couldn’t use the image (ex: the image of the girl in the video with her ribs showing…yikes).  I know everyone has their own build; I know there are many healthy girls that are my height, yet weigh less than me.  But I can also tell you that anyone of my height and being any less than 115 pounds would look horribly underweight, no matter what their build was!   So no, I don’t think it will discriminate against naturally thin woman…bottom line, they need to have a healthy BMI indicator.  However, it will keep the ultra thin models out of the advertisements…and hopefully save some lives in the process.    You can calculate your BMI here!

It makes me happy that Israeli lawmakers are taking the steps to focus on healthy images of men and women in their media in order to promote a positive body image.   One problem Israel will face is the selling of American magazines in their country; the law does not apply to foreign publications sold within their country.  The U.S. is a major player in the fashion world and our media messages transcend more borders than possibly any other country.   American magazines are riddled with underweight models and many do not sell the ideal of a healthy individual.  This makes me feel America needs to make a change as well, arguably more than Israel, if we are distributing an unhealthy message to not only our own girls, but to girls around the world.

At a local gym in Monterey, outside they have a banner waving proudly that says, “Healthy is the new skinny!”  I love it!  YES, healthy should be the new skinny…and I believe Israel has figured that out!

What do you think of the new law?!  Would you be supportive of a similar law here in the United States?

Love YOUR Version of Beautiful,


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