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Learning English - Words in the News
13 September, 2006 - Published 13:11 GMT
Skinny models

One of Spain's most prestigious fashion shows has agreed to ban overly skinny models from taking part. The organisers of Madrid Fashion Week are using the Body Mass Index - a calculation based on height and weight - to reject models that are too thin. This report from Danny Wood:

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The Spanish fashion industry is taking a stand against waif thin models. Madrid Fashion Week may not be equal to the catwalks of Paris or New York, but organisers are turning away women they say are too underweight. Last year's fashion parade led to protests from medical associations and women's rights groups, who complained that the participants were unhealthily skinny.

In response to pressure from the local government, the Association of Fashion Designers has agreed to use a calculation known as the Body Mass Index, based on weight and height to reject excessively thin models from this year's show. The World Health Organisation says a person's BMI should be between eighteen-and-a-half and about twenty-five. Organisers of Madrid Fashion Week have decided to ban underweight models who have a BMI of less than eighteen.

The Association of Fashion Designers says thirty per cent of would be participants fail this test, including Spanish top model, Esther Canadas, who reportedly has a BMI of fourteen. At this year's fashion week, models as thin as Esther Canadas will be offered medical treatment. Madrid's local government says it wants to set a more positive, healthy image of beauty for teenagers to follow. Spain's Anorexia and Bulimia Association says if designers refuse to follow these voluntary restrictions the government should legislate to ban thin models.

Danny Wood, BBC News, Spain

Listen to the words

taking a stand against
openly opposing

neglected, as if not having enough food or care; here, thin and delicate like a model

narrow stages that models walk along in fashion shows

turning away
not allowing to participate

unhealthily skinny
too thin to be healthy or fit

to reject excessively thin models
not to accept models who are too slim

would be participants
those who would like to take part

according to what is said

to set
to establish, to cause to exist

legislate to ban
adopt a law not allowing

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