France passes bill banning 'excessively thin' models

Unidentified model poses for a photographer backstage before Basso and Brooke"s Autumn/winter show at London Fashion Week Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Models must now provide a doctor's note when applying for jobs

French MPs have adopted a bill aimed at banning the use of fashion models deemed to be "excessively thin".

Models will need a doctor's certificate that their health is "compatible with the practise of the profession".

Employers who break the law could face up to six months in jail and a €75,000 fine (£54,000, $81,000).

A previous version of the bill had suggested a minimum Body Mass Index (BMI) for models, prompting protests from modelling agencies in France.

But the final draft approved on Thursday allows doctors to decide whether a model is too thin by taking into account their weight, age, and body shape.

It also says that digitally altered images making a model's silhouette "narrower or wider" should be labelled "touched up".

France is not the first country to legislate on underweight models - Italy, Spain and Israel have all done so.

Anorexia affects between 30,000 to 40,000 people in France, 90% of whom are women.

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