Exploiting the emotional lives of others

04 Apr 2015

Just the other day my wife showed me some photos in a popular young women's magazine of a fashion model. To my eyes, this poor girl bore more than striking resemblance to a concentration camp victim. She was thinner than a rake and had sunken eyes. Yet here she was advertising, for young girls, the latest fashion wear.

My wife was very concerned about the pressure on young women to model their bodies on this kind of 'role model'. No wonder anorexia is a widespread problem.

It infuriates me that major fashion companies will play with the emotional life of millions, just to make themselves rich. Have they no sense of responsibility - or even humanity?

So I was glad to read today that French MPs have approved a law to ban the use of fashion models deemed to be excessively thin. Under the law, models will have to show they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) above a certain level.

Modelling agents that break the rules face fines and six months in jail. Good. It is those who orchestrate this practice who should pay the price.

Up to an estimated 40,000 people suffer from anorexia in France, nine out of 10 of them women and girls.

I hope that other countries will follow the French example. It may not cure the problem, but it might give thousands of young women a better chance of a physically and emotionally healthy life.