Fri Sep 8, 10:30 AM ET
MADRID (AFP) - Excessively skinny fashion models will be barred from a major Madrid fashion show later this month for fear they could send the wrong message to young Spanish girls, local media reported.
Madrid's regional government, which is co-financing the Pasarela Cibeles, has vetoed around a third of the models who took part in last year's show because they weigh too little.
The authorities collaborated with a Spanish health organisation to come up with a minumum body mass -- a height-weight ratio -- of 18 for the models.
Spanish daily ABC said it was the first time such restrictions had been imposed on a fashion show, although a recent wedding dress exhibition in Barcelona banned fashion models who took a dress size below 38 (British size 10, US size eight).
Several models at last year's show provoked a row when they claimed their careers would be under threat if they put on weight.
Organisers said they wanted to "help ensure public opinion does not associate fashion, and fashion shows in particular, with an increase in anorexia, a disease which, along with bulimia, is considered ... as a mental and behavioural problem".
The event will take place on September 18-22.
I think this article is a very accurate representation of reality. It shows how women are portrayed based on the idea of absolute flawlessness, and how this has dire impacts on the youth of our generation. They create extremely unrealistic portrayals of emancipated, beautiful, young women and expose them on television and other media only to reinforce the idea that "thin is in". It almost becomes a socially agreed definition of beauty, which can prove to be extremely harmful according to the social cognitive theory that shows how people actually learn by modelling the behavior of others. Through the process of imitation and identification, young girls aspire to be as thin as these models - even subconsciously - because at times they are not even aware of it. This leads them to develop unhealthy mental behaviors; they end up starving themselves to deprivation to achieve the kind of look they think will be accepted by their society.
I am glad that the Madrid regional government has taken at least a few steps to ban such unrealistic portrayals of women, for the television medium has long been attributed as the major cause for anorexia and bulimia. Perhaps these images of women being stick-thin and strutting on the walkway will be eradicated, and young girls will come to terms with their natural figure and accept themselves the way they are. The socially agreed-upon meaning of "beauty" would then take on a more realistic definition: of women who have come to terms with reality; of women who are healthier and meatier with curves.