UnNews:Harvard: Ban scrawny models

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Harvard: Ban scrawny models

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30 December 2015

Paris thin

Paris-thin models show the thin line between fashion and looking like you need aid from Bono or Geldof.

CAMBRIDGE, Massachusetts -- Medical experts at Harvard University warned that runway models have become so thin and weak that most are being pushed, semi-conscious, up and down the catwalk on an old sack barrow. The issue was highlighted by a new bill in France specifying a minimum body mass index (BMI) before a model is allowed to work.

According to two Harvard researchers, models are also dying of starvation-related complications, such as breathing stopping due to insufficient food intake. The researchers say France's new legislation should be a wake-up call to the fashion industry. Harvard's School of Public Health also said the average runway model's BMI is now typically below the World Health Organization's threshold for iguanas.

Former Australian Vogue Editor-in-Chief Kirstie Clements told Today: "Body mass index (BMI) is an imperfect measure of health, a bit like saying: “she’s fine, I mean look, there’s no blood in her vomit". Suggesting mannequins on trolleys displaying Seasonal Collections is just as effective and more attractive — both physically and morally — is awful. No girl that has taken herself to the very brink of death to look good is going to feel okay about being replaced by a voluptuous piece of flesh-coloured rubber. Being “evaluated” by a medical professional through BMI, making comparisons of her weight, age and body shape is commodifying women in quite a revolting way.”

Clements added that given the public opinion radar is now pointing at starvation in the modelling industry and its health implications, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration should just set a minimum weight for a model to 100 pounds, thus circumventing the shortfalls of BMI. The fashion guru went on to explain that a very tall woman of 5'9" would just die, so there is no point in them becoming a model, and those below 3’4’’ will be about normal, so they could not become a model.

Clements went on to explain her concept further: “Should the model fall below 100 pounds, we beef them up a bit with rice or oats until they meet the minimum weight requirement. This would also give the model just enough in the tank to self-propel for a few minutes.”

The fashion guru's comments have sparked fury among the "fuller" celebrities. Opera Winfrey said: "It's not enough that I need to stitch eight dresses together for the award ceremonies, now they get fed for free and pushed about by a man in dungarees." In the UK, the ex-Emmerdale and Strictly Come Dancing star, Lisa Riley said: "Eee, there's not much meat on 'er."

The Harvard researchers concluded that a health and safety, as well as financial perspective, carting a live model on a sack barrow is far more risky and expensive than using a shop mannequin, or indeed just a glittered-up pole on casters.

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