Each year in Europe and New York, hundreds of stick-figure models strut their stuff on the runways to display the hottest styles from the most popular designers for fashion weeks.
Last year, the Council for Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) announced several new requirements that today’s models must obey in order to continue in the business. Because of the young, sickly thin, and undereducated models that prowl the catwalk today, the CFDA has set new age, education, health, and body mass index (BMI) regulations.
Let’s be real, models are not the most intelligent people around. When an 18-year-old high school graduate moves to New York under a contract with Elite Modeling Co., that’s perfectly acceptable. But it isn’t passable when a 14-year-old drops out of junior-high school to pursue her dream career. Being a model doesn’t require any amount of brilliancy.
It isn’t difficult to walk down a strip of cement in front of a large crowd, while wearing expensive clothing; people do that everyday in the city. But a child not making it to high school because she wants to see her face in Teen Vogue is pathetic. When their contracts are deceased, so is their life.
The CFDA obviously realized that kids were throwing their lives away because they were abnormally tall and had a pretty face, so they promised to ensure that nobody under the age of 16 would walk the runway during fashion weeks.
In order to improve the health of the models, all have a given number of hours that they are allowed to work. They also have to maintain a healthy diet and bring nutritious snacks backstage. Who is going to ensure that the models actually eat these healthy snacks? Even if they do eat, who’s to say that the food remains in their system?
The only legit way to ensure that models are following the above guidelines is by regularly checking their Body Mass Index percentage. BMI measures a person’s fat percentage and by simply inputting a person’s weight and height, the test will calculate their BMI and show whether the person is underweight, average, or overweight. Any woman with a BMI under 17.5 is considered to have an eating disorder.
So many models are unknowingly killing themselves. Unaware of the danger that subsides in their chosen career, they simply fall into society’s image of a model; super slim no longer cuts it; every bone in a models body must be protruding in order for them to be acceptably skinny. Just last year, a model named Ana Carolina Reston lost her life in a desperate attempt to stay skinny. Surviving from tomatoes, Reston died weighing only 88 pounds.
Every tiny model has the same excuse, “I’m naturally thin.” If that’s the case, then why do former nationally known models such as Heidi Klum and Tyra Banks now weigh about forty pounds more than their ‘natural’ weight was three years ago?
The CFDA has set the rules, and now it’s up to the designers, model companies and models themselves to abide by them.
If the modeling industry continues to turn their back on this unhealthy lifestyle, then the industry will be to blame for the deaths of today’s models.