Can the Government Ban Images of Thin Models?

Too Thin
Photo: Getty Images
How thin is too thin?

The attempt to regulate the health of models in the fashion industry has proven difficult—you can try to enforce age limits, prohibit excessive Photoshopping, and speak openly about body image issues, but the size and shape of most models on runways and in magazine pages remains the same: thin.

In the U.K., however, after a study found that eating disorders can be linked to social and cultural influences, some are suggesting that a ban of images of too-thin models might be in order, the Telegraph reports.

London School of Economics economist Dr. Joan Costa-Font and Professor Mireia Jofre-Bonet wrote in a recent paper, "Government intervention would be justified to curb the spread of a potential epidemic of food disorders.

"The distorted self-perception of women with food disorders and the importance of the peer effects may prompt governments to take action to influence role models and compensate for social pressure on women."

Translation? The government’s “[Influencing] role models” could mean that those deemed unworthy role models—that is, models who are unhealthily thin—could be banned from appearing in magazines.

It remains to be seen whether such legislation can and will go into effect, but it's certainly a stronger stand against the issue than we've seen in a while.

What say you: is this a positive step in the right direction, or a tricky attempt to regulate a definite gray area?