Five years after passing legislation to stamp out the fashion industry’s employment of unhealthy models, Israel lawmakers are pushing to tighten the nation’s existing ban, per Reuters, “amid concern that the measures are being routinely flouted even as they are adopted abroad.” New discussion calls into question the efficacy of the existing law, which not only requires that models must have a body-mass index of at least 18.5 and that advertisers explicitly to identify imagery that has been digitally modified to make models appear thinner.
While the law in Israeli – which came after the 2006 passage of model-specific legislation in Spain, the first of its kind in the world – has been hugely influential over time, leading to the passage of similar laws in Milan, guidelines imposed by trade unions in the U.S. and a charter adopted by LVMH and Kering, the two most influential fashion conglomerates in France, it has not been without its deficiencies.
Of primary concern amongst Israeli lawmakers is that the existing legislation lacks any significant penalties for those parties that run afoul of the law. Unlike a similar law, which was passed in France last year and could cost rule-breakers a fine of up to $44,000 for failing to label photoshopped imagery or employing models that do not possess a medical certificate certifying that their they are in good enough health to work, the Israeli does not impose fines and/or jail time for those who fail to comply.
According to Reuters, “Israeli lawmaker Nurit Koran, with the backing of 42 other members of the Knesset, the country’s parliament, has now prepared a draft bill she hopes will rectify the shortcomings.” She further stated, “The fashion industry needs to know (it can no longer ignore the law).”
Among Koran’s proposed changes to the legislation: The ability of authorities to levy monetary penalties upon modeling agencies and industry entities that opt not the abide by the law. The amount of such fines in not known at this time.