Recently, French government approved a bill to restrict skinny women from working as a fashion model.
Vogue: France Passes Model Health Law
In this new legislation, models have to pass a health check by a doctor to certificate their fitness to work. Employers hiring models who are too slim to survive the work will be liable to a fine, or deserve to an incarceration. In some countries, similar legislation has been established.
SCMP.com: Models in France can’t work without doctor’s note to say they’re healthy under new law
This legislation aimed at reducing patients suffering from eating disorders. Not only in France, but also in many other countries, skinny ladies tend to be approved. The fashion industry is eager to adopt slim ladies as a model, and forces the candidate to lose their weight. Both models and consumers are involved in an endless competition of shape-up. As a result, many women become to refuse to take enough calories.
Eating disorder is one of the particular mental disorders relevant to modern culture. Most of the patients are women. Its mortality is higher than cancers at the early state. Models, actresses, and other professional women are considered to be at high risk.
My past entry: Controversies in eating disorders
It is unclear that requirement of medical certification can keep risky women from harmful eating behaviors. Regulation by the government should be minimized, according to the ideology of libertarian. However, the current situation in which everyone wants to be slim can be deemed as a failure of the free market. I think the fact the French government, whose leader François Hollande is a socialist, declares prohibition of being too slim has a symbolic effect.
As a psychiatrist, I do not want women, as well as men, to be keen to lose weight excessively. I am interested whether the patients with eating disorders will decrease in France.