Vogue UK reported this morning that Israel has passed a law requiring that models cannot have below a minimum body-mass index in order to appear in campaigns. The law is using the World Health Organization’s definition of malnutrition, which is a BMI of less than 18.5, as their bench marker for the law. Any advertising images that are used in Israel now have to feature models that have produced a medical report dating back no further than three months prior to when the photoshoot took place. Additionally, all images that have been “digitally altered” in magazines will be indicated as so.
Just to give you an idea of how drastic this law is, I do not know of one high-fashion model that would meet the requirements of this law of appearing in campaigns in Israel. A typical model of 110 lbs and five feet ten inches tall has a BMI of 15.8; well below Israel’s standard. It will be interesting to see if any techniques are developed in order to get around this law. I wonder if Israel will opt for shorter models in order to get the petite measurements desired, or rely much more heavily on Photoshop.