France Passes the "Photoshop Law"

As confirmed by an article by Reuters, France will now ban runways that feature super skinny supermodels. To be exact, the French Parliament wants agencies to stop hiring models which are considered “anorexic” and/or “not healthy” based on BMI standards.

Under this new law, it is now illegal in France to hire models whose BMI, or Body Mass Index is below 18. Violators would pay fines of up to €75,000 or US$82,000 — and face up to six months inside prison cell. Ouch.

In case you’re wondering, BMI or Body Mass Index is your weight in kilograms over your height, squared. For example, if the model’s height is 6 foot flat, and her weight is 127 pounds, her BMI is around 17 plus. Based on the official BMI categories, a BMI of 17 is considered underweight. The normal weight according to the feds is from 18.5 to 24.9.

The United States Department of Health & Human Services offers a BMI calculator on its website ( in case you’re planning to become a supermodel in France).

This new law is a part of the government’s action against glorifying extreme weight loss and becoming thin for the sake of “fashion.”

In addition to banning thin supermodels on catwalk, French lawmakers also passed a measure making untagged photoshopping illegal. What this means is that websites and magazines cannot just re-touch photographs of model to make them look thin on other media. These publications need to mark these images with a disclaimer that images “were manipulated.”

This measure also bans glorification of extreme weight loss, whether on websites, or people running events, etc. If found guilty, a person promoting “prolonged dietary restrictions” would pay a fine of around €10,000, and face a year in prison.

France is not the first to regulate the fashion industry. Two years ago, Israel had passed a similar law which aims to prevent fashion models from losing too much weight for the sake of “pleasing” the producers and owners of clothing lines. Israel was also the first country to pass the “photoshop law” which requires photoshopping of images to include a note to confirm alterations.