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Denmark Institutes Rules to Reduce Unhealthiness of Fashion Models

They're following in France's footsteps with their Danish Fashion Ethical Charter.
By Catalogue staff, 30 Mar 2015
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Denmark Institutes Rules to Reduce Unhealthiness of Fashion Models

A Model walking Danish fashion designer Henrik Vibskov's summer 2015-16 show

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Just last week, France announced they are likely to pass legislation to govern the weight of fashion models, in order to curb the prevalence of unhealthily-skinny models, and the impact the glorification of this kind of body image has on society. Now Denmark have done the same, by making the rules that govern their industry more strict.

The rules are detailed in a document called the Danish Ethical Fashion Charter. The charter was founded back in 2007, but three weeks ago several industry bodies (including the Danish Fashion Institute, the eight largest model agencies in Denmark, the Danish Association against Eating Disorders and Self-harm) came together to institute a more strict set of rules and regulations governing the weight of models in the Danish fashion industry.

The new rules include:

1) A minimum age of requirement of 16

2) Wages must be paid for to models for work

3) Signature of the charter is required for participation at Copenhagen Fashion Week

The new Danish Ethical Fashion Charter already has over 300 signatories, including corporations including Bestseller, brands including Soulland, magazines including DANSK and modelling agencies including Elite.

Anne Minor, the chair of the Danish Association against Eating Disorders and Self-harm, had this to say about the new charter: "We're incredibly happy to see that the fashion industry is ready to get its fingers burnt to change conditions for models and to take responsibility for the body image it produces. We believe that the charter will make a difference via, for example compulsory health checks for the models, which we think is the right solution compared to BMI, which cannot of course be used as a measure of physical and mental health."

Last week France announced their intentions to use BMI to measure whether models fall within a healthy weight range. BMI is a measure of relative size based on the height and weight of an individual. BMI has been criticised as a measurement for weight healthiness for several reasons, including the fact that it does not account for body frame size, nor does it take levels of fat tissue versus levels of muscular tissue into consideration.

Under the intended legislation in France, if models are less than a BMI of 18, they will be unable to work, designers found to be hiring underweight models will be fined, and modelling agents promoting underweight models will face jail sentences.

This is timelier still considering Australian model Stefania Ferrario has launched an Instagram campaign using the #DropThePlus demanding the fashion industry drop the "plus size" tag because it's "damaging to the minds of young girls".

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Liked this? Read these articles about the fashion industry:

1) France May Ban Too-Skinny Models

2) #DropThePlus Demands Fashion Industry Drops Plus Size Tag

3) Artist Rupi Kaur's Photo Feat. Menstrual Blood Removed by Instagram

4) Artist Discovers Misogyny in All Disney Animated Women Ever

5) Why You Should Sign the New Petition to Axe Tampon Tax

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