Caroline Launches Inquiry Into Underweight Models

Petition gains 50,000 signatures on underweight models.

“Get your house in order” is the Caroline’s message to the fashion industry as she has launched an inquiry into ultra-thin, underweight models working within the fashion industry.

Now Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image, having been raising awareness of this issue since her election to Parliament in 2010, Caroline has brought on board model Rosie Nelson, who is known for appearing in Austrailia’s Next Top Model, who, after being told to slim “down to the bone” by a modelling agency has decided to speak out against this practice and support health models.

Caroline put Rosie in touch with campaigns website Change.org who helped Rosie set up a petition which raised over 50,000 signatures in two days. This has created a significant amount of press attention and Caroline hopes to bring on some major figures within the fashion industry to give evidence as part of an APPG inquiry in November.

Caroline told The Guardian:

“Legislation should be a last resort, but I’m conscious the fashion industry isn’t responding to calls for change, we would prefer a code of conduct, if we could feel confident it would be adhered to.”

Countries such a France and Italy have already passed laws to ensure models are healthy by making it a legal requirement for model agencies to provide health certificates for each model. This is often based on BMI, with no model being able to work with a BMI of below 18. BMI alone however is not a reliable way of measuring how healthy a model is, therefore many feel it important to find a better, safer way of maintaining model’s health.

Beat, the UK’s eating disorder charity told reporters:

Some people naturally have a low BMI and yet are healthy and it would be discriminatory to preclude them from working in the fashion world.

Beat asks that models on the catwalk are representative of healthy body shape and size and that the fashion industry considers its social responsibility and has a variety of individuals which is inclusive and reflective of us all.  We ask that the fashion industry celebrates beauty in the fact that bodies come in all shapes and sizes.”

Caroline’s articles can be found below:

The Guardian: http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2015/sep/21/body-image-mp-considers-ban-on-ultra-thin-catwalk-models

The International Business Times: http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/uk-fashion-industry-may-face-body-image-laws-after-self-regulation-failures-warns-mp-caroline-nokes-1520714

The Telegraph: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11866360/Victoria-Beckham-skinny-models-Is-plus-size-fashion-week-the-cure.html

The Sydney Morning Herald: http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/fashion/victoria-beckham-accused-of-promoting-anorexia-chic-in-latest-fashion-show-20150915-gjnl8b.html

The Daily Mail: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3233176/6ft-model-reignites-row-anorexia-chic-ahead-London-Fashion-Week-Call-change-law-help-protect-impressionable-young-women.html

The Sunday Times: http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/news/uk_news/article1606506.ece

Hear Caroline on The Today Programme at 02:56: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b069z8f1

Rosie’s story can be found both on her petition:

www.change.org/modelslaw

and in her comment article in the Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/womens-life/11880654/London-Fashion-Week-A-law-to-stop-models-getting-dangerously-skinny.html