JERUSALEM — When Margaux Stelman began modeling a few months ago, she always had her sister Simone in mind.
Simone was an ex-model who died three years ago after a long battle with anorexia, a common affliction of models trying to look thinner and thinner — and girls trying to look like them.
Now, thanks to a new Israeli law that prohibits the employment of underweight fashion models, Stelman says she feels protected from the traditional pressures of an industry notorious for encouraging extremes in thinness. The law sets weight minimums with the aim of discouraging anorexia and bulimia, eating disorders that affect mostly young women, who go on extreme diets and are unable to eat normally.
"This disease is something that's very close to me," the 21-year-old university student from Belgium said at a recent photo shoot, the country's first since the law took effect last week. "Doing the exact opposite, showing girls that (they) can be healthy and be a model anyway, it's really something I want to show."
The Israeli law, passed by parliament last year, is the first of its kind. The United States and England have guidelines, but their fashion industry is self-regulated. Other governments have taken steps to prevent "size zero" medical problems but have shied away from legislation.
Israel, like other countries, is obsessed by models. International supermodel Bar Refaeli is considered a national hero. Refaeli, an Israeli who has graced the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition, among others, is not unnaturally thin.
- For the first time in American history,...
- You'll never believe where your bottled water...
- Amish country bristles at ‘Mafia’...
- Doug Robinson: When did Missouri turn into...
- A New York Times article said Michael Brown...
- Napa earthquake hastens calls for warning system
- Ebola has 'upper hand,' says US official
- Ask Mr. Dad: Handling a child’s...
- For the first time in American history,... 24
- Obama faces tough options in Iraq and... 23
- Obama administration announces new... 19
- Doug Robinson: When did Missouri turn... 16
- Rev. Al Sharpton plays prominent role... 15
- Huckabee: 'Stop the fight' over Common... 14
- Obama back at White House after summer... 14
- Mourners gather in St. Louis for Brown... 13