Two unrelated developments on opposite sides of the world — a Victoria's Secret lingerie model quitting her job due to Christian beliefs, and Israel passing a law banning ads that show waifish models — possess a similar potential to positively influence the way society thinks about the female body.
Kylie Bisutti quit her job as a lingerie model for Victoria's Secret in November because she no longer felt her Christian faith could coexist with exposing her body so often. At the time, Bisutti was less than three years removed from beating out 10,000 other women to win the 2009 Victoria's Secret Model Search.
Bisutti explained the decision on Dec. 1 via her Twitter account: "I have decided not to model lingerie because I personally feel that I am not honoring God or my husband by doing it. My marriage is very important & with divorce rates rising I want to do everything I can to protect my marriage and be respectful to my husband."
She further elaborated on the decision during a Feb. 8 appearance on "Good Morning America."
“I was growing in my relationship with the Lord and my faith," Bisutti said. "I’m a strong believing Christian. I just became so convicted of honoring the Lord and my body and wanting to be a role model for other women out there who look up to me."
Bisutti also addressed her professional future in the same interview: “I’m definitely going to pursue modeling. I just want to be more wholesome about it and the jobs that I am going to choose are always going to be honoring the Lord.”
Meanwhile, Israel has become the first nation to regulate how much models weigh.
Reporting from Jerusalem earlier this week, Reuters broke the news that "Israeli lawmakers have banned underweight models from catwalks and commercials, a measure they hope will reduce eating disorders and promote a healthy body image."
Specifics: If an Israeli model's body mass index (BMI) — a commonly used weight-to-height ratio — is less than 18.5, then she will now need a doctor's note stipulating that she is not underweight in order to work.
"The law is the first attempt by a government to enforce a weight-influenced regulation on the fashion industry," CBS News reported. "While other countries have guidelines, they have shied away from actual legislation."