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Italy bans ultra-skinny fashion models; homosexual fashion designers pissed, no doubt
Nightmarish new regulations in effect for gay fashion designers in Italy: 1) no using 14-year-old girls anymore; 16+ girls only; 2) models need to provide medical evidence that they don't suffer from eating disorders; 3) fashion collections need to add larger dress sizes, and other changes proposed to redefine "feminine beauty." How in the world are the poor gay designers now going to come up with female models that resemble boys in their early adolescence? They will have to settle for a late-adolescent boyish look. Note the statement in the following report, "Calls to offices of major Italian designers seeking comment Friday evening went unanswered." The gay designers are speechless. The interesting thing will be to see how successfully the new regulations are implemented.
Here is the report:
ROME, Italy (AP) -- Italy's fashion industry on Friday signed a code of conduct aimed at fighting anorexia among women and the vogue for stick-thin models.
The self-regulatory code, drawn up with the Italian government, requires models to show medical proof they do not suffer from eating disorders, bans models younger than 16 and calls for a commitment to add larger sizes to fashion collections.
It also aims to redefine feminine beauty, and to promote "a healthy, sunny, generous, Mediterranean model of beauty."
"It is a contribution that Italian fashion can give to different aesthetic standards that are not about a thin, very thin, sometimes sick bodies," Youth Policy and Sports Minister Giovanna Melandri told a news conference in Rome.
"There's a line between a thin girl and a sick one that is often crossed. Italy, with this manifesto, is committed to recognize this boundary and not cross it," she said.
The code was signed by Melandri and Mario Boselli, president of the Italian Fashion Chamber, which includes fashion house like Versace, Prada and Missoni. It is destined for designers, model agencies, makeup artists and others who work in the fashion field.
Boselli said he was hoping the code could be adopted also internationally.
Stefano Dominella, president of a lobby for Rome haute couture who also signed on to the code, said designers who do not comply will be subjected to "sanctions," such as being assigned to less favorable timings or days for their shows.
Calls to offices of major Italian designers seeking comment Friday evening went unanswered.
The world of high fashion and modeling has long been targeted by critics who say it encourages women and girls to emulate skinny models.
The death last month of a 21-year-old Brazilian model helped increase the public's awareness of the problem.
Ana Carolina Reston, who modeled in China, Turkey, Mexico and Japan, died Nov. 14 at a hospital in Sao Paulo. The 5-foot-8 inch (1.72 meters) model weighed 88 pounds (40 kilos) at the time of her death.
Doctors and psychologists treating patients with anorexia nervosa, a disorder characterized by an abnormal fear of becoming obese, praised the new Italian code, saying it would help redefine beauty standards.
"One of the biggest risks is the input that we get from fashion, because a thin model becomes an icon to emulate," said Simona Ciampoli, a psychotherapist who treats anorexic people in a rehabilitation center in Chieti, central Italy.
"The message that we get bombarded with is that you are important and successful as long as you are thin, but these women do not represent the real ones. The majority of normal and healthy women are not like that," Ciampoli said.
According to the code, about 3 million people in Italy suffer from eating disorders.
In September, Madrid's Fashion Week banned models with a body mass index of less than 18. Body mass index is a calculation doctors normally apply to study obesity, and anyone with an index below 18.5 is considered underweight.