Create a law to protect models from getting dangerously skinny!
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I’m a 25 year old model, a clothes size 8. The girl in the picture is me. When I walked into one of the UK’s biggest model agencies last year they told me I ticked all the boxes except one -- I needed to lose weight. So I did. Four months later I lost nearly a stone, 2 inches off my hips. When I returned to the same agency they told me to lose more weight, they wanted me "down to the bone".
When I look in the mirror I see someone that is healthy and comfortable in their skin. That’s because I had the guts to carve out my own path and refuse to let people pressure me into losing more and more weight. But with London Fashion Week the reminders are everywhere that we need a law to protect young girls, and boys, who are put under pressure to be dangerously thin.
Modelling can be a very lonely place, especially for girls working internationally who are away from the usual support network of friends and family. When models travel overseas they are often put into shared accommodation with other models, and being surrounded by girls who are all striving to stay thin can perpetuate bad eating habits and encourage eating disorders. I’ve been on shoots for up to 10 hours where no food is provided -- the underlying message is always that you shouldn’t eat.
The agencies managing and recruiting models have a responsibility to the wellbeing of girls on the catwalk at fashion week, and in the industry as a whole.
Earlier this year France became the latest country to vote to criminalise the use of models who are dangerously thin. Those breaking the law face fines and up to six months in jail. And there is growing momentum for change in the UK -- Caroline Nokes MP is the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Body Image and is campaigning for the Government to look at the possibility of legislating to ensure models are of a healthy weight. The time is now for us all to come together.
Please sign my petition to create a law to protect vulnerable young girls and boys in the industry.
*Note: the fur in the image is fake fur!
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