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Pending French law will make the promotion of extreme thinness or proana criminal: Qui est pissé?

Who might be displeased? grin

Excerpts from the report

The French try to target proana websites and the promotion of extreme thinness

– Charles Bremner and Marie Tourres (April 10, 2008)

Promoting extreme thinness will become a criminal offence punishable with jail in France under a government-backed law that was tabled today to combat anorexia nervosa.

The world’s first use of the law to tackle eating disorders is broadly aimed at the media and fashion world, but especially at the websites and blogs of the so-called pro-ana movement.

While many are support groups, others promote starvation as a “lifestyle choice”, with girls and young women posting their wasting images as “thinspiration” for others.

Fines of up to €30,000 and a two-year prison sentence will be imposed on offenders who “provoke a person to seek excessive thinness by encouraging prolonged restriction of nourishment” to the point of risking of death or damage to health. The prison term is raised to three years with a €45,000 fine if the person dies.

Some experts and fashion leaders oppose the bill, which is expected to be passed by parliament within months.

“You do not solve this kind of problem with the law but with understanding,” said Jean-Paul Gaultier, the designer. Didier Grumbach, head of the French Couture Federation, said that it was not up to the state to legislate on beauty and aesthetic criteria.

Some critics of the measures said that the Government was acting after the event because the big fashion and cosmetics companies had already changed their ways and stopped employing the sickly stick-figured models that were in favour a few years ago.

The homosexuals want the anorexia problem to be solved with understanding, not legislation.  And the “understanding” is that the fashion industry has nothing to do with making anorexic figures chic and providing thinspirations (thin inspirations) for the proana (pro anorexia) movement.  The homosexuals say they don’t want the “state to legislate on beauty and aesthetic criteria”...the matter should be left to their fine aesthetic tastes (also this).  The homosexuals say the legislation is not needed because the big fashion houses have “already changed their ways and stopped employing the sickly stick-figured models that were in favour a few years ago”...tell this to Ali Michael.

Attempting to outlaw proana sites is mostly a useless endeavor since the websites could be set up in a region outside the reaches of French law.  There are also many sites on losing excess body fat that proana girls can turn to.  This website itself discusses the basics of losing excess body fat, and the information could also be used to lose a healthy amount of body fat.   But the law will be affecting the fashion industry.  First it was Italy, the location of Milan, and now it looks like France and hence another fashion capital of the world, Paris, will be affected.

Personally I agree that the legislation isn’t the right way of going about it.  A better method is to provide public education that contrasts most people’s optimal aesthetic preferences with the fashion ideal and explains why there is a notable discrepancy.  Armed with this knowledge, there will be far fewer girls and women trying to lose body fat that they don’t need to from both a health and an aesthetics perspective.  Let the fashion industry use very thin models provided that it uses naturally very thin women and does not force its models to diet.



The problem with high fashion models is that their inherently slender habitus is accentuated by their height, and this is a visual appearance which the shorter average woman cannot emulate however much she attempts to control her BMI.

As stated before, thinness does not equate to androgyny/masculinity in women. Within reasonable limits, it is healthier to be slender than fat, the medical evidence for this is difficult to refute. I find it extremely narrow-minded on your part to dismiss anything which does not conform to your own overly restrictive, and in many cases scientifically-unfounded, measures of femininity as "homosexual" or abnormal.

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