Recently there has been a lot of debate about whether or not we should ban size-zero models in the fashion industry. Size-zero is the UK equivalent of a size 4, and constitutes a bust-waist-hips ratio of 32″–22″–33″ which are the measurements equivalent to those of a 12-year-old girl. The secret to the appeal of size-zero is in its name – zero. Today, we are regularly being inundated with the appeal of this figure. We have 0% fat, 0% interest, and now even a clothing size. And while some of the younger models around the ages of 14 and 15 who are used on the catwalk are naturally of this size, other older models are not. It is nonetheless the size represented, expected, and conformed to, as the ideal in the world of high fashion.
This is dangerous because the world of fashion has the power to negatively influence the way we perceive our bodies. It can also seriously damage the health of the models themselves. Following the deaths of catwalk models Ana Carolina, and Luisel and Eliana Ramos, size-zero and the social pressure which arises from such a concept, has become an important and controversial topic. There are those that consider models as having a right to treat their bodies as they will, while others believe that their position in the media spotlight confers upon them a certain amount of responsibility with regard to the promotion of an unhealthy physical ideal.
There are many reasons as to why size-zero models are sought after in the fashion industry. Mainly because there exist designers who believe that their clothes will appear to their best advantage on smaller frames. In 2007, Madrid Fashion Week banned models with a BMI below 18. A healthy BMI is between 18 and 25. Other cities, including New York, London, and Paris, decided not to follow in Madrid’s footsteps, fearing a negative backlash from fashion houses. Indeed, the response of designers is one of the difficulties facing a ban on size-zero models.
The banning of size-zero would involve a...
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