Models in France Need Doctor's Approval to Work

February 22, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. vouch / vaʊtʃ / (v.) – to support as being true
Example: The old professor vouched for his student’s good moral character.

2. glorify /ˈglɔr əˌfaɪ / (v.) – to treat someone as a celebrity
Example: She is being glorified by the press because of her viral video.

3. stringent / ˈstrɪn dʒənt / (adj.) – strict or severe
Example: The organization is very stringent in matters concerning money.

4. provision / prəˈvɪʒ ən / (n.) – a part in a law that deals with a specific issue
Example: The new cyberbullying law has specific provisions for cyberbullying at schools.

5. enactment / ɛnˈækt mənt / (n.) – the state of being put into effect
Example: The law’s enactment starts next year.


Read the text below.
A new law requires models in France to submit a medical certificate vouching for their healthy body weight before working.

Violators can be punished with six months’ imprisonment and a fine of €75,000. The law also requires that photographs of models that were altered to make them look thinner or fatter should be explicitly stated as such by fashion publications that use them.

The law was passed as part of the French government's efforts to fight the spread of eating disorders among young people and anorexia among models. Between 30,000 to 40,000 people in France, most of whom are teenagers, suffer from anorexia, which has the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. One such victim is Isabelle Caro, a French model who died in 2010 because of anorexia. She was only 28 years old. Eating disorders have long been associated with the fashion industry, where super-thin models are glorified.

Although passed in December 2015, the law was initially proposed in April 2015 and originally drafted with more stringent provisions. One such provision that did not make it to the bill's passing imposes a minimum body mass index on models. Critics successfully removed the provision by arguing that a person's BMI is not the only indicator of their health. Another removed provision made encouragement of excessive thinness an offense punishable by up to a year of imprisonment.

Long before the enactment of the law in France, a similar legislation was already present in Israel since 2012. While France removed the provision for minimum body mass index (BMI) in their final draft, the Israeli version of the law requires models to have a BMI of at least 18.5.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Why do many people think models should be thin? Enumerate as many reasons as you can.
·         Would you want the same legislation to be passed in your country? Why or why not?

Discussion B
·         What are some indicators of good health?
·         What are some dangerous ways people use to lose weight?

February 22, 2016