UPDATE (9/22): Skinny Model Ban Fallout Continues In France, Israel

Yesterday Reuters reported that “Top Israeli retail companies agreed not to employ overly thin models for their advertisements, joining a growing global campaign to fight anorexia within the fashion industry.”Earlier this week India’s Health Minister, Anbumani Ramadoss, said he doesn’t want waif-like models on the runway in his country, citing the pattern of young girls suffering from osteoporosis due to excessive dieting.

Madrid’s ban spurred debate among Bryant Park’s fashionistas in NYC last week. And the debate continued this week backstage at London’s Fashion Week, where supermodel and professional waif Kate Moss sat on the sidelines while officials declared they would not restrict model participation based on body mass index.

British designer Paul Smith told Reuters that he would like to see larger models on the runway, although he admits to still using skinny models.

“Clothes do work well, you know, on a slim girl and also when you’re doing a fashion show, you don’t have the opportunity to make the clothes perfectly for a girl, so if they’re skinny, you can alter them a little bit and they’ll be OK. Personally, I would like to see them a little bit bigger. When I first started in the industry, they were probably one size bigger and I don’t know where this obsession about getting smaller and smaller has come from, but I think because we’re talking about it, it will probably start changing.”

“Project Runway” judge and American designer Michael Kors recently told Access Hollywood, “Thin is fine but it has to be healthy. Fashion sends a very powerful message, especially to young girls.”

To participate in the Madrid shows, the models were required to meet a standard BMI (a number based on both height and weight) of at least eighteen - ruling out a Moss-type body. Thirty percent of models previously on the catwalk in the Spanish capital were turned away, including Spanish stunner Esther Canadas.

As for the models themselves, they sent mixed messages on the ban. One model said, “I’m like this so if someone (doesn’t) like me because I am skinny it’s not my fault.” Cindy Crawford weighed in: “Not everyone’s bodies are the same. Some people are naturally, like Kate Moss is naturally thin and I’m not.”

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