Seeing the emaciated look of models in magazines and on television can be horrifying, and it has become such a widespread issue that radical action should be taken. Banning models who are too skinny and unhealthy is one way of handling this but there are many issues surrounding it. One issue is that a ban does not deal with the root of the problem. The perception that thin is beautiful has become an integral part of our culture and a ban on models may not necessarily change the way people think or feel about the subject.
Another issue is that deciding if someone looks too skinny or unhealthy can be fairly subjective. It has been suggested that the Body Mass Index (BMI) is used to make this decision, and is calculated by dividing weight in kilograms by height in metres. If a model has a BMI of less than 18, they will be banned from modelling. However, BMI is based on weight alone. Just weight. It makes no distinctions for age, muscle mass or bone density. When it comes to judging how healthy a person is or how they look, it isn’t that accurate. A model with a BMI score over 18 may look more unhealthy or skinny than a person with a BMI score of under 18.
In my opinion, if the fashion industry can find a way of dealing with the root cause of this problems, which lies within the way people perceive skinny people as being beautiful, this might be more effective in the long run than a ban. However, if a ban was to take effect, I would hope that the fashion industry would find a fair way of judging whether a model is too skinny and unhealthy.