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Health

Should California ban ultrathin models?




A model walks the runway during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Smashbox Studios in Culver City in April 2004.
A model walks the runway during the Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Smashbox Studios in Culver City in April 2004.
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

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France, Italy and Spain have all passed legislation to ban ultrathin models from working the cameras. Now, a lawmaker is hoping that California will be next.

Assembly Member Mark Levine, who represents the 10th Assembly District of Marin and Southern Sonoma counties, this week introduced a law that would require the state’s modeling industry to adopt health standards.

If it passes, agencies would not be able to hire models unless they provide a certificate from a physician saying that they meet standards. 

Levine said that the law wouldn’t specifically target weight. Instead, the Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board and the California Department of Public Health would consider different factors to determine the standards.

“People come in all shapes and sizes,” Levine told Take Two. “We just want to make sure that they're healthy.”

Would the government be overstepping its boundaries?

Levine said that while California has health and safety rules for other industries, the fashion modeling industry has been largely unregulated. For the assemblyman, the issue also hits home. 

“As a father with a daughter in first grade and a son in third grade I know how children are influenced by the media,” he said. “Magazine covers, movies, the Internet all have influence on how children see themselves in our society.”

Hear the full interview above.