France Works to Criminalize the Use of Anorexic Models in Advertising

Modeling agencies would face legal repercussions for employing unhealthily thin models

The support of pro-anorexia and food-disordered lifestyles online will also be punishable by prison and a hefty fine. (Photo Modified: Flickr/Henry Jose)

Olivier Véran, a French lawmaker and doctor, has proposed an amendment to an upcoming health bill that would make it illegal for modeling agencies to employ anyone who has an eating disorder.

According to The Associated Press, agencies would need to provide medical proof that their models “have maintained a healthy mass-to-height ratio.”

What’s more, the health bill would also criminalize the glorification of “excessive thinness,” targeting those behind pro-anorexia websites. Anyone found to be in violation of the law would face up to one year in prison as well as fines up to 10,000 euros (approximately $10,615 USD).

French health minister Marisol Touraine has already voiced her support for the measure. According to the health ministry, an estimated 40,000 French citizens suffer from anorexia, 90 percent of them women.


Véran is expected to have introduced the amendments on Monday, March 16, as part of a health reform bill that will be presented in French parliament at the end of the month.