Where: California – Marin County. California is the first state, following in the footsteps of France, Italy, Israel and Spain, all of which have recently passed laws pertaining to models’ health.
Why this matters: Let’s start with looking at the modeling industry and see how this (problem) affects society. Forty percent of models have some sort of an eating disorder. Although the reasons for developing an eating disorder are complex, at their core individuals are often dissatisfied with their bodies and feel unworthy. So if models are working in an industry that constantly degrades their bodies and devalues who they naturally are as a human being, then it’s not so hard to see why eating disorders are so prevalent in the business and why Bill AB 2539 is so critical.
Models’ rights are human rights. However because of the stigma and false glamour that surround both the fashion industry and mental health – especially eating disorders – the public and government have long turned a blind eye. But that’s changing. Models are humans who deserve to be treated fairly and with respect; they deserve protection and their labor rights to be exercised, just like any person working in any industry.
I’m certain that everyone can agree – models and citizens – on the need for Bill AB 2539. If we can change the way that the health standards are within the industry, then this can, in turn, have a positive impact on society. Models make up a majority of the people we see in the thousands of advertisements we are exposed to every day. Nearly half of girls in 5th to 12th grade reported wanting to lose weight because of magazine pictures.
If the model’s mental, emotional and physical health are taken care of and they are educated about becoming role models, imagine the profound effect this can have on children – and adults – everywhere.