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Australia's Government Takes Strict Stance Against Too-Skinny Models

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Attempts to overhaul fashion industry standards and quell the rampant surge of eating disorders continue, with Australia's government providing strict guidelines and even funds for the cause.

    As we all know, fashion has in recent decades cultivated a distorted standard of beauty that for most, has reached the breaking point.  Dialogue among industry leaders and the community -- none of whom, it's assumed, desired such an outcome -- has been opened in the past couple of years to address the issue of poor health and frequent eating disorders among models, and how it has come to impact society's aesthetic in general. 

    The latest development comes from Australia, whose government became the first to take initiative in the effort to remedy weight problems, where a stringent tick of approval for media and designers has been implemented, along with suggested guidelines for conduct going forward.  Additionally, Australia's Daily Telegraph reports that the state has pledged more than $500,000 to develop education programs in that country. 

    The recommendations from health minister Kate Ellis and outlined in the Telegraph include prohibiting the hiring of models younger than 16 years old, and refraining from hiring excessively thin women or muscular men - guidelines much like those the CFDA proposed in 2007 here in the states.  While details on what the Australian government would like to impose on the industry were not identified, it seems that they're aiming for quantifiable limits on body mass index and weight.  The CFDA Health Initiative, on the other hand, states clearly that their purpose is for "education and awareness, not policing" to help those in need, rather than establish a pre-screening process for the entire industry.

    Three years later, there seem to be baby steps in that direction: Pin-thin models still walk the runways, but curvier and more athletic statures have become more visible of late. At the very least, there's been a continued conversation, despite the fact that our own government hasn't yet stepped in with its own set of guidelines.