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Models Are Reportedly Using Weighted Spanx to Cheat New BMI Regulations

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Photo: Getty Images
Photo: Getty Images

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Former model Jennifer Sky wrote an op-ed for the New York Observer on France's new law cracking down on agencies who employ too-thin models, questioning whether policing models' body mass index is really the way to help prevent anorexia. Italy, Israel, and Spain all have similar laws, but Skye explained how agencies are already gaming the system:

I spoke with a model, let’s call her Lauren, who participated in Spanish Fashion Week shortly after their new "anti-skinny" law was passed. "I did Fashion Week in Spain after they enforced a similar law and agencies found a loophole. They gave us Spanx underwear to stuff with weighted sandbags so the thinnest of girls had a ‘healthy’ weight on the scales. I even saw them put weights in their hair," said Lauren.

Sky calls the French law "discriminatory and misguided," and notes that her BMI would've been considered underweight when she was a teenager working as a model. "I exercised regularly and really loved to eat Subway veggie sandwiches and drink McDonald’s vanilla milkshakes. I was not anorexic or starving—I was definitely over-worked. I was simply a naturally thin teenager with a powerful teenage metabolic system," Sky writes.

She suggests that instead of focusing on BMIs, perhaps modeling agencies should be held accountable for better treatment of their often underage clients. "As proof of the pressure young models are under seems to support, we should not be questioning what the girls are or are not eating, but in fact what unregulated abuse is happening to them backstage," she writes.