Dear Media, Stop With the Body Shaming Pictures of Models With Visible Bones Already

BMI regulation is so hot right now that even ‘Merica’s getting in on the action. You know our stance on that – not the best way to measure health. Radical idea: body diversity needs to start with clothes that fit more people.

California Assemblymember, Marc Levine (D-Marin County), has proposed legislation that would apply to health standards for models in the fashion industry, Esquire reports. (It sounds like it’s going to be about physicals, nutrition and overall health — they don’t mention a number on the scale.) The proposal got backing from a Harvard professor too, who says that 40% of models suffer from eating disorders, according to findings he cites.

But regardless of all of these laws people are rallying behind to monitor the health of models — who often have no say in the size of the clothes they have to wear — the media needs to stop using photos of models with visible bones with these stories. At RunwayRiot, we’re here for curves, but we’re here for bones too. Shaming models for having visible bones — some of whom may very well be naturally slim — is misleading.

Media outlets should not be having a quick game of rummage around for the ribs through all the fire runway looks, scooping up photos of real people they don’t know, and then making them the face of the eating disorder epidemic. Everyone with a working crystal ball knows you can’t take one look at a woman and slap a headline that reads DANGER and SOCIETAL PROBLEMS on her.

And yet legit media outlet after media outlet after media outlet does this.

Of course people suffering from eating disorders need help. Of course runways need more body diversity. But you know what we don’t need? The assumption that models with visible bones need a law to make them get healthy instead of more size-diverse clothes. The rampant use of slim-shaming pictures, putting random models front and center on stories about how legislation will rescue us from self-starvation is totally misrepresenting the problem.

Tags: Body Shaming