New California Bill to Help Models Avoid Anorexia Caused By Fashion Industry
There is more to being a model than smiling to a camera and walking on a runway.
This was proven real by former models who spoke about their previous experiences in the modeling industry during the committee hearing conducted on April 6 in Sacramento, California.
The Assembly Bill No. 2539, authored by Marin County democrat Marc Levine, was made to help protect fashion models from developing eating disorders, such as anorexia caused by work pressures to stay thin, and sexual harassment in the workplace.
With the help of the testimonials from former models Nikki DuBose, Sara Ziff and Madeline Hill, the bill successfully advanced to the Assembly Appropriations Committee after winning a 5-to-2 vote in the Assembly Labor and Employment Committee, Mercury News reported.
"There is no excuse for requiring a model to have a diet of only one rice cake per day as a prerequisite to getting a job," Levine said, according to Charlotte Observer.
Under the new bill, models will be defined as employee of the person or brand that uses her services instead of being classified as contractors.
Modeling agencies will also be required to obtain license, similar to talent agencies, from the Labor Commissioner.
The Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board, together with an accredited specialist, will draft an occupational safety and health standards for models to address issues such as imposed unhealthy diet, workplace safety and sexual harassment.
Still, the proposed bill did not advanced without facing oppositions.
In a Reuters report, the Associations of Talent Agents opposed the bill because it is "unworkable" and does not really resolve any real issue.
However, the tendency of models to develop anorexia has garnered global concern.
Several countries have passed laws to prevent models from being too thin.
According to a Fox News report, France passed a bill last year banning models to work if their body mass index is below the minimum set level.
In 2013, Israel also enacted the same bill prohibiting excessive thinness of their models.
On the other hand, Spain and Italy remained reliant on the voluntary code of conducts to protect models.