Target: Fredrik Reinfeldt, Prime Minister of Sweden
Goal: Mandate that models have a healthy BMI to be in fashion shows
The Swedish Anorexia and Bulimia Society has reported that modeling agents have been recruiting at Sweden’s biggest eating disorder clinic, the Stockholm Center for Eating Disorders. Says psychologist Andreas Birgegard, chair of the organization: “For people who have an illness centered around weight and looks, it’s catastrophic to throw them into a business that focuses on exactly those things.”
Last year, the clinic had to change the procedures for the walks clients take, because talent scouts were hanging around the studio. One of the patients approached was so sick that she was sitting in a wheelchair. One agent approached a 14-year-old-girl at the clinic and left a business card. The agent was later confronted by the girl’s mother and a coordinator at the clinic. The clinic states that the main age target is 14- to 15-year-old girls.
Some of the patients at the Stockholm Center for Eating Disorders have body mass indexes (BMIs) as low as 14. A healthy BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. Anorexia has the highest death rate of any mental illness, and the mortality rate associated with it is 12 times higher than for any other cause of death between young women between 15 and 24.
Spain passed a law a while back that forbade companies from using fashion models with BMIs lower than 18.5. Italy passed the same law soon afterwards, and Israel followed suit this year. The report did not state which modeling agencies were looking for anorexic girls, but this problem could be solved if Sweden took Spain’s lead and banned models with unhealthy BMIs from being in fashion shows.
Dear Mr. Reinfeldt,
Recently, Swedish model scouts have been recruiting young girls at eating disorder clinics, most notably the Stockholm Center for Eating Disorders. Many of these girls are around 14 years old, and have body mass indexes as low as 14. A healthy BMI is 18.5 to 24.9.
Anorexia is the most fatal mental disorder, and mortality rate associated with it is 12 times higher than for any other cause of death between young women between 15 and 24. About 20% of anorexics will die a premature death associated with their condition.
We would like to ask Sweden to curb the fashion industry’s pursuit of anorexic models by mandating that all fashion models have a BMI of at least 18.5 to participate in shows. This will ensure the health of thousands of young models and aspiring models in Sweden.
[Your Name Here]