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October 09, 2006

Emaciated Models, Labor Regulation

There's a bit of debate in the blogosphere around Spain's new law banning underweight models from the runways in that country. See Jordan, Amanda at Pandagon and Lindsay Beyerstein at Majikthise on whether this is an intrusive regulating violating free expression or something like that and whether OSHA safety regulations are appropriate.

Just to throw my two cents in-- any broader OSHA approach would seem cumbersome and bureaucratically intrusive in a deep way.

But the original Spanish proposal is brilliant in its high-impact, low-intrusion approach. Regulate only the fashion week type runways, where in a single spotcheck, models can be blocked from the runways. Much like a weigh in for a boxing match-- where under and overweight boxers are barred from matches regularly -- models would have to meet the appropriate weight criterion for the runway event. What they do the rest of the year is up to them, but with the runway setting the overall aesthetic standards during the media frenzy of fashion week, other outlets are likely to follow the trend of the runways, avoiding more intrusive year round types of regulations.

So I stick with the boxer weigh-in metaphor. If it's good enough for Nevada gaming regulators, what's wrong with Spain's proposal?

Posted by Nathan at October 9, 2006 11:37 AM