January 17, 2005, Updated September 19, 2012



January 17, 2005 -Eat, bubbelah!

A new Israeli law that’s in the works could mean beefier fashion models, in order to combat an epidemic of eating disorders there.

Adi Barkan, famed Israeli fashion photographer and owner of the Barkan Modeling Agency in Tel Aviv, has joined forces with Knesset member Inbal Gavriely to push through a bill requiring so-called mannequins to undergo health examinations before entering the profession.

The first of its kind in the world, the bill is designed to quell an increasing obsession with thinness that has produced body-image and eating disorders in the Land of Milk and Honey, particularly among teenage girls.

“Anorexia and bulimia are the modeling world’s dirty little secret,” says Barkan, a veteran of the Paris and Israeli fashion industries, who estimates eating disorders affect as many as 60 percent of Israeli models.

“The modeling agencies say, ‘Go lose 10 pounds.’ But they don’t care how the girls do it. We package malnutrition in such an attractive way that young women everywhere aspire to have ‘the look.’ It is time this industry shows the world that beauty and high fashion do not equal starvation.”

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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