My ulna's BMI

The move to ban "unhealthy models" saddens me. Not because I believe it will put poor, starving models out of work. Not because I believe my daughter was inspired to life-threatening malnutrition by the sight of Kate Moss. It makes me sad because the protest against the ban calls the models at and above the 18 BMI "larger."

Larger than what? My ulna? The fashion industry is balking at a minimum standard of 18, which is 1/2 a BMI point BELOW the definition of "underweight."

A 1/2 point less than what, if imposed on a population of refugees, would be considered by the WHO as a human rights abuse. In fact, perhaps we need to put Kofi Annan on this fact: today's models have on average a BMI of 16.3.

This is our standard of beautiful? This is attractive to us? We buy things from people who sell this standard?

We've redefined the ENTIRE normal BMI range as "large" "plus" "round."

This is evil. And worse still, it makes people with eating disorders seem rational. It makes us as parents and caregivers look like hypocrites when we assure our children that we want them to be "normal" and "healthy," not "fat."

By the standards of our media, 95% of us ARE too fat, too large, unacceptable, and pretty much invisible. We have normalized a vision of acceptable appearance which is arrestedly prepubescent (and 6 feet tall) for models, store mannekins, cereal commercial pitchmen, and entire staffs of fictional hospitals.


  1. Preach it sister. Your best post yet.

  2. I love it. Totally right on. Though as a fan of the show about the said fictional hospital, there are some important normal sized actresses in the cast. That's a trend I'd like to see continue.

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