Latest news | 17 Mar 2015

Exploitation goes out of fashion


Butterfly Foundation, Australia’s leading organisation for eating disorders and body image, applauds France for taking strong measures against the exploitation of unhealthy and underweight models in advertising. This unethical business practice has had a devastating impact on its workforce and its consumers.

Butterfly Foundation CEO Christine Morgan welcomed France’s legislative commitment to action against the use of unhealthy models in advertising. “Any business that deliberately uses underweight models to market their products is complicit in their exploitation.

“It is hard to believe that our society is at a point where we need legislation to stop businesses from exploiting sick and vulnerable people. This should be common sense – a sustainable business should not be contributing to the illness of its employees or customers.

If France, the home of fashion, has been forced to join Israel, Spain, Italy and Belgium in taking this legislative action; it demonstrates that there is a real link between the role this industry plays and eating disorders.

Australia’s industry, despite its relative size, has worked together to acknowledge its influential role in setting a positive standard. There is still an enormous amount of work left to do in slowing the growth of eating disorders prevalence in Australia, with almost a million Australians already affected.

The second tranche of France’s legislation that tackles insidious websites glorifying anorexia is just as important. “This is a much needed response to a sinister form of promotion that can have a deadly impact. Any legislation that tries to tackle this form of advertising and promotion, and in particular those who are profiting from it, is very welcome.”

“We will closely watch France and the other countries who have taken this route, to see what impact the legislative approach has in practice,” said Christine Morgan.

Media note:

We would be grateful if all media stories discussing eating disorders include the National Eating Disorders Supportline.

‘Anyone needing support with body image or eating disorders is encouraged to contact the Butterfly Foundation National Eating Disorders Supportline on 1800 33 4673 (1800 ED HOPE).’