London Fashion Week and the skinny models scandal: what real women think.

    /24-7PressRelease/ – LONDON, UK, September 27, 2006 – As London Fashion Week kicked off this week, so did the row over size 00 stick-thin models. And as the shows draw to a close, it showed no sign of cooling down.

Madrid set the trend by banning girls with a body mass index of less than 18.5 from the catwalk – but London fashionistas refused to follow suit and at many shows, size 00 was the order of the day.

Health experts condemned the decision and ordinary women agree – a[1] poll this week showed a resounding 96% of visitors to the site would prefer to see real women on the catwalk to bony walking coathanger women.

TV star Gail Porter weighed in to the argument: “Having struggled with the disease (an eating disorder) myself, the image that we’re portraying to our children scares me.”

The 35-year-old mother of one continues: “I’m worried about the young girls that get into it. They might be naturally skinny then, but once they start to develop, they’re told to lose it and there’s an unnatural amount of pressure.”

The dangers of worshipping the uber-skinny look are clear: Eating disorders including anorexia, bulimia and compulsive over-eating disorder affect a staggering 12% of the population.

Supermarket chains have cottoned on to what real women want – Asda has chosen curvy Coleen McLoughlin (BMI 22.3) to front its George range while clothing giants Matalan picked smiley, healthy Mel Sykes, (BMI 19).

But some critics say simply using a model’s Body Mass Index as a guide may not be the answer. Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple calculation which shows how healthy your weight is in relation to your size. According to diet experts, a healthy BMI starts at 18.5 – anything less, and you could be dangerously thin. for example, will not produce a weight-loss diet[2] for anyone with a BMI below 20, and even when you have joined you can’t go below a BMI of 19.

So far so simple – but some women claim they naturally have a low BMI and the fact that healthy-looking stars like curvy Kelly Brook has a BMI of just 17.8 and healthy model mum Melinda Messenger just 17.4 adds weight to their argument.

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