STUDIO CITY (CBSLA.com) — California may become the first state to require models to obtain a doctor’s note in order to work under a proposed bill.
If approved, modeling agencies would be licensed by the state and could be fined for hiring models who don’t have a doctor’s note saying they’re healthy.
It would require periodic health checkups and nutritional counseling.
“I did become very successful but I paid a very high price,” said Nikki DuBose, who has graced the covers of magazines. “I didn’t want to be involved in an industry that was making me sick.”
Sick from eating disorders, her mental and physical health suffering, DuBose left the business four years ago.
She’s now a Los Angeles-based author, advocate, and a support of AB2539, a bill proposed by a Northern California assemblyman.
The proposed bill follows the efforts in several countries to fight anorexia and other eating disorders among models who are pressured to lose weight or lose work.
“I have friends of mine who are in the modeling industry right now and they’re messaging me, telling me, ‘Can you help me because I’m being asked to lose weight by my agency,’ ” she said.
“It’s no joke in the same way coal miners get workplace health and safety protection, models shouldn’t be risking their health and their safety for their careers,” said Sara Ziff, who runs the Model Alliance.
Ziff spoke to CBS2 via FaceTime.
“If you don’t protect the faces from unrealistic and unhealthy ideals than it’s not surprising these models will set bad example,” she said.
After the death of Model Isabelle Caro from anorexia last year, France banned excessive thinness in models.
Fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld shocked the world when he said the problem wasn’t thin models, but overweight women.
“This is not just an issue for models. This is an issue for society,” said DuBose.
She thinks this will help reshape the ideal image.
“If we can change the way that the standards are within the modeling industry, then this can in turn impact society in a better way,” she said.
The bill has built-in provisions for sexual harassment and safer provisions for models in the workplace.
The bill has to be passed by both houses and be signed by Gov. Jerry Brown.