When I read Sarah's account of Madrid's ban on models with a BMI of less than 18, I started wondering what that number actually meant in comparison to some of the world's top models. (BMI is Body Mass Index, a measure of weight proportionate to height.) Of course, any person's BMI is a moving target, so all reports of celebrity BMI should be taken as speculative unless made by the celebrity herself while in a startlingly confessional mood. Likewise, the standard healthy-BMI level is a matter of opinion, with some authorities asserting a low ideal of 18-24, and others offering a more relaxed range of 22-26.

No matter the exact range, the reported BMIs of several style icons fall at or below reasonable standards of health, and there is question that 30 percent of the models in the Madrid show flunked their BMI tests -- too skinny. Here are five other reported BMIs:
  • Twiggy: 14.7
  • Kate Moss: 16.8 (or 15.7)
  • Nicole Richie: 17
  • Paris Hilton: 16
  • Elle MacPherson: 17.3
  • Heidi Klum: 18
Part of me wants to commend Madrid for taking a hard stand against this extremely unhealthy standard of beauty. And yet part of me shrugs my shoulders and says, "So what?" After all, for any real change to occur in the fashion industry, designers, stylists, and magazines are going to have to be on board. And that's going to take a lot more than one show's BMI enforcement.

What do you think? Will the fashion industry ever come around?

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