MADRID, Spain (Reuters) -- The world's first ban on overly thin models at a top-level fashion show in Madrid has caused outrage among modeling agencies and raised the prospect of restrictions at other venues.
Madrid's fashion week has turned away underweight models after protests that girls and young women were trying to copy their rail-thin looks and developing eating disorders.
Organizers say they want to project an image of beauty and health, rather than a waif-like, or heroin chic look.
"I think its outrageous, I understand they want to set this tone of healthy beautiful women, but what about discrimination against the model and what about the freedom of the designer," said Gould, Elite's North America director, adding that the move could harm careers of naturally "gazelle-like" models.
The mayor of Milan, Italy, Letizia Moratti, told an Italian newspaper this week she would seek a similar ban for her city's show unless it could find a solution to "sick" looking models.
The Madrid show is using the body mass index or BMI -- based on weight and height -- to measure models. It has turned away 30 percent of women who took part in the previous event. Medics will be on hand at the September 18-22 show to check models.