Danish fashion industry launches world’s first health check for models

February 8, 2017

Today, the Danish fashion industry unveils a private sector-financed pilot project in 2017 aimed at testing all 16-year-old models.

Since 2007 the Danish fashion industry has worked with the Danish Association against Eating Disorders and Self-harm and launched the Danish Fashion Ethical Charter, which ensures the well-being of models and helps promote a healthier, more natural beauty ideal.

The Danish Fashion Ethical Charter focuses on three core values: accountability, compassionate respect and health. The fashion industry respects and protects its employees and wants to ensure their health and safety. We value diversity and are aware of and take responsibility for the impact the industry has on body ideals. We would like to promote and work towards a healthy lifestyle and healthy body ideal that reflects a wholesome relationship to food, body and exercise.

It is therefore with great satisfaction that the Danish industry organisations, model agencies, model union and a patient organisation can announce a pilot project for 2017, financed by the private sector. The pilot project’s aim is to assess the health of 16-year-old models at the Danish Association against Eating Disorders and Self-harm.

The road to health checks
The Danish Fashion Ethical Charter was updated in 2015 with a number of permanent stipulations on age, salary and diet as well as goals for introducing a nationwide health check for models. The latter has not been a simple task because the existing Danish healthcare system is unable to provide a uniform nationwide health check focusing on eating disorders. Neither hospitals nor health centres nor private practitioners have the capacity or expertise to perform a specialised assessment of the 1000 models. Despite high public interest in thin models, the authorities have been unable to assist the industry in establishing a health check.

Taking the matter into own hands, the Danish fashion industry has spent the last year working to find a solution, resulting in a pilot project in 2017 with a health check of 16-year-old models, the age limit to work as a model. The health check pilot project will cost about DKK 200,000 annually. The cost will be paid partly by the model’s agency and partly by a contribution from the industry, which will charge customers a flate rate of DKK 75.00 per invoice when booking a model.

The basic premise is that models are not sick. However, in recognition that models are a vulnerable group due to their profession, which requires meeting specific body measurements, the initiators of the pilot project believe a health check is essential. Thus the aspiration and purpose of the health check is to quickly identify the many healthy models and to find the ones who either have an eating disorder or exhibit risky behaviour, allowing them to get the help they need to avoid becoming sick.

If the pilot project is deemed a success, the goal is to add more age groups in the future.

Who’s behind the project?
The new health check pilot project is being adopted and launched by eight of Denmark’s most important model agencies: 2PM Management, Diva Models, Elite Model Management, Gossip Model Management, Heartbreak Model Management, Le Management, Scoop Models and Unique Models, in collaboration with the Danish Association against Eating Disorders and Self-harm, Model Union Denmark, the Danish industry organisations Dansk Fashion & Textile, WEAR, Danish Fashion Institute and Copenhagen Fashion Week as well as the steering committee of the Danish Fashion Ethical Charter.

For more information: danishfashionethicalcharter.com