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Op-Ed: MEDIA MATTERS :Israel: A Light unto the Nations Again

Are you aware of the revolutionary law Israel put into effect this week?
Published: Wednesday, January 02, 2013 11:20 PM




Amazingly. the only democracy in the Middle East is continually lambasted and attacked by worldwide media. This, despite many facts which show they are the good guys in the region – leading to the world overlooking how on so many important cultural issues Israel is more forward thinking than many Western-countries.

Yes, the State of Israel is constantly blamed and attacked for one reason or another.

Working in public relations. I know well that media images shape minds – and undoubtedly unrealistic body images in the media shape eating habits. The law which took effect this week - the first of its kind anywhere in the world - decreed that models who have a body mass index (BMI) of less than 18.5 cannot be featured in media, or walk the “catwalk” during fashion shows.

Also, any ad which has been edited/photoshopped to make the model appear to be under 18.5 BMI must have a large warning that the image was distorted.

What a great, positive message for young women, and positive public relations for Israel.

Worldwide, seeing unhealthy, unrealistic images causes tremendous damage to women’s psyches. Yes, my liberal friends, this is true tikkun olam – a light unto the nations --instead of many other misguided programs. It is Israel taking action and tackling an important issue head on.

This important initiative can serve as a model for other countries who deal with anorexia, bulimia, and other eating related issues, particularly among young women.

As Kadima MK Rachel Adato said,  a “revolution against the anorexic model of beauty begins. Overly skinny models who look as if they eat a biscuit a day and then serve as a model for our children” will no longer be visible.

And as Likud MK Danny Danon said, the law sends a clear message to modeling agencies – that "life is more important than money."

Many worldwide in the fashion industry have debated the use of ultrathin models. In Israel – unique among the nations of the world – something is being done about it.

 Not surprisingly, yet still disappointing, we won’t see worldwide editorials commending Israel – as we see condemnations for other asinine matters regularly.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR,  NY PR agency.