February 12, 2007

Missing the point

Posted in Food, News at 1:40 pm by The Lizard Queen

From Reuters via Yahoo: Restaurant offers skinny models free food

Bumpkin restaurant in trendy Notting Hill is offering models with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of less than 18 the opportunity to gorge on fish pies, lamb burgers, king prawns and scallops.”If I could recommend a dish to a size zero model, it would be a charter pie containing leeks, chicken and bacon; it’s enough to keep you warm and energised all day,” Bumpkin general manager Dariush Nejad said in a statement on Monday.

The issue of size zero or “skinny models” has dogged fashion shows around the world after two anorexic Latin American models died last year and has been under the international spotlight during the spring fashion season in New York, Milan, Paris and London, which began on Sunday.

Madrid last year banned models with a BMI below 18 from taking part in fashion shows. BMI is a measure expressed as a ratio of weight to height. A BMI limit of 18 means a 5-foot-8 inch model must weigh at least 120 pounds (54 kg).

Models with a BMI of less than 18 who visit Bumpkin for lunch or dinner will be invited to select any food off the menu, simply by showing their modeling card which states if they are size zero, the restaurant said.

I realize, of course, that this is probably just a publicity stunt on the part of the restaurant. Still, though, it strikes me as ridiculous for three reasons: a) if the restaurant’s claim that “recent visitors included fashion designer Stella McCartney, filmmaker Guy Ritchie, popstar Simon le Bon and his wife Yasmin” is true, then I don’t really see why they need this kind of publicity; b) models with BMIs lower than 18 are not that thin because they can’t afford food; and c) might whatever money the restaurant might expend on this endeavor be better spent on funding a clinic for eating disorders or feeding London’s homeless?

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