JERUSALEM (AP) - When Margaux Stelman began modeling a few months ago, she always had her sister Simone in mind.
Simone was an ex-model who died three years ago after a long battle with anorexia, a common affliction of models trying to look thinner and thinner and girls trying to look like them.
Now, thanks to a new Israeli law that prohibits the employment of underweight fashion models, Stelman says she feels protected from the traditional pressures of an industry notorious for encouraging extremes in thinness. The law sets weight minimums with the aim of discouraging anorexia and bulimia, eating disorders that affect mostly young women, who go on extreme diets and are unable to eat normally.
The Israeli law, passed by parliament last year, is the first of its kind. The United States and England have guidelines, but their fashion industry is self-regulated. Other governments have taken steps to prevent "size zero" medical problems but have shied away from legislation.