Photographer, Visual Artist
Who is Adi Barkan?
Barkan worked as a fashion photographer for fifteen years in Paris, London and New York, before returning to Israel in 1998 to open his own modeling agency in Tel Aviv. After speaking on television about his experience with model Hila Elmalich, an anorexic whom he rushed to hospital after she collapsed and who later died, Barkan was deluged by telephone calls from girls and young women suffering from anorexia. This experience persuaded him to require all of his models to submit to body mass index exams to demonstrate their physical health and lack of an eating disorder.
Working with Member of Knesset Inbal Gavriely, he successfully submitted legislation to the Israeli Knesset in December, 2004, requiring all modeling agencies in Israel to use the BMI exam, making Israel one of the first countries to pass such a bill. Subsequently, an agency will not be allowed to continue representing a model unless she submits to a health test every three months and receives higher than 18.5 BMI.