Off the Scales

Weighing in on the Weight Standards

“Five feet nine, 109 pounds or less,” snaps a receptionists at the Ford modeling agency in New York City when asked for the average female fashion model’s height and weight. That’s 27 pounds under the lowest weight for a woman of the same height on the 1959 Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) table, which from its publication has been the American Standard followed by doctors, weight loss programs and even internation airlines.