The debate goes on about models that are too skinny and looking anorexic. Despite many discussions and debates about what constitutes a healthy body, the fashion industry is reluctant in most part to forego the super thin models.
Not only that, it seems the bigger names are the worst perpetrators. Take Gucci’s latest ad – even though the model is fully clothed, we do not need a lot of imagination to think of her as a bag of bones. The fact that she looks barely out of her tweens seems to make matters even worse. To look trendy and fashionable it seems, is to look under-developed, prepubescent and painfully malnourished. Surely fashion houses are not so naive in thinking this will have no effect on the millions of women and girls who see these photos?
The fashion industry is cracking down on the use of excessively thin models on the runway and in advertising. Recently, Gucci drew the ire of UK’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) for a campaign image featuring an “unhealthily thin” model. “We considered that the model leaning against the wall appeared to be unhealthily thin in the image, and therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible,” ASA’s website read.
The ad appeared on the Times of London website in December of last year and soon after, the ASA received a complaint about the model’s size. Gucci responded to the ruling in a statement: “We take our responsibilities as an advertiser very seriously in the way models are selected for, and presented in, our advertising campaigns. We have noted, but are not in agreement with, the assessment of the U.K. Advertising Standards Authority, an independent regulator, in relation to one model featured in one image from our cruise 2016 campaign. The campaign itself expired at the end of December 2015.”
According to WWD, the Italian fashion house argued that thinness is subjective and the model in question was not “depicted in a way that could be interpreted as unhealthily thin.” It’s hard to debate that the model looks frail and waif-like in this photo. Though no bones are visible, the model appear dangerously thin and her “somber facial expression and dark makeup, particularly around her eyes,” only makes matters worse.
The ASA’s admonishment of Gucci is the latest in a series of attempts made by authorities to curb the use of overly thin models. France put legislation in place that bans models with a Body Mass Index (BMI) less than 18 and British fashion brand Rose and Willard requires models to eat in their presence. Hopefully, fashion houses will start casting more responsibly in seasons to come.