TW for anorexia/ED discussions
Topshop withdraws advertisement of skinny model after complaint
…so yeah. Topshop has withdrawn an ad containing one of their models, Codie Young, because of a complaint from an anorexia support group that the image may encourage people towards anorexia.
The representative of the group, however, said that being that thin was “clearly not” OK.
On the one hand, it’s refreshing to see Topshop acknowledging the effect their advertising can have on people (though obviously it’s gonna make shit-all difference to future ads). On the other hand, body shaming is never OK, no matter what size the person you’re shaming is.
The Independent’s article Topshop withdraws advertisement of skinny model after complaint
Codie Young’s blog post TOPSHOP ANOREXIC – THE HONEST TRUTH
What do y’all think? Should ED charities be doing this sorta thing, or should they leave targetting individual models the hell alone as a tactic?
I think the problem isn’t so much that they targeted a specific ad but the conduct with which they went about it.
I think the ad genuinely is dangerous and shouldn’t be out there for un-critiqued consumption because at the end of the day the way the image presents with the words, people who don’t have such naturally skinny physique will conclude they don’t match up with this “prim” image nor have “ladylike appeal”. Because the very slender figure is the one promoted within fashion and advertising this isn’t just a one off event but a part of a much larger socialisation as to what the “ideal” body “should” be.
At the same time it sounds like the way it was all phrased was as much shaming the model in the adverts for what is naturally her body, as the advert shames those who don’t have similar bodies.
So in conclusion: good that the advert was taken down. Sad regarding the conduct of those that got it taken down. Sad that the conversation regarding (women’s) body image in advertising revolves around two homogenised ideals fighting for dominance by deriding the other one, as opposed to realising and promoting that people being naturally who they are, healthy and happy as being the way to be attractive and accepted.