Should Pin Thin Models be Banned from Appearing in Ads? Because One Just Was

Drop Dead
Does this ad send the wrong message to young girls?

It appears as if the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority and I finally agree on something.

Earlier this week we disagreed on whether a Marc Jacobs fragrance ad with Dakota Fanning was too racy. I said no, they said yes, and promptly banned it. (For the record, they didn’t seem to care — or know — that I thought it was much ado about nothing. Strange, right?)

Now they’ve gone ahead banned another ad. This one from a clothing line called Drop Dead that features a frighteningly thin model. And for that, I applaud them.

Last time I checked this isn’t 1993 and Kate Moss is no longer posing as a skeleton addicted to heroin for Calvin Klein.

The model featured in the Drop Dead ads looks as if she is severely malnourished. Sadly malnourished. Tragically malnourished.

The ASA described her as “underweight and look[ing] anorexic,” according to the New York Daily News.

“In the bikini images her hip, rib and collar bones were highly visible. We also noted that in the bikini and denim shorts images, hollows in her thighs were noticeable and she had prominent thigh bones. We considered that in combination with the stretched out pose and heavy eye makeup, the model looked underweight in the pictures,” they said.

The ASA’s fear, and rightly so, I might add, is that the ads could “possibly warp young girls’ perceptions of a healthy body image.”

Drop Dead responded that the model was a “standard size 8.”

So if she’s a size 8, then I’m a size 2. Which I’m not, by the way. I’m so not a size 2. Just like their model is so not a size 8.

Earlier this year the ASA also pulled some photoshopped ads of Julia Roberts and Christy Turlington, citing an “honesty” issue.

In the case of the Drop Dead ads, the only argument I can see for allowing the ads to keep running is they appear to not be photoshopped, and therefore the model’s rib bones are sticking out in all of their ugly, unhealthy glory. Maybe if more young girls saw the ad, they’d be more likely to avoid eating disorders so as to not look as sickly thin as this model.

Is the ASA being overzealous (again), or are they finally spot-on in banning an ad?


Article Posted 5 years Ago

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