Thursday, November 17, 2011

UK fashion brand takes a ribbing over super-skinny model pics

Fashionista reports that the UK Advertising Standards Authority ordered Drop Dead Clothing to remove the above bikini photos of Scottish model Amanda Hendrick from their online catalogue:
“The ASA considered the model was very slim. We also noted that in the bikini and denim shorts images, hollows in her thighs were noticeable and she had prominent thigh bones,” the ruling said. “We considered that in combination with the stretched out pose and heavy eye make-up, the model looked underweight in the pictures.”
The Daily Record says Carol Sykes, of Drop Dead Clothing, has accepted the ruling but not the rationale.
"Amanda is not anorexic or unhealthy and eats a very good diet. She's just a naturally thin person. She's my son's former girlfriend and a family friend. She had modelled for us for three years and we'd never had any complaints. Do I think people should aspire to be like her? Yes, because she is a beautiful person and jets around the world earning £600 plus a day. She's got a successful career and no mental health problems. Do I think removing a picture of Amanda will stop people being mentally ill? No, I don't."
 Umm, OK. The curveless model still appears in some less revealing outfits at the DDC store.

For me, the question is not whether or not Ms. Hendrick has an eating disorder. It's why the brand thought she was the right type of shape to model swimwear. Generally, swimwear models are much more robust in the hips shoulders (etc.), to show off a swimsuit's waist- and breast-enhancing appeal. Seeing this skinny model in such a context is not so much appealing as alarming. It reminds me of the nude fashion show in Altman's film Prêt-à-Porter, in which you are confronted with the realization that high fashion models only look sexy with their clothes on — as they lack any prominent secondary sexual characteristics that would ruin the line or the drape of the look.

Anyway, Drop Dead got publicity, Amanda Hendrick got notoriety, and the ASA got its way. This "scandal" is probably beneficial for everyone involved... except for the young women consumers who are being told that visible ribs are a thing now.

But apparently, asses are "out".
That said, I still don't believe that the pictures should have been banned. As irresponsible as the portrayal is, I think we're better off exposing the cynicism of the brand and trying to educate consumers rather than regulating taste. But that's just me.


  1. The other day, I was talking to a friend who has a lovely hourglass figure, and she was telling me she needed to go to the gym, because she had big hips. She went on to say that because of her figure, she couldn't wear clothes "right". I definitely agree that this picture shouldn't have been banned. I am all for education over censorship. And I have nothing against skinny models, which may seem shocking. My issue is the lack of variety. I do know people who are as naturally as thin as this model, but I also know a lot of girls who aren't. I have nothing against models like this, but I do object to them being presented as the "standard" for beauty. Anyhow,all ethics aside, I will not shop online if I can't get a good idea of what the clothes will look like on me (another girl with an hourglass figure). I'm sure a lot of people feel the same way. Having only skinny models just doesn't strike me as a good business move for an online retailer. (TL;DR skinny models are fine, but there need to be more curvy ones as well if these sites want my money)