In the 20 years I have been on this earth, society has witnessed the skinniest models walking down the runway, which has, in turn, impacted many aspects of the media. With editing tools like Photoshop, skinny became the norm.
In recent years, however, there has been reform in which companies, designers, celebrities and your average Joes are taking action to promote all body types as equally beautiful. This battle against unrealistic bodies, or seeing only one body type as ideal, has taken the world by storm and has been very effective in promoting such a positive message. That is why when I read that a Gucci advertisement was banned in the United Kingdom for featuring a model that was so skinny that she looked unhealthy, I was thrilled to see another positive step toward promoting healthier living. That is, I was until I actually saw the image of the advertisement.
“Unhealthy” is practically an underestimation of this model’s image — I have never seen anything like it. She is so skinny and so pale that it is truly frightening. It is hard to imagine that genetics or a rigorous workout schedule could have produced such a frail-looking figure (no offense to the model). I imagine — or rather, I hope — that the model is not that unhealthy in real life, but the way the photo portrays her is just not in her favor.
It is unbelievable that a designer would even think to publish this advertisement in the first place. Think about all the latest workout classes and trends, or the healthy lifestyle-themed Instagrammers that are captivating and attempting to better today’s world. With such a health-craze jolting throughout modern-day society, I would think a company, let alone such a high-end one, would have been more mindful of its audience. I guess the worst and most disappointing part of this recently revoked advertisement is the fact that it made it past production, thus showing how far the world (particularly, the world of fashion) still has to go in promoting equal body types.
Now, I am not saying all this to shut down skinny women. I know that since this plus-sized women revolution, naturally skinny females have experienced some backlash, as they do not want to come off as if they are predators. Their defense is totally understandable. I am sure they did feel targeted and attacked, and in trying to revitalize the bigger-built woman, the thinner ones have been shoved to the side.
Therefore, I do not think skinny women should be underrepresented either. Rather, there needs to be an equal balance — an emphasis on all body types as beautiful in their own way. I would like to see the fashion world continue to embrace this idea, and hopefully this Gucci advertisement being pulled will set a major example.
It is one thing to promote healthy and fit women in a workout advertisement who are on the thinner side, but it is another to take an absurdly skinny image of a woman and spread it throughout the fashion world. We all need to be a little mindful of the diversity in the world but embrace it for happier and healthier living.