Today, the CEO of H&M admitted his brand has used models that are “too skinny”, and he plans to do more to keep the retailer’s runways and ads diverse (using massively popular celebrities who happen to not weight 80 pounds is a start). But before we get carried away thin-shaming the brand, we have to give shine to their recent swimwear campaign that featured plus-sized model Jennie Runk totally nonchalantly. That showed that to H&M, as in reality, a woman Runk’s size is not an anomale.
It’s confusing to talk about the dangers of thinness in magazines when every other health news story seems centered around our country’s obesity crisis, but it’s important to remember the impact images have on us — even as adults — and that sometimes women go to extreme lengths chasing the ideals set forth by the fashion industry. Non-models are affected. Even more importantly, children are affected. Here’s a particularly sobering stat from NationalEatingDisorders.org:
Of American elementary school girls who read magazines, 69% say that the pictures influence their concept of the ideal body shape. 47% say the pictures make them want to lose weight.
And who can forget the sordid tales of models eating tissues to remain “Paris Thin”, and the Vogue editor who resorted to Photoshop (not different casting practices) when her models appeared too thin. Sigh. Let’s take a look at some fashion moments that got it right.
this is some kind of spaceship or something.
Additional reporting by Lauren Valenti.