There’s being slender, and then there’s being thin; with being thin having dangerous and sometimes fatal consequences
attached to it. Everyone knows where the line is between being thin and being too thin, and one of the biggest fashion chains recently received a large number of complaints, as a result of stepping over this line.
Topshop recently received complaints from eating disorder groups about the model on their website’s homepage, Codie Young, as she apparently looked ‘too thin’. With a tiny waist, long neck and gaunt face, people were clearly shocked by what they saw, whilst also being worried the image would send the wrong message to the fashion-conscious females of today.
This goes to show that even brands are unaware of how conscious people have become, and how this very image of Codie could give weight conscious girls a false hope of becoming unrealistically thin. Although responding to the complaints by arguing that Codie is a healthy size 8, Topshop quickly replaced the homepage image with a healthier looking shot of the model.
After hearing about the outrage, Codie hit back at the British public, stating that she is very healthy and that she found it offensive to be called anorexic. She also discussed how she has always been slim and that it’s a part of who she is, consequently confused about why she has been judged on an image described by Topshop as one that was ‘taken at the wrong angle’. Codie’s manager also hit back, explaining that models have to fit into sample size clothing, which in Australia is a dress size 8; Codie’s size.
So what is it about young, skinny models that brands think is so attractive? Is it that they distort the images of models wearing their clothes, to make them look better on them? When people see these images, they think one of two things; either they are gullible and believe the look can really be achieved; or they use it as a coping strategy for Anorexia. Both are dangerous, which is probably why Topshop made the decision to remove the image.
There is an ongoing debate in today’s society about so called ‘size zero’ girls, and whether they eat a lot or not, they are and will always be assumed to eat very little indeed. This view is mainly as a direct of result of what we see in magazines, as well as on the catwalk. Generally the models used in these media forms are a dress size 10 or under, although the majority are either a size 6 or 8, sending the wrong messages to the teenage girls growing up.