This absolutely needs to stop. We were all at one stage young and impressionable. Luckily for us, the horrors of the Internet were not as easily accessible as they are today. Gone are the days where your computer would literally dial up to connect to the server and you were unable to chat on msn to your crush while your mum was using the landline. I cannot remember a time before I was in my final years of school where I would shop online. But now young teenagers browse the latest fashion trends on the go, on their smartphones and on personal laptops in their own bedrooms.
Having a relaxing night in (I’m the kind of girl who reaches for the credit card and not the Ben & Jerry’s for company) I was browsing online discount store, Romwe. After their constant Facebook ads I thought it time to try out their clothing range and obviously there was a sale on.
And then I discovered the featured picture. Not even remotely interested in the dress it was selling, I clicked the image anyway to discover a shockingly thin model. I hate the idea of skinny shaming, as I would never do it to someone who was overweight, however I believe this image to be far out of the realm of bitching and actually quite worrying (all of my friends agreed).
The picture isn’t my main concern- it simply questions the important issue of advertising in fashion and the modelling industry. The fashion industry has to set legislation to advise agencies on which models can or cannot be hired and work for companies which advertise on social media sites and cater to a younger audience. Since April of last year, when the committee of Paris Fashion Week set to regulate the models who were allowed to work at the shows, we have not seen any improvement or changes in legislation to protect young, vulnerable audiences and the health and wellbeing of models. They issued fines (of up to £55,000) to agencies that employed models with a weight under a certain BMI. During the shows this action was successful, however it is not a global initiative, which leads to photos such as the one above being released.
Another key concern of mine is that, although there have been promises of reform in the past, we are still not given the information as to whether a photo has been photo shopped or left completely untouched. I assume all photos have been edited to some extent, however the audience should be told whether a photo has been retouched or edited in some way. Photos such as the one above can be very overwhelming to a vulnerable audience, especially one who believes the photo to capture an authentic moment. We have all seen the video of a pizza being photo shopped to look like a model. People who use these editing sites are wizards and their talents to make anything look realistic and believable is incredibly deceptive.
The most worrying aspect of this discovery is that young, most likely impressionable boys and girls will see this photo and potentially think of it as #goals. It’s 2016, people – this has to stop happening.
Photo credit: from Alison’s own snapchat, photo taken of the http://www.romwe.com/ site.