Recently, companies have been getting backlash from using thin models and retouching photos since they are creating an image that is unattainable for “normal” women. There is the other opinion that it is difficult to sell bikinis without having perfection on the page. We see this dichotomy in the articles about Doutzen Kroes getting retouched (1), and Nathalie Portman’s mascara ad being banned (2). Even the magazine in Germany that banned professional models is now reconsidering that decision because they found that Brigitte’s sales have plunged further (3). To some extent, I believe that if we are paying models inordinate amounts of money, that they should not be like the general population, they should be extraordinary.
At one point in time, the focus was on being plump and pale; now, the focus is on being thin and tan. Why are we discriminating against this “skinny” model population now? This is another devolution of what is beautiful to the dominant society. Israel has banned underweight models from being used in advertisements by going into the model’s medical records. Can anyone say “breach of privacy” (4). Besse Biber, the author who wrote Selling the Body Beautiful would be in support of legislation like this because companies are using advertisements to show you what you should be and not what you are. However, with more education on the topic women are becoming smart to advertising tricks and avoiding the trap. Instead of people maintaining prejudice against fat girls, the prejudice has turned to those who are thin. We need to move on and educate ourselves in natural self-beauty and to rejoice in our differences fat or skinny.
(1) “Can you Tell the Difference Between Doutzen Kroes with and Without Retouching” by Hayley Phelan http://fashionista.com/2012/08/can-you-tell-the-difference-between-doutzen-kroes-with-and-without-retouching/
(2) “L’Oreal Gets Natalie Portman’s Dior Mascara Ad Banned by Tyler McCall
(3) “Magazine Considers Reversing Ban on Professional Models after Two Years” http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2012/sep/03/magazine-reversing-ban-professional-models
(4) “New Israeli Law bans Underweight Models in Adverts” http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk/news-features/TMG9154920/New-Israeli-law-bans-underweight-models-in-adverts.html