This clothing ad just got banned because its model is “unhealthily thin”
The fashion world has been making some respectable strides lately with celebrating different body types. We’ve loved seeing women like Ashley Graham on Sports Illustrated and Iskra Lawrence as the face of the Aerie campaign. That doesn’t mean, though, that the fight for healthy body image is over and done with. Judging by Gucci’s latest ad, which was banned for featuring an “unhealthily thin” model, we still have some ways to go.
Gucci recently released a video ad that was supposed to target “older and sophisticated” audiences (even though all the models are well under the age of 30, but we suppose that’s neither here nor there). The less than three-minute clip is essentially a dance party of people waving their arms around, clad in high fashion Gucci clothes. As soon as it begins, you can see that every single person in front of the camera is very thin.
However, there’s one model in particular that has forced the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) to intervene.
Apparently her arms and midsection were far too slender to be in correct proportion to her head. The ASA claims her makeup was intentionally done to make her look “gaunt.” In conclusion they said, “For those reasons, we considered that the model… appeared to be unhealthily thin in the image, and therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible.”
Gucci is no longer allowed to air this ad anymore in this format, and the ASA encourages them to be more responsible when choosing their models in the future. Not surprisingly, Gucci took heed to the decision, but disagreed, saying that the idea of an “unhealthily thin model” is a “subjective issue.” Here’s their statement:
Some women spoke out on Twitter, this one in particular calling everyone out on why this picture is still so readily accessible to everyone, everywhere:
Others argue that the way the ASA handled it was problematic, and possibly even thin-shaming. Cosmopolitan.com argues, “Even if intended to combat problematic portrayals of the female form, it’s worth noting this is a pretty body-shaming statement in itself.”
It’s important to remember that women (and men!) come in all shapes and sizes, and that not one body is the “right” body. It’s not okay to shame any kind of body. But with that said, it’s arguably the clothing company’s responsibility to embrace all kinds of body types and not singularly promote one kind.
If anything, we hope this is a valuable lesson that teaches companies like Gucci to be inclusive of all kinds of body types, and to be careful about the message they send men and women.