[Hot Topic] Models and Anorexia: A Controversial Campaign
This campaign (shown below), in the January issue of Plus Model Magazine, has stirred up plenty of controversy. With the year just beginning, this may be one of the most controversial campaigns on weight we’ve seen.
Throughout recent history, anorexia and modeling seem to catch plenty of attention due to health concerns and the public image. Especially when the girls you see in campaigns and the runway seem to have an unattainable figure. The public argues that this is not a healthy image to reflect into the public eye, especially for girls growing up who try to base their identity on what they see.
With the apparent demand for more ‘realistic’ models, there have been plenty of interesting campaigns in the past. This recent campaign has taken an interesting twist with these images.
Be sure to read the text of each shot. They seem to insinuate more than what is read at face value.
“Twenty years ago, the average fashion model weighed 8% less than the average woman. Today she weighs 23% less,” one of them expresses.
What they are trying to say is that due to anorexia, the size of the model has gone down and the models of today are not healthy. This is misleading. The reason for this statistic is that the size of the model hasn’t fluctuated that much, however the size of the average woman has gone up tremendously, thus the statistic. So the word play is there to let the viewers interpret them on their own. It’s not as clear as the concise quotes have you believe. Were they done intentionally? This is where the arguments come in.
Many of the comments to this spread try to break down what each image is trying to say based on the text, body language and pose of each shot.
Regardless, you would think that people would generally be for a campaign bringing awareness toward anorexia. However, there was plenty of backlash from the general public for this campaign.
One reader claimed that it tried to make women look like weight was the defining principle to what makes a woman what she is. Another states that this promotes an equally unhealthy lifestyle, and being overweight is not the answer to anorexia, leading a healthy lifestyle is.
Decide for yourself, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this campaign.
Do you think this ad is sensationalism? What message do you think it tries to express? Do you think the intended response from the public was exactly what they intended?