- Vivian Hendriksz |
London - British fashion designer Victoria Beckham is facing mounting criticism for promoting what many people feel to be an unhealthy body image.
Beckham stands accused of promoting a dangerously thin body image after sharing a few images from her latest eyewear advertising campaign, which features Lithuanian model Giedre Dukauskaite, on social media.
The 29 year old model, who is wearing a silk tunic and loose pink trousers as well as oversized glasses in the photographs, has been described as ‘dangerously thin’, ’emaciated’ and suffering from ‘anorexia’ by the likes of Piers Morgan, British tv host, Amanda Foremen, a Wall Street Journal columnist and Emma Woolf, author and journalist. Hundreds of social media users around the globe echoed their sentiment, with some arguing that Beckham is promoting a dangerous beauty ideal among young women.
A model who looks like a teenager with severe anorexia is the face for the #VBEyeware 2018 summer collection. This is the reason why every study done on social media and advertising calls the threat to young girls’ mental health “dire”. @victoriabeckham pic.twitter.com/xS6hC2SwlW— Amanda Foreman (@DrAmandaForeman) January 14, 2018
“Her head is bigger than her whole body,” commented one user on Instagram. “Yuck!! This is not what healthy looks like!! Try again,”wrote another. “How could you use this model? What message are you sending out to young girls? This is an outrage,” added another. The ad campaign comes as model health becomes an increasingly discussed subject in the media ahead of the international fashion week calendar. French fashion conglomerates LVHM and Kering previously pledged to ban too-thin models from the advertising and catwalk fashions in their Model Charter last September and France introduced a law which requires models to present a certificate of good health before working.
However, it seems as if these initiative have yet to make a mark on the global fashion industry. A recent study from the Model Alliance, a body-positive group, conducted together with the Harvard and Northeastern University found that 81 percent of the models surveyed had a body mass index of less than 18.5, which is what the World Health Organisation classifies as underweight. Although some people commented that the model chooses by Beckham may be naturally this slim and urged for a wider acceptance of all body types in 2018, the majority felt that the fashion house had chosen to promote a dangerous body ideal by idealizing extremely thin models.
Whether this model is naturally thin or not, you have chosen her. That is irresponsible and unworthy of so prominent a designer. Public feeling is not with you on this.— Tony Balmforth (@tonybalmforth) January 14, 2018
This model may be naturally slim and she is beautiful! However using models that are this thin creates an unrealistic goal for most girls and is highly irresponsible!— sally anne (@sallyhelston) January 14, 2018
Why not use healthy, normal women? What point are you trying to make? Please stop making our girls feel like starving is normal.— Yoby Alexander (@yoby) January 15, 2018
This is why so many girls end up with a eating disorder the way social media glorify extremely thin girls and use them in any kind of promotion of product, it’s unfair and damaging to so many families!!— Vicky #JArmy (@missvicky9898) January 14, 2018
This is not the first time that Beckham stand accused of promoting an unhealthy body image in her advertisements. Back in 2010 the British designer pledged to only use healthy-looking models on the catwalk for her shows after facing criticism for using incredibly thin-models.
I thought you wanted to support women? 89% of people suffering from eating disorders ARE WOMEN. Plz try again.— harriet thompson (@hattyinlondon) January 16, 2018