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Topshop in Too Thin Debate

  • by Corrie Shenigo
  • posted at 5:23 pm
  • July 12, 2011

Topshop Screenshot with Model Codie Young

There has long been plenty of talk about what is and what isn’t too thin in the world of fashion, and today the debate once again made world news when London-based chain boutique Topshop removed images of 18-year old model Codie Young after various anti-eating disorder groups and the Daily Mail complained about Ms. Young’s very, very, very slight physique.

The Daily Mail called out Topshop last week, writing about the “painfully thin size-zero model,” and “The pale young woman with a gaunt face is seen on the fashion stores homepage wearing tiny clothes that hang off her skeletal frame.” The article quotes a representative from the British anorexia charity Beat as saying ”This is not the sort of thing we want to see in magazines and on the internet. It’s a constant battle against eating disorders and Topshop is not helping matters. For girls who see these kind of images it can be very damaging.”

Topshop Screenshot with Model Codie Young

In response to the paper, Topshop explained, ”Topshop is confident that Codie is a healthy young woman and we do not feel it necessary to remove her from our imagery based on your feature. However we do recognise regretfully that the angle this image has been shot at may accentuate Codie’s proportions making her head look bigger and neck longer in proportion to her body. [...] The clothes she is wearing are a sample size 10 so in some instances they may look a little looser than normal.” The brand did, however, remove the photograph in question and replaced it with a different photo of Codie Young from another angle.

It seems this debate is destined to rage-on. Ms. Young then took to her blog to express hurt over the accusations:

I am very happy with my body and how I look because its apart of who I am! Throughout my entire childhood I was called anorexic and people would ask if I was bulimic. And it was really hard sometimes for me to deal with as I have always been this way.You know what some people are just naturally skinny and even if I tried to put on weight it wouldn’t matter, because it doesn’t matter what I eat, I dont put it on.

And finally yes okay I maybe an American size 0-2 and a UK size 8 so what. There are overweight/obese people who are a size 34 or 18 but know one says anything to them because you don’t want to affend them! Just because someone eats a lot doesn’t make them healthy. Just like not eating anything doesnt make you healthy.

While there is no question the eating disorders are a very real danger to young girls in the modeling industry, there is also no question that people do come in all shapes and sizes – so the debate over how thin is too thin will continue to rage on. It’s good to know though, that there are designers and boutiques out there who are aware of the dangers and are willing to do something about it – even if it’s as simple as removing a picture that might send a dangerous message to their young customers. What are your thoughts on this ever present debate? How thin is too thin?

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