Hedi Slimane always manages to attract loads of attention with his unique dark fashion campaigns with a rock ‘n’ roll attitude that totally capture the essence of the Saint Laurent chic. This time, however, he causes controversy, as the latest Saint Laurent campaign starring 18-year-old model Kiki Willems gets banned by the UK’s Advertising Standards Authority, fighting with wrong advertising and unhealthy standards. The reason is that Kiki looks “unhealthily thin” in the photos with her thighs and knees being almost the same width and the thin legs creating especially a big contrast with the big platform sandals that emphasize her thin silhouette even more. Moreover, according to a statement Kiki’s “rib cage was visible and appeared prominent” in the photos and overall she appears “unhealthily underweight” in the campaign, making it irresponsible.
While the brand still doesn’t consider Kiki to be “underweight”, it has refused to provide any details or comments on the matter so far. ASA has prohibited the ad from appearing in the current form, stating: “We told the advertisers to ensure that the images in their ads were prepared responsibly.”
“While eating disorders are most often caused by underlying emotional issues or events, the impact of the media on vulnerable young people can act as a dangerous catalyst – triggering disordered thinking and behaviour. Adverts using underweight models are promoting a distorted image of beauty and yet this has become the norm in the UK,” they have added.
It was just back in April when France rolled out a new law banning too thin models and thus promoting a healthier image. This means that both brands and agents are responsible for their model choices, as breaking the law they are subject to big fines or even jail time. Magazines also can be penalized by the law with a fine of €37,500 in case of using major retouching techniques to make the models in the photos appear artificially thin. Moreover, in America the Health Initiative of the CFDA aims at providing top models with useful information on proper nutrition to help them fight any eating disorders, while still looking good and healthy. It’s not obligatory to be almost transparently thin to be considered slender, as this can lead to major health problems, besides let’s agree that little curves make a women look more feminine and sexy. Instead going on a strict diet and subjecting yourself to starving, it’s important to educate yourself on healthy eating and dedicate time to fitness, which will put both your body and mind at healthy standards!
Photos courtesy of Saint Laurent