Friday Faux Pas: How Thin is Too Thin?

First of all, let me get this out of the way…I love Revolve Clothing. I love their product selection, their sales (Hello, D&G shoes for under $200!), their easy layout, and the fact that they ship to Canada (sometimes even for free). But something really bothered me a while ago, when I was browsing their site for the nth time. It wasn’t the fact that I missed out on that lovely Alexander Wang bag on sale, no, what bothered me was this bobblehead girl, with limbs as thin as my favorite egg tagliatelle from Buca. It was extremely unsettling seeing someone so unhealthy-looking, modeling clothes, while looking like a human hanger. Upon further prodding, I realized that said girl was featured in many other photos, looking slightly less scary when covered up, but shockingly thin in tank-tops and other revealing outfits.

What’s more, I realized that this sad-looking girl was also the same model who got picked on for being too skinny by the People’s Revolution maven Kelly “Don’t You Dare Effing Cry Inside” Cutrone during the one episode of The City that I ended up watching. I’m guessing that Kelly’s concern went unnoticed, seeing how this girl is still shockingly thin. But what’s more shocking than that, is the fact that she’s still somehow getting work.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not out to bully this particular model, or vilify the collective skinny, but my question is…how thin is too thin? Shouldn’t retailers realize by now that they aren’t promoting a healthy image, when booking models this skinny. And though some might argue that clothes look better on rail-thin girls, whose main job is to sell a product…In my opinion, models should look good in their outfits…and that would make me want to buy the clothes much more. It’s always a model in a size small or extra-small in the garment photo on every site, wouldn’t it be amazing if they had a medium, or…gasp…a size large model demonstrating how a particular item fits?

I guess, after a year, during which diversity was so widely celebrated, skinny is still the golden standard. And after getting so used to seeing the already thin girls at each and every online shopping site, I’m worried that eventually we’ll get used to seeing this as well. If we aren’t already. I’d love to hear your opinions on this. Take the poll below or leave a comment.

Should Online Retailers Avoid Booking Too-Thin Models?

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Photo Credits: Revolve Clothing

Comments

  1. says

    This girl is too thin. I also think her look is distracting to the point that it’s taking away from the clothes. As for thinness, I really wish that people stop saying that certain numbers are “too thin.” Size zero can be perfectly normal on some people, especially if they’re on the shorter side (especially those with teeny-tiny frames), while size 10 on that same shorter person would be bordering on “plus.” I’m short and wear a 0 or 00 and if I had a loonie for every time someone tells me that that size is too thin, even on me, I’d probably have enough money to fund my hypothetical children’s university education.

    • says

      Cynthia, I completely agree with you on the size issue. It really does depend on each person’s overall body type. And no, size “0” on a petite person would not be as disturbing as it is on a person who is 6 feet tall. But photos of this model, really reminded me of that Ralph Lauren Photoshop disaster, and THAT is not a good look IMHO.

  2. says

    She really is too thin. Way too thin. She looks so sad and first thing I noticed in pictures, wasn’t clothes but her sad face and her too thin body.

  3. says

    Unfortunately, that’s what sells clothes. It’s a numbers game not a make everyone happy one. I also think it’s unfair to attack someone for being too skinny. Sometimes people are really skinny without having an eating disorder. Everyone’s body is different. At least this model has found a way to get work.

    • says

      Jason, thanks for participating in the discussion. I do agree that it’s a numbers game. But thankfully, consumers are starting to speak up more and more against this kind of marketing. Please understand that it was not my intent to attack anyone for being too skinny. If you are naturally skinny and can’t help it, that is completely fine, and I know a lot of people like that. But the question remains…how skinny is too skinny? It does not appear to me that this model is naturally thin. And to me, she looks disturbingly underweight and unhealthy. And that’s the only thing I see when I look at the segments she’s in…not the clothes. Numbers game at its best.

  4. says

    Just wanted to add that Revolve issued a comment on their site regarding this model, Allie Crandall:

    “Hi everyone,Thank you for your concern. We are absolutely aware of the feedback and responses to our model’s weight and it has concerned us as well. We are working closely with both the model and her agent to get her to a healthier size. She won’t be appearing in any of our new product batches or in any of our fashion editorial photos moving forward until the issue is adequately addressed. We appreciate and respect input from our customers and visitors and hope that you find our responses satisfying. We have been attempting to respect the privacy of the model in question while dealing with the issue on our end. We hope you understand. Sincerely,The REVOLVE Team”

    via The Huffington Post (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/12/22/allie-crandell-revolve_n_800476.html)

    • says

      What bothers me the most is…How could they NOT notice it beforehand? I mean, they did have to hire her first, do a shoot, approve and edit the photos, post them on the site…and only after a widespread backlash do they start being concerned? There’s something seriously wrong with the industry.

  5. says

    @Styleblog: I get the height issue, but a lot of people, especially body image activists DO NOT. Their stance on no size zero is no size zero, not no size zero models or no major airbrushing (Photoshop/airbrushing is a good thing and is needed to sharpen images, filtre, etc…). I have heard of people who want size zero taken out of stores. If they take size zero out of stores, then what would people like me wear? Also, even if they slap a size 4 or 6 on something that is currently called “size zero” you’re going to have people complaining about small sizes and small measurements. It’s just that you’re going to have an anti-size 4 (or 6) movement!

  6. says

    hmmm… really interesting debate, and i have to agree with the first comment: no to attacking size. the number is completely subjective (I’m 5″9, size 0) and I don’t look too thin, and its natural (healthy diet and tons of exercise)… this girl on the other hand? the ‘bobblehead’ effect is waaaay too distracting from the clothes… way too distracting! obv. not natural… on a biased note: being a shop owner, we try and hire girls of all shapes and sizes. So far, we’ve done three shoots with three different models, 5’9 size 0, 5’5 size 2 and 6’0 size 8 and we’ll continue to look for girls with all shapes and sizes…. clothes look best on women with confidence, not women of a certain shape! there, that’s my 2 cents!

  7. says

    @Justyina: Exactly. As for the height issue, the petite blogging community has grown expotentially in the past couple of years (not sure if you’re familiar with sites like alterationsneeded.com, extrapetite.com and my site, shorty-stories.com). We discuss style issues relating to women below 5’4″ and in some cases, social issues as well (shorter women are often ignored or brushed off if we even want to talk. Sad, don’t you think?) We also post pictures of ourselves in various outfits, sometimes just for show and others to be critiques. I think all of the petite bloggers are extremely confident and look amazing in their pics (even pictures that are poorly taken – ones done by cell phone in fitting rooms) I do hope that some day, our community would get more press, especially from more mainstream fashion sites and publications! What do you think?

  8. Paula says

    This ad campaign displays an unhealthy body image, granted this may be how the models natural physic is; this does bring up the issue of thin models in ads. In a lot of fashion ads, in particular, have gone towards the skinny side when displaying their products on models. It brings up a societal issue that asks whether or not that body type is the generic body type of all humans, specifically women. This ad is one of many that expose the debate of whether or not fashion ads should be held, somewhat, accountable for setting standards for the “ideal” weight limit. This gives the perception that if you are not a certain weight then you are deemed to not be attractive.
    There are many companies that are realistic in their appearance of the diverse body types around the world. For instance, the Aldo group has worked on appealing to all of their customers worldwide since they are a global brand. They know that in order to be successful, they need to appeal to everyday people, whom keep their business running and vibrant. Aldo makes sure that their customers are not only represented, but given products that are high-quality and affordable. The Aldo group makes sure to provide realistic ads that appeal to a diverse set of customers; they also make sure to contribute and give back to their external, and internal, publics. They team up with YouthAids, War Child, and many more to give back to citizens. Aldo does this selfishly because they recognize that their customers, and workers, go through: tough, unexpected, and untying times.

    Places that Aldo gives back
    Aldo Shoes Gives Back

Commenting is always in style!