ASA Bans One Urban Outfitters Photo Over Thigh Gap But Ignores the Rest

These sort of thigh-gap protests go on all the time, but this model is featured elsewhere on the site in her underwear and all her supposed anorexia-inducing glory and apparently only one picture is an issue.
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These sort of thigh-gap protests go on all the time, but this model is featured elsewhere on the site in her underwear and all her supposed anorexia-inducing glory and apparently only one picture is an issue.

The British Advertising Standards Authority has ordered Urban Outfitters to take down this shot of a model in her skivvies after a complaint that she was “unhealthily thin.” 

"We considered that the model was very thin, and noted, in particular, that there was a significant gap between the model’s thighs, and that her thighs and knees were a similar width."

"We considered that the model was very thin, and noted, in particular, that there was a significant gap between the model’s thighs, and that her thighs and knees were a similar width."

These sort of thigh-gap protests go on all the time, but this model is featured elsewhere on the site in her underwear and all her supposed anorexia-inducing glory, and apparently only one picture is an issue. The ASA agreed with the complaint. They’ve produced a letter to this effect, ordering Urban to remove the photo by the end of the day or else face penalty fees, and Urban Outfitters isn’t having it. From the ASA:

"We considered that the model was very thin, and noted, in particular, that there was a significant gap between the model’s thighs, and that her thighs and knees were a similar width. We understood that Urban Outfitters’ target market was young people and considered that using a noticeably underweight model was likely to impress upon that audience that the image was representative of the people who might wear Urban Outfitters’ clothing, and as being something to aspire to. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible.”

Urban Outfitters responded, saying that the “well-respected model has a “healthy waist measurement to 23.5 inches, and is “naturally tall and slim.” The ASA didn’t come after other models. So to recap, too much thigh gap in the polka dot undies, but in these green lacy ones, it’s all good. It’s great that the ASA is the only one with enough integrity to notice when a faceless model is promoting an unhealthy body image via a natural gap between her thighs. But there has to be a better way to promote body diversity than by misguided frenzy over one photo, when the same model is in briefs in plain view alongside the shot they’re banning.

Reprinted with permission from Styleite. Want more?

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