Urban Outfitters UK was ordered by the Advertising Standards Authority to remove an image of a model with a thigh gap from their site. The ASA said, “The complainant, who believed that the model in the picture was unhealthily thin, challenged whether the ad was irresponsible and harmful.”
They eventually ruled that the ad portrayed unrealistic and dangerous, explaining:
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.
I’m ALL about using healthy models. I used to be in the modeling industry, and I think using healthy models is extremely important. However, in this situation, there wasn’t an investigation to see if the model had been Photoshopped to death. On the Urban Outfitters’ side, a representative stated, “The model was represented by one of the UK’s most successful and well-respected agencies. We do not believe she was underweight.” To me, this seems like an aggressive Photoshop job, but I also know as someone who is healthy with a thigh gap that it is possible to look that way.
It got me thinking about how thin women are still easily shamed. We’re expected to just roll over and deal with the fact that people think we’re unhealthy or have an eating disorder by just looking at us. That’s not okay. And if you’re saying any of the following, you’re contributing to thin-shaming and should stop:
1. “You’re so skinny!”
I HAD NO IDEA!
2. “Do you even eat?”
Do I ask about your eating habits?
3. “Have you ever had an eating disorder?”
God, Karen, you can’t just ask someone if they’ve had an eating disorder!
But seriously, this is really offensive to ask ANYONE whether they’re thin or not. You have no right to know this information just like no one has the right to know if you’ve ever had an eating disorder.
4. “I wish I was as thin as you!”
Do you, really? Because if you did, you wouldn’t say things like that.
5. “Ugh you’re so lucky.”
No, I’m human. This is just a weird thing to say to anyone. Like, my genetics aren’t lucky. They just are?
6. “OMG your [insert body part here] is so small and cute!”
I’m not a toy, thanks.
7. “Do you ever shop in the children’s department?”
I’m skinny, not toddler-sized.
8. “You’re gonna be so fat when you’re older though.”
9. “You don’t even have to go to the gym!”
Not that anyone’s workout habits are your business, but some people just like to exercise to be healthy. You know because cardio is good for your heart and stuff.
10. “Real women have curves.”
So… I’m fake? What?
11. “Seeing your ribs/having a thigh gap/etc. is unhealthy.”
It’s only unhealthy if you are unhealthy. I am perfectly healthy yet some people just look at me and think I’m not? That’s not fair.
12. “Be careful if you go outside, you might blow away!”
Hahaha never heard that one before! Side note: I *have* been blown over by wind in a hurricane, and it was very painful. So it’s not funny.
13. “Boys they like a little more booty to hold at night”
Yes, I am like a stick figure. No, I am not all about that bass. And there’s nothing wrong with that.
14. “You need a [insert food of choice here]!”
So does that mean you’re taking me to dinner or nah? Because that’s the only reason you are allowed to say that.
Have you said any of these things to a thin friend? Have you ever heard these things? What other thin-shaming phrases have you heard? Tell us in the comments below!
You can reach this post’s author, Caitlin Corsetti, on Twitter and Instagram!