Retailers featuring extreme thigh gap in their ads are finally being taken to task, at least in the UK.
Hello Giggles reported that the British Advertising Standard Authority (ASA) ordered Urban Outfitters to remove an advertisement for their "Polka Dot Mesh Briefs in Fig" from their website last week. The ASA got a complaint about the photo, which said that the model used in the ad was "unhealthily thin" and argued that the ad further entrenched negative body types and promoted eating disorders.
The photo shows the torso and thighs of a model in her underwear, sporting a sizeable thigh gap—a "trend" that took off in 2014, with retailers showcasing that specific body type in their ads. Even celebrities jumped on the "thigh gap" bandwagon and Beyonce was even accused of Photoshopping her thighs in Instagram photos.
The ASA agreed with the complaint, noting that advertisements must not be "...misleading, harmful or offensive."
Their judgment is as follows:
"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."
The Daily Mail reports that Urban Outfitters argued against the claim, saying that the model in the ad was "represented by one of the UK’s most successful and well-respected agencies. We do not believe she was underweight." The company added that the model "had a healthy waist measurement of 23.5 inches, was naturally tall and slim and had worked for a number of other fashion brands."