The U.S. Should Take A Cue From The U.K. In This Advertising Move Towards Healthy Body Image

October 11, 2018  |  

Source: Stuart C. Wilson/Stuart Wilson/Getty Images for Nasty Gal

Perhaps we should take a page or two out of the U.K.’s Advertising Standards Authority. Ads from the Nasty Gal brand have been banned from television for using models who appeared to be too skinny and unhealthy. According to the ASA, they felt it would be “socially irresponsible” to promote a model that looks “unhealthily underweight.”

Nasty Gal came to the defense of their model. Per the ASA website, “Nasty Gal Ltd stated that the model featured in the ad was a UK size eight and that her body mass index (BMI) was within the healthy range for an adult woman.” They went on to explain that the model was within the the U.K.’s National Health Service guidelines for women as well. Still, the ASA felt her poses drew negative attention to her body. Among the issues with the ad, they felt her “rib cage was visible and appeared prominent.

Upon hearing this, I thought to myself, it’s about time we take a stand in recognizing that the average person isn’t a size zero. Mainstream clothing brands do a poor job at representing women beyond a size 12. Some brands have taken the lack of representation into their own hands by introducing more plus size options. Despite the small steps towards inclusion, a majority of brands don’t use women who wear larger sizes in their advertisements.

Diversity and inclusion is important. Real people want to be seen and represented in the clothes that they buy. This helps promote a healthy self image for women and young adults everywhere. If they saw more advertisements with a variety of body types, perhaps we would have a generation of people who stray from eating disorders and surgeries to embrace who they really are. Healthy comes in various shapes and sizes. By no means do I want to condemn women with smaller frames, but showing a palette of diverse women can only help a brand’s advertising efforts.

What do you think? Do you agree with the ASA’s ban on Nasty Gal’s advertisements because the model looked unhealthy?

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