Fashion brand accused of photoshopping model to make her look thinner

Fashion brand accused of photoshopping model to make her look thinner

Despite the great strides that have taken place in the world of fashion and modelling, women still have their bodies regularly compared to the western beauty standards that are so archaic and outdated. While people like Iskra Lawrence, Ashley Graham and other body positivity bloggers and models are existing and thriving, women are still subject to advertisements telling them to be slim and toned.

The recent trend in body positivity has seen major fashion houses alter the way they go about their business. Now, it's common to see stretch marks and scars in unedited photos of models. But for Boohoo, this isn't the case.

Boohoo has been accused of Photoshopping the waist of a model on its site in order to make her appear slimmer.

The edit was noticed by Ella Thorpe, a 25-year-old from Manchester, who had been looking for clothes online when she noticed that there was something wrong with the pictures of a model wearing a denim skirt.

Ms Thorpe realised that one of the photos had been edited in order to make the model's waist appear slimmer while showing the size 10 option for the skirt.

Thorpe - who works as a social media manager - was outraged by the discovery and took to her Facebook to share the images.

“So supposedly are about empowering #AllGirls, yet they feel the need to significantly Photoshop the waist smaller on a size 10 model?” she wrote on Facebook. “Next time, maybe avoid uploading the original photo to your app as well as the edited one…”

According to Ms Thorpe, Boohoo's choice to edit the waist of its models sends out a very dangerous message to people, particularly the young girls and women who shop on the website.

“I think as a brand with such a big influence on young women in particular, who stock clothes for a range of body types (including plus size), Boohoo shouldn’t be altering the body shape of any of their models,” she told The Independent.

“The fact they felt the need to edit the waist of a size 10 model is completely unacceptable.

“Many women of all ages feel pressured to look perfect and I think a lot of people (men included) do edit their body shape now when they post photos on social media because of this.

"In 2017, it was reported that the average UK dress size for women was a size 16. If a brand like Boohoo that claims to represent and support ‘#AllGirls’ is slimming down a model who is three dress sizes smaller than the UK average, what kind of message does that send out?”

Ms Thorpe referred to Boohoo's #AllGirls campaign - an inclusive campaign that was launched last year with the aim of promoting diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry.

However, despite the sentiment, the retailer received scorn for not featuring any disabled, plus-size, trans or older women in its promotional video.

Since the complaint made by Ms Thorpe, Boohoo has removed the image from its app and website.

“We thank you for bringing this issue to our attention,” a Boohoo spokesperson told HuffPost UK. “At Boohoo our customer commitment is to provide great fashion for all shapes and sizes."

“We want to do all we can to use our voice to promote body positivity whilst expanding our ‘fashion for all’ offer even further. We are looking into what has happened in this instance."

It seems a shame that, despite the efforts of so many people across the world, places like Boohoo are still editing photos of their models. Until this stops, the fight for positivity and acceptance will continue to be an uphill struggle.