An Ad Featuring An Underweight Model Has Been Banned By The ASA

eating disorder helpAn advert which appeared in Elle magazine has been banned by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) after it was claimed that the model used was unhealthily underweight.

The promotion for Yves Saint Laurent featured a photograph of a woman whose rib cage was not only very visible and prominent, but her knees and thighs appeared to be incredibly similar in width.

 The Anorexia and Bulimia Care Charity has applauded this decision and said that it hopes the ruling will send a clear message to other media and fashion companies who need to take more responsibility for the images they are using. A spokesperson from the charity commented:

“Whilst eating disorders are most often caused by underlying emotional issues or events, the impact of the media on vulnerable young people can act as a dangerous catalyst - triggering disordered thinking and behaviour. Adverts using underweight models are promoting a distorted image of beauty and yet this has become the norm in the UK.”

The eating disorder charity, Beat has also expressed concern about the constant portrayal of the very slender look and says that this needs to be challenged in order for young people to grow up with a robust sense of self-worth.

Although YSL have not commented directly, they have indicated that they do not agree with the complaint. Despite this, the ASA confirmed that they do believe that the model appears to be unhealthily underweight and therefore concluded that the advert is irresponsible. They have ruled that the ad must not appear in its current form again and that the advertiser must ensure that future images are prepared responsibly.

Do you think the ASA did the right thing to ban an advert which does clearly show an incredibly thin woman or should people be free to make up their own mind about what they can and can’t see? Feel free to share your thoughts with us on our Facebook page. If you are interested in learning more about eating disorders you can check out our Eating Disorder Knowledge Centre. If you are struggling with an eating disorder please please contact us today. 

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