H&M models are too thin, and the company is making an effort to feature curvier models – like Beyonce – and different ethnic backgrounds, the company’s CEO said in an interview with Metro newspapers.
Karl-Johan Persson told Metro that H&M has a huge responsibility because their advertisements are seen by many people.
“Some of the models we’ve had have been too skinny
,” he was reported as saying during an interview at his company’s Stockholm headquarters. “That’s something we think a lot about and are working on.”
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Persson pointed out that Beyonce has been a spokeswoman, and a recent campaign featured a curvier woman. Featuring healthy models is of primary important at H&M, he told Metro.
The fashion industry has been criticized in recent years for creating poor and nearly unattainable examples of how women should look. In May 2012, Vogue magazine nixed any models who were too skinny
or under the age of 16. The 19 magazine editors agreed to use only models who project a healthy image in their publication.
Consumers are letting their aggravation with the “too skinny” image that models project be known. And even "Mad Men"’s new clothing line by Banana Republic drew fire because runway models in the clothes were so thin. A Business Insider article reported that BR’s Facebook page lit up with irritation from consumers complaining that even on the "Mad Men" show, the women have curvy figures
Coco Rocha modeled that line, and she’s been criticized in the past for being too fat for a model. She had reported that she didn’t get accepted for runway shows because she was a size 6.
Israel addressed the issue in 2012 by banning models with a Body Mass Index (a measure of weight to height) less than 18.5. The country also said publications must tell when they’re using images where the models have been made to look thinner than they are.
Persson said his company will continue to seek diversity in the models they use, saying his company can get more disciplined in its approach to choosing the women who represent H&M.
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