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Really H&M? Really?

2 Mar

I should start off this rant-ish post by pointing out that it takes a lot for me to get offended. You should hear some of the inappropriate remarks thrown around between friends during our Friday night sushi dates.  So when something effects me enough to take action I make the assumption that it bothers others too.  That being said I really would love to hear other peoples thoughts on this subject.

This morning retailer H&M retweeted this photo of model Jessica Stam wearing a Lanvin for H&M collection dress stating “She looks great!”.

Uh. Are we seeing the same photo?

A wide variety of responses came over me.  First my lids blinked with surprise, then my nose crinkled with disgust, then my head tilted with confusion, and finally my eyes narrowed with anger.  Most prevalent of all was the nausea I felt deep in my stomach.

Without much thought, I immediately replied with the following.

I thought for sure there would be outrage, much like mine, at H&M promoting such an unhealthy lifestyle. Retweets and blog posts and angry mobs boycotting the stores.  None. Nothing but praise at “such a pretty dress”.

I accept that I may be overreacting to the matter. This is, afterall, the fashion industry. An industry in which companies use thin models like Jessica (who I swear used to look healthier!) to promote their clothing.  Its been the norm for years, so why is one tweet making me so blindingly angry? Perhaps I expect more from a brand such as H&M which positions itself as an affordable, fashion-forward option geared towards teens and young adults.  Perhaps I have finally been pushed over the edge with seeing emaciated women represent what is supposed to be the norm. Perhaps I really hate that dress. I’m not sure, but my anger is here and its not going away.

Am I being a hypocrite? Just last week I posted a collection of pictures from Fashion Week featuring similarly built models representing brands. Am I overreacting? How can we let brands know we don’t appreciate this representation? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Edited 3/2 – I asked my friends and family on Facebook what they thought and I got this response from my brother. He makes a good point. (Also, he too is someone who is not easily offended).

Ok you asked for feedback, At first I didn’t really notice how unpleasantly skinny this chick ( I have no idea who she is) really is, but after reading your rant, I looked more closely. It’s pretty disgusting. Her waist can’t be more than 16″ around, and her legs are toothpicks. Honestly though, what bothers me here is not so much her appearance, but that this was the person selected to be promote the spread of healthy water to all of the world’s children? The fashion industry in general just looses all legitimacy here.

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