The go-to store for all things comfy and hipster is receiving backlash for the size of their models this week.

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In an effort to stop the epidemic of underweight models, the United Kingdom’s Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has asked Urban Outfitters to remove a picture depicting a “too-thin” model. The ASA felt the model, pictured from the waist down in a pair of mesh polka dot bikini briefs, possessed an inner thigh gap similar to the width of her thighs and knees, an image they concluded was “irresponsible”.

The ASA has the jurisdiction to withdraw advertisements that violate the U.K.’s advertising code and it’s responsible advertising mandate.” In an announcement via their website, the ASA explained the decision stating, “We understood that Urban Outfitters’ target market was young people and considered that using a noticeably underweight model was likely to impress upon that audience that the image was representative of the people who might wear Urban Outfitters’ clothing, and as being something to aspire to. We therefore concluded that the ad was irresponsible”Urban Outfitters Receives Backlash



Urban Outfitters is no stranger to controversy, previously receiving backlash for selling ” Eat Less” V-Neck tees, however the brand defended it’s choice in models. In a response to the ASA, Urban Outfitters representatives described the practice of using slim models for underwear advertising as “common” and claimed the 23.5 inch waisted model was naturally thin and not underweight.

Unrealistic beauty standards in the fashion industry have always been a hot topic for debate, with many people arguing for a healthier and realistic representation of women in the media. According to Time, U.K.’s Minister for Women and Equalities, Jo Swinson, agreed with the ASA’s decision and expressed the need for a diverse range of models and mannequins to combat body image issues in women. However, other women criticized the ASA’s decision claiming (provided the model’s frame is indeed natural) that removing the ad is an act of “skinny-shaming” and incongruent with the agency’s goals.

What do you think?

– (Alexandria Tribble)

All this talk of underweight models is making Alex hungry. Catch her on twitter (after lunch) @Y_iOuwta