A social media uproar was sparked this week by a skinny Gap model. We’re not talking your generic skinny model, either. This woman is … well, she’s really thin.
The clothing brand Tweeted out this photo of the woman modeling a plaid green shirt-dress with the caption, “Dress up your days in pastel plaid #since1969”:
The lighting and background don’t help, but followers immediately began criticizing the model’s weight and what message the company was sending.
One wrote, “Seriously, @Gap? In what world do people look like this? Perhaps you could select models who represent regular gals & not a skeletor ghost.”
In response, the company issued a statement to media outlets:
“Our intentions have always been to celebrate diversity in our marketing and champion people for who they are,” Gap Inc. spokesperson Edie Kissko said in response.
“Upon reflection, we understand the sensitivity surrounding this photo. Customer feedback is important to us and we think this is a valuable conversation to learn from.”
Meanwhile, others began “skinny-shaming” the model, saying she “looks like she needs a hamburger and some sunlight,” which led to some reverse backlash.
One defender of the Tweet stated that while the photo looked severe, his wife is incredibly thin and is often the subject of ridicule because of her body.
He said that his spouse does not have an eating disorder but this is often assumed for no reason, leaving her subject to body image issues. It’s an interesting point.
While fat-shaming is of course more common, as we’ve seen with Kate Middleton (below), a woman can be naturally slender and subject to scrutiny as well.
What do you think of the controversial Gap photo? Should the brand use more “regular” models? Is this skinny-shaming and just fat-shaming in reverse?