Are H&M’s Models Really Too Dark?

Posted by on May 14, 2012

From Coco & Creme–We’re used to advertising being criticized for promoting unrealistic and even unhealthy body images for women via excessive airbrushing and photoshopping, but it’s skin tone, not body type that has H&M under attack for it’s latest swimwear campaign.

If you haven’t come across the 2012 swim line yet, the advertising features Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana a few shades darker than sunkissed as she models the retailer’s affordable bathing suits along the beach. On first glance, you might think the model is a woman of color due to the bronze shade radiating from her skin, and if she were, ideally, there wouldn’t be a problem. But since the fair-skinned model’s tone has been made several shades darker either by makeup or digitization,  the Swedish Cancer Society says the images are dangerous.

“The clothing giant is creating, not least among young people, a beauty ideal that is deadly,” the cancer society wrote in an opinion piece in Sweden’s paper of reference, Dagens Nyheter. “Regardless of how the H&M model got her tan, through sunning or a computer programme, the effect is the same: H&M tells us we should be very tan on the beach.”

(Continue reading at Coco & Creme…)

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