I'm not entirely sure what to make of this. It's an ad for an Italian clothing brand. They claim at least that they're trying to combat the problem of fashion industries promoting an anorexic look, by showing the true horrors of anorexia. It's pretty grim. And certainly if I think back to when I was anorexic (almost 15 years ago now) it's a realistic portrayal (although the model pictured is much thinner than I ever got - apparently she's 4st12lbs - 76lbs, I never really went below 7st - 112lbs).
The thing is - I'm not sure that frightening women is going to prevent anorexia. I mean it now seems that the message is - don't be fat but don't be too thin either. I think women already have more than enough messages about what they shouldn't look like and what they should find disgusting about themselves. I think the approach that would really help is if fashion houses showed a real range of women, old, young, fat, thin, etc. And I mean a REAL range - not one token super-photogenic black woman and one stick-thin white 40-year-old alongside half a dozen Kate Moss-alikes.
Actually I have a theory on this. I think if your advert is going to use the term "all" or "everyone" - like the GAP ads - "everyone in khaki" or even the "we all love clover" adverts for that, err, butter-style spread (? mmmm...) then for every two models put forward by the advertiser an independent board (me) will provide a third model. And I'm REALLY going to push the envelope. So if you say "everyone in khaki" and your size range only goes up to a 16, I'll be sending a size 28 model along and then we'll see if your products look good on everyone.
The other advantage to my plan is that it will provide an extra source of income for that weird relative you always try to avoid inviting to parties. Creepy Uncle Neville? No he won't be able to come to Jenny's wedding - he's off on a £1000-a-day modeling contract for butter-style spread in the south of France.