This Photo of an "All-Too-Thin" Model Is Dangerous For More Reasons Than You Think
Danish fashion magazine Cover issued an apology after featuring a model who appears to be "dangerously thin" in their latest issue, causing a massive public outcry on social media, People magazine reported.
Readers took to Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #covergate, including Danish Tax Minister Benny Englebrecht, who tweeted the image, adding, “I seriously thought that the fashion industry had understood that anorexia is a problem that should be taken seriously.”
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About an hour after Englebrecht's post, Cover’s publisher, Malene Malling, posted an apology on the magazine’s Facebook page, admitting that they shouldn’t have included an “all-too-thin” model in the magazine."Today is a sad day for me," she wrote. "I have not lived up to my responsibility as a publisher, woman and mother and am truly sorry."
While Denmark, like the U.S., doesn’t have any rules about models' weight, Israel, Spain, and Italy all made headlines in 2013 for enacting legislation that requires models to be above a certain BMI.
Calling out a magazine for promoting a skeletal body as fashionable is important. But as was the case with the Urban Outfitters "thigh gap" controversy, there's a fine line between concern and harmful assumption about someone else's body (in this case, that someone has an eating disorder). There has been zero comment so far from the model herself; it's unclear what her name is, despite all the coverage of the firestorm. All this lead one Twitter user to say the "real travesty is not that a very thin model was shown but that she's an object of ridicule n [sic] speculation."
According to the National Eating Disorder Association, there are a lot of stereotypes and misconceptions about what a person with an eating disorder looks like (that you have to be uber-thin is certainly one of them). "But the truth is that these illnesses do not discriminate. Men and women of all ethnic backgrounds, ages, sizes, and sexualities are susceptible to poor body image and disordered eating," according to the NEDA's web site.
As this week is actually National Eating Disorders Awareness Week, it's good to keep in mind that this isn't just a fashion problem, but a major health issue as eating disorders affect 30 million American adults, many of whom suffer in silence and look nothing like this model. If anything can be learned from this, we hope it's that.