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When Victoria Beckham unveiled her new eyewear collection a few weeks ago, little did the designer think she would face a backlash. The former Spice Girl’s ad campaign featured Lithuanian model Giedre Dukauskaite which she uploaded on her Instagram with a caption. 

Soon after, people started commenting on Posh’s choice of a “sickly thin” model. One user wrote, “Please be responsible to impressionable aspects of your audience and use models who look healthy.” 

Another said, “Beckham should be ashamed promoting eating disorders. Her young daughter is heavier than her models. Shame”, while a third remarked, “Couldn’t you at least buy this model a sandwich for god’s sake?” Most felt she was promoting a dangerous and unrealistic image for young, impressionable girls.

SOME ARE GENETICALLY THIN

Models’ body sizes have come under scrutiny recently with some fashion groups like LVMH banning ultra-skinny models. 

Model Sucheta Sharma James feels one should not react to only one side of the story. She says, “The model might be genetically slim. Globally, governments are taking strict measures to encourage a certain size for models so everyone can maintain a healthy weight but stay slim at the same time.” 

She adds, “In India, since we have a majority of designers making bridal wear, they don’t ask for models to be unhealthily skinny. But yes, the demand of our profession is to maintain a certain figure, have beautiful skin and healthy hair.”

A SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

A vast number of those who dissed Beckham’s campaign were parents, who felt that she should be more responsible in selecting models. Her spring/summer 2016 collection too was critiqued for using skinny women.  

Alecia Raut, model, agrees. “There should be a certain acceptable body mass index maintained by models. Youngsters tend to look up to us and are impressionable at such an age. As a model, I prefer not being too skinny and ensure that my body is more toned. There should also be guidelines like a minimum age to get into the profession and a minimum body mass,” she opines.

PREFER HEALTHY MODELS

Fashion houses have often been accused of catering to women of a certain size and ignoring those with fuller figures. Designer Shruti Sancheti says her brand has always been aware of figure flaws of real women and designs in a manner which is relevant to real women. “We don’t propagate impossible sizes and thus do not require skinny models to showcase our clothes. On the contrary, we look for fit and healthy models. During a shoot once, I was disappointed by the results as the models were malnourished and the clothes started looking faulty on them. Later, when I used a bigger model, the same outfits looked outstanding. I feel healthy girls are the prettiest and this is the image that should be promoted,” she adds.

Designer Babita Malkani thinks that one needs to be aware about the message they are sending out. “My collections are for all kinds of body types and not only a size-zero or small. Models should be physically and mentally fit, and more so, comfortable in their own skin without following any unhealthy norms,” she says.



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