April 7, 2016
Gucci Model 'Unhealthily Thin' Rules British Regulator

A Gucci ad has been deemed "irresponsible" by the Advertising Standards Authority of Britain because the model in the photo looks "unhealthily thin," reports The New York Times. In the ad, the Gucci model appears waif-like, her face gaunt, her waist almost impossibly tiny. The result of the ruling is that the still photograph should "not appear again in its current form."

According to the regulator, the Gucci model was posed in such a manner that she was made to appear even tinier than she is. She was leaning against a wall, her torso elongated and her already tiny waist accentuated. The gaunt appearance of her face was accentuated by "dark make-up, especially around her eyes" and a "somber facial expression."

Not surprisingly, the Advertising Standards Authority of Britain's decision about the Gucci ad and Gucci model one again fanned the debate that perpetually surrounds the fashion and modeling industries.

Gucci Show
[Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)]The image in question, in which the Gucci model was deemed to appear to be "unhealthily thin," was taken taken out of the video on the Gucci YouTube channel. However, the model herself still appears in other shots in the ad, which was reportedly directed by Glen Luchford.

Despite the ruling about the too-thin model, Gucci has defended both its ad and its model. According to Gucci, the still photograph was a portion of a video ad depicting a party, and that the Gucci ad in question was ultimately aimed at an "older and sophisticated audience." Gucci also pointed out that their models' bones were not visible at any time during the ad, adding that the model(s) were "toned and slim," as opposed to "unhealthy" as alleged by the British regulator.

"...it was, to some extent, a subjective issue as to whether a model looked unhealthily thin."
The ruling by the Advertising Standards Authority of Britain, which is an independent regulatory group, means that Gucci will no longer be able to use the image of the "unhealthily thin" model in any of its ads in Britain.

This is far from the first time that the modeling industry has come under fire for using "overly thin" talent in ads; the practice has been decried in both Europe and the United States, with experts saying that glorification of under-weight models can create unhealthy body image issues in women. In what is arguably a continuation of the "heroin chic" debate that rocked the fashion industry in the 90s, critics have expressed fears that some designers are promoting "potentially hazardous behaviors" with their "rail-thin" models.

Gucci Model at Show
[Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images]In 2015, France's Parliament passed legislation making it illegal for modeling agencies to hire "dangerously thin" talent. The measures also require that any photographs of models which are altered be labeled as such. In France, models for Gucci (or any fashion house) must be certified by a doctor to prove that they are healthy enough to work. Violators of the new laws can face fines of up to $85,000 or even jail time.

In addition to being designed to protect people from being subjected to unrealistic beauty and body image standards, the newly implemented laws are intended to protect models from being pressured into losing too much weight, as well as to combat eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia.

This isn't the first time that the Advertising Standards Authority has pulled an ad due to concerns about a model's weight. Just last year, a Yves Saint Laurent ad was ruled against and pulled from circulation due to an "unhealthily underweight" model. In that ad, the model's rib cage was visible.

There is no word on whether or not Gucci is planning on replacing the image of the "unhealthily thin" model with something deemed more acceptable.

[Photo by Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images]