In the wake of Victoria Beckham coming under fire for hiring what some called a “sickly thin” model to front her eyewear campaign, British retailer ASOS is taking action. The popular clothing site is allegedly cutting relationships with models it deems as “too skinny” and telling other models to gain weight if they want to continue working for the brand.
In an interview with The Sun, several ASOS models, who spoke anonymously, slammed the retailer for firing them because of their bodies. The models explained that ASOS, which has been scrutinized before for the thinness of its models, felt pressure to change its image after Beckham faced backlash for the same issue.
“The feedback ASOS gave my booker was that I look too small in photographs, and they had to clamp down on using ‘skinny models’ after already receiving an online backlash when using smaller girls,” one model said. “I’m a normal size eight, and it was upsetting that they had an issue. They feel forced to be politically correct after Victoria was scrutinized for using a skinny model, and it feels unfair.”
The model, who has worked with ASOS several times before, lashed out at the brand for firing her despite the fact that her size remains the same. The model also accused ASOS of telling her to gain weight on her arms and collarbone if she wants to model again with the brand.
“I was told that I needed to put weight on my arms and collarbone if I wanted to work for them again,” the model said. “I’ve worked for the brand before, and my body shape hasn’t changed.
ASOS hasn’t responded to the allegations, but a statement on its site maintains that the retailer only “employs models who are a healthy weight and shape” and that the site “closely monitors models and raises any concerns about their health with their agency.”
Though we applaud ASOS’s attempt at promoting size diversity, firing models based on their size of their arms and collarbones seems like the wrong way to go. Like the retailer claims on its site, we hope ASOS assessed the models’ health before deciding that they were unfit to stand in front of the camera. Striving to show different body types is awesome, but assuming someone’s health based on their looks is a huge no.