The Washington Post must have thought themselves quite the social commenters yesterday when calling Topshop out for recent ads that feature Codie Young, saying, “Eating disorder groups criticized British clothing store Topshop Sunday after a painfully thin looking model appeared on its Web site.”
The paper further reported that Helen Davies of the U.K.-based anorexia charity told The Daily Mail, “For girls to see pictures of models who are this thin suggests that it’s OK to be like that but it’s clearly not. Topshop needs to take some responsibility and use healthy models.”
Theoretically, this is a story that’s been told before and will be told again, and in some cases may need to be told – until you realize that that model, Codie Young, is a real girl who is only 18 and not anorexic and that this could be considered rather hurtful at least and defamation of character/libel at best.
The Aussie model took to her personal blog to battle the comments, writing, “I feel very hurt by the whole article and comments made by professionals such as Helen Davies ‘from UK anorexia charity beat’ and Karen Easthall ‘from anorexica [sic] support group in Norfolk.’ Firstly I feel very hurt because these supposed professionals who deal with anorexic sufferers, everyday for the job/career. [sic] Are talking about me as if I’m not a real person (like I’m just a model used for them to prove some point) which is not the case I am a real person with real feelings just like everyone else and comments made by these people do hurt and affect me.”
I think the use of quotes around the professionals’ names is rather telling. As women who spend their days with young women and men who battle a psychological disorder that is killing them, they should be more careful than to accuse a young woman they’ve never met of having the disease.
What might even be worse is that Young goes on to explain that she’s dealt with hurtful rumors like this as a child, writing, “Throughout my entire childhood I was called anorexic and people would ask if I was bulimic. And it was really hard sometimes for me to deal with as I have always been this way [thin].” Way to basically act as the school yard bully, Washington Post.
Topshop had replaced the photo in question [seen above], but called the skewed image an issue caused by the angle of the photo. I think it appears to be shoddy photoshop.
The Post takes one more jab at Codie in the final sentence of the piece, which reads, “Read an interview with Codie Young, in which she talks about being grateful Chanel served pancakes after their show.” Really? You’re going to accuse someone of being anorexic and then talk about them eating pancakes? So are you calling her a hypocrite? I don’t get it.