Good morning Pouters!
H&M has made Tanning Mom so proud with their new swimwear ad, which features model Isabeli Fontana flaunting skin the colour of coffee beans. The Swedish fashion retailer was forced to apologise on Thursday after the campaign in question left doctors, critics and cancer groups roaring with outrage. The images are clearly altered = even though Isabeli is of Brazillian descent, is naturally bronzed, the skin tone she has been given is closer to that of an African.
It seems like the change was meant to highlight the contrast between the complexion of brightly coloured swimwear, but if that is the case, why wouldn’t they just use a black model?
The Swedish Cancer Society was not amused and reached out yesterday morning with a piece in the country’s most circulated newspaper, Dagens Nyheter. The letter reads:
The clothing giant is creating, not least among young people, a beauty ideal that is deadly. Every year, more people die in Sweden of (skin cancer) than in traffic accidents and the main cause is too much sunning. Regardless of how the H&M model got her tan, through sunning or a computer programme, the effect is the same: H&M tells us we should be very tan on the beach. It is sad to write this, but H&M will through its latest advertising campaign not only sell more bathing suits but also contribute to more people dying from skin cancer.
H&M’s response was mediocre,
We are sorry if we have upset anyone with our latest swimwear campaign. It was not our intention to show off a specific ideal or to encourage dangerous behaviour, but it was instead to show off our latest summer collection.
They failed to highlight the root of the problem, which is encouraging an unrealistic level of tan as something that is not only achievable, but desirable. I ask again, why wouldn’t they just use a black model.
I guess that is another discussion entirely….
Happy Monday Poutlings.