When controversy erupted over an image for Ralph Lauren's Blue Label — model Filippa Hamilton's body appeared to have been digitally retouched, so that she looked bobble-headed and emaciated — I was convinced that the image wasn't the original ad. I was sure that it had been retouched by one of those "thinspirational" proanorexia blogs you hear about which feature models Photoshopped, so that they look like Holocaust victims.
Wow, was I wrong. A spokesperson for Ralph Lauren made this comment about the controversial image:
"For over 42 years, we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately."
Website Boing Boing was first to criticize the image by saying, "Dude, her head's bigger than her pelvis." When Ralph Lauren asked them to take the image down, claiming copyright infringement, they refused, citing fair use laws that that allow for the reproduction of images "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting."
Maybe this will be a message to the cabal of Photoshoppers gone wild who don't seem to recognize that they're contributing to the unrealistic body images that make normal women feel inadequate. When an uberthin model isn't thin enough for the fashion industry, something is seriously wrong.