Thigh Gaps Too Big? 2015’s First Fashion Controversy Unfolds

If last week’s state-of-the-union story on the use of Photoshop in fashion didn’t clue you in, I’m interested in how the tool functions in the world of brands and shopping. It’s necessary (and useful), but rampant abuses do exist, and reports out of the U.K. are saying Urban Outfitters was one of the latest brands to feature questionable imagery.


The Advertising Standards Authority, a watchdog organization for U.K. media, ordered the brand to remove a lingerie image showing super-slender thighs they believed to be “irresponsible” after an anonymous complainant tipped them off.

“The ASA considered that the model was very thin and noted, in particular, that there was a significant gap between the model’s thighs, and that her thighs and knees were a similar width,” the ruling reads. They note that Urban’s shoppers are generally young and decided that “using a noticeably underweight model was likely to impress upon that audience that the image was…something to aspire to.”

The image still appears to be online, and Urban’s official response was that it didn’t consider the model to be underweight but to have “a naturally tall and slim physique.”

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