Here's a good editorial about the Ralph Lauren issue:
The pertinent sections:
The digitally manipulated Ralph Lauren advertisement of a grotesquely emaciated model is only the latest link in a chain of photoshopped images of women, highlighting Americaís unhealthy perception of beauty.
...Ralph Lauren issued an apology, but this was merely a way to harness more publicity and sales, instead of addressing digital manipulation.
Readers assume covers are airbrushed. But why should we have to? Readers should not need to become accustomed to unrealistic portrayals of women. These portrayals spark eating disorders and unattainable desires.
Itís time American consumers say enough to these fake covers. No woman should aspire to look like Ralph Laurenís model like ads and magazine covers tell us we should.
I appreciate the fact that the writer states, point blank, that the model is grotesquely emaciated. Sadly, that description applies to most straight-size models today, even without airbrushing.
It's also encouraging to see a media outlet identify the fact that Ralph Lauren exploited this issue for publicity.
But best of all is the newspaper's acknowledgment that such images do
promote eating disorders. Finally, people are realizing this.
Also, the point that the public shouldn't need to "accustom" itself to being bombarded with anorexic imagery is spot on. The public doesn't need to "accustom" itself to e.coli in the water system, or to asbestos, or to any other toxic impairment of health. Those dangers are outlawed. And androgynous fashion imagery is in the same category, given the fact that it leads to eating disorders with a high mortality rate.