Join Date: August 2005
Underweight-model catalog withdrawn
Here's a rare example of very good news. A Canadian retailer has withdrawn its own catalogue after it deemed that the models that it used were too thin
Here's the link:
And the pertinent text::
Simons recalls catalogue with skinny models
Lynn Moore, The Gazette
Published: Wednesday, August 27
A decision by retailer La Maison Simons to denounce its own fashion catalogue for using too thin models and withdraw it from the marketplace was hailed by Quebec's health minister and an eating disorder expert.
On the heels of complaints about a junior women's fashion catalogue, company president Peter Simons said he pulled the catalogue in a bid to remove images from the public domain that are "unsuitable" and don't align with his company's values.
The 36-page colour catalogue - with a print run of about 450,000 - features Simons' Twik brand and photographs of thin, young women, who display more bone than flesh.
Those images are "destructive to a more vulnerable portion of the population which is exposed to anorexia," Simons told The Gazette from his office in Quebec City. The family-owned chain has seven stores in Quebec with roots in the province going back to the early 1840s.
Peter Simons apologized for the catalogue produced by an in-house team, saying that he was "disappointed" in himself. Recently returned from vacation, Simons said that he didn't see the catalogue until after complaints rolled in.
"We are into social responsibility here. I'm fully aware of what it is and I'm taking full responsibility for (the catalogue). It's my job to ensure that we are a constructive actor in the community," Simons said.
"I should have done better. I should have seen it."
Quebec Health minister Yves Bolduc congratulated the company for reacting promptly to the complaints.
"Anorexia is a serious issue and I think Mr. Simons did the right thing. It sends a message to the teenagers that they can be healthy, have a suitable weight and that they don't need to be ultra-slim," Bolduc said yesterday...
There is a growing awareness in the fashion and entertainment industries that the glamorization of overly thin people is irresponsible and wrong, he said.
Yesterday, Pavilanis praised the stance taken by Simons.
"If you make a mistake, recognize it and take corrective action, it is to be ... applauded," Pavilanis said. "The best thing is not to make a mistake ... but next best is to take corrective action."...
Simons said that this week he has been responding to about 200 clients who "took the time to write, ... the vast majority in a very constructive way" about the catalogue....
Earlier this year, France adopted a bill that would criminalize the promotion of anorexia. The bill would make it illegal for anyone, including magazines, websites and advertisers, to promote or encourage extreme thinness or severe weight loss.
Organizers of the Montreal Fashion Week took steps to ensure that models who are sick or emaciated do not parade on catwalks here.
It may be a small step, since truthfully, almost every single fashion catalogue on the market should be withdrawn for using underweight models, and for promoting anorexia.
But it's a step in the right direction. Let's hope that other companies follow suit.