Topshop has taken a graphic off its website after being called out by the Daily Mail and various anti-eating disorder groups.
The Mail first spotted the "painfully thin size-zero model" Codie Young on the store's website last week, writing, "The pale young woman with a gaunt face is seen on the fashion stores homepage wearing tiny clothes that hang off her skeletal frame."
At the time, Helen Davies from the British anorexia charity Beat told the newspaper, "This is not the sort of thing we want to see in magazines and on the internet. It's a constant battle against eating disorders and Topshop is not helping matters. For girls who see these kind of images it can be very damaging."
Andrew Leahy, Topshop's head of publicity, since reached out to the Mail, explaining, "Topshop is confident that Codie is a healthy young woman and we do not feel it necessary to remove her from our imagery based on your feature. However we do recognise regretfully that the angle this image has been shot at may accentuate Codie's proportions making her head look bigger and neck longer in proportion to her body. [...] The clothes she is wearing are a sample size 10 so in some instances they may look a little looser than normal."
In any case, Leahy adds, "Topshop is proud of its heritage of celebrating individual-looking girls who offer an alternative more unusual beauty, however we take your comments very seriously," resulting in the removal of the photograph and its replacement with a different pic of the model from another angle.
18-year-old Codie took to her blog, remarking that she was hurt by all of the comments:
I am very happy with my body and how I look because its apart of who I am! Throughout my entire childhood I was called anorexic and people would ask if I was bulimic. And it was really hard sometimes for me to deal with as I have always been this way.
You know what some people are just naturally skinny and even if I tried to put on weight it wouldn't matter, because it doesn't matter what I eat, I dont put it on.
And finally yes okay I maybe an American size 0-2 and a UK size 8 so what. There are overweight/obese people who are a size 34 or 18 but know one says anything to them because you don't want to affend them! Just because someone eats a lot doesn't make them healthy. Just like not eating anything doesnt make you healthy.
She also recently recalled her most memorable backstage moment of fashion week to PureBlissFashion:
Chanel was really cool. They had the most amazing food ever ,and it was almost the end of Fashion Week. It was an early morning show so they had all this amazing breakfast food, like pancakes. Yes, there were pancakes at Chanel! And they had all these different juices, parfaits, and things. Since it was the end of Fashion Week, I was sick of eating sandwiches so I just remember walking backstage and thinking, "Thank God!"
The original image:
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