Abstract: The Ethics of Promoting Skinny Fashion Models

Emma Hogg and Elisabeth Field


There have been numerous debates on the effects, on consumers, of the use of "skinny" (a U.K. size 4, U.S. size zero) models by the fashion industry to promote female clothing. Common media and political views argue that the fashion industry contributes greatly to the high level of female body dissatisfaction among Western women. So why is the slim body continuously used by the fashion industry? This presentation looks at whether it is the pull of the public or the push of the fashion industry, causing a need or a want for the use of the "skinny" model. Are models slim because it is what consumers want to see and do they want to aspire to the unachievable figure? Or is it the fashion industry pushing these slim body images into the public eye, setting "ideal" standards, as they believe necessary for their collections to be best presented? Are women judging themselves through the fashion industry's eyes and standards?