If you've had access to wifi connection over the last 3 weeks, you've probably seen, heard and maybe even participated in the Beach Body Debate that was sparked by that bright yellow ad campaign seen plastered across stations and trains in London. The advert featured a bikini clad model with the slogan 'Are You Beach Body Ready?' and advertised a collection of weight loss shakes and pills sold by the popular company Protein World. And it turns out that people were pretty upset by it.
For the most part, people cried foul saying that the advertisement objectified women and advocated body shaming so they reacted by vandalising the model's photograph and shaming her body on the internet instead. Touché. Personally, I wasn't offended by it but the controversy generated by that 3 week ad campaign has got me thinking about what this really means for fashion.
The Size 0 issue has been an elephant in the room for years and years when it comes to runway shows and fashion advertising. Though a not so revolutionary wave of health-before-aesthetic concerns saw more brands and fashion houses encouraging models to eat before shows and give up the painful quest for size nothing, it is commonly known that most fashion models are still far thinner than the one featured in the Protein World advert. But with people demonstrating such fervent anger, distaste and upset for the display of a healthy female figure on an advertisement - does this mean that fashion can expect an upcoming onslaught for featuring even smaller models too?
In my opinion, this may mean that the Creative Directors and Marketing Execs of fashion's front line will have to be a lot more careful about the way that they present the aspirational 'It Girl' going forward. It seems that people are fed up of feeling "attacked" for being who they are - even if that is unhealthy or overweight. But will this change the face of fashion completely? Of course not. Models will still be thinner than they should be and advertisers will still continue to exclude some shapes and sizes when presenting the aspirational ideal. They just might get vandalised for it.