Army of bones

(Pictures from zara.com)

I was casually scrolling through zara.com, putting stuff in my basket and asking myself why I don’t write a blog post instead of wasting my time with such worthless activities.  Like an answer from the universe, my visit at zara.com reminded me about a very important topic that I have been postponing writing about for some time now. Not because I haven’t wanted to write about it but because It’s a topic that is so emotionally charged and sometimes very provoking. It is also a topic that is very close to my heart and that I, together with most women, have a personal history with. I’m talking body image and anxiety regarding our own bodies.

What struck me at Zara’s website wasn’t the fashion, it was the insanely skinny models. Not model. Models, as in plural. ALL of the models were really, really skinny. This is a very sensitive subject to many and it seems impossible to address this without stepping on anybody’s toes. To be clear, I am not ever gonna say that one body type or size is better than another and just like it should be totally acceptable to have a fat body it should be totally acceptable to have a skinny body (and everything in between). There are women who are naturally very skinny. However, there are not very many women who are naturally THAT skinny. I’m talking borderline anorexic. Some women can definitely be that skinny naturally and that is just as beautiful as any other body type but I know for a fact that many models, in general, don’t have a natural and healthy relationship to food because of the pressure and ideal the model industry puts on them. So the odds that some (or all) of the models that Zara uses are actually sick, are pretty high. And an eating disorder should not ever be promoted, regardless of how skinny the model is. So there was our first issue.

The second issue is that Zara didn’t have a variety of models in different sizes whereas some of them were very skinny. No, ALL of them were very skinny. That makes this a very provoking statement on their behalf. They have purposely chosen to have only very skinny models for their website. That means they think the clothes look better on a skinny girl and therefore believe they sell better when being promoted on a very skinny body. What a disgusting message to send out to the world, and particularly to all the young girls shopping at Zara who are not yet able to see through this unhealthy, brainwashing propaganda. The people at Zara who are responsible for these choices are obviously not unaware of the major issue we have in this world with eating disorders and unhealthy body images among young girls and women. Still, they chose to stick they heads in the sand and use only very skinny models. And before any smartass tells me “but the fitting samples that fashion companies use for the pictures only come in very small sizes”,  I’d like to compare that statement to a baker saying “Ohh, My customers are requesting buns with vanilla but I only make buns with cinnamon”. Ehm… Well, make a fucking bun with vanilla then. Make fucking samples of your clothes in a larger size. Have a variety of models to promote your clothes. Make more sizes and body types feel included. Stop promoting eating disorders. Make such a small simple change and be a contribution to a better fashion industry.

Zara is just one amongst too many companies promoting an unhealthy ideal for women.  On a positive note, there are also many fashion companies who have been smart enough to follow the fresh wave of body positivity that is currently growing and just the past year we have seen a lot bigger variety of bodies being represented in the fashion industry. Let’s hope Zara and the rest of the late bloomers will realize what a responsibility they have as such large companies and get onboard the train towards a brighter, happier future for young girls and women all over the world.

Lots of love,

Lisa Belinda

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