Monday, October 12, 2009

Ralph Lauren's photoshop flop

by Jordan Kisner

Well, Polo Ralph Lauren has finally dared to go where no clothing company has gone before: they crossed the photoshop line between eerie perfection and the horrifyingly uncanny. In a recent campaign for their Blue Label, their photo of model Filippa Hamilton was photoshopped so carelessly that Hamilton, who is quite thin but absolutely proportionate, appears to be the victim of some cruel stretching machine. It would appear as though everything from her ribcage downward belongs to a thinner, shorter woman. As one reader on Jezebel pointed out, her pelvis is smaller than her head.

Polo Ralph Lauren, no doubt hoping to avoid a reputation as a company that creates an unhealthy body standard for women, issued this apology: "For over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. After further investigation, we have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman's body. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately."

While one might give Ralph Lauren a modicum of credit for going through the motions of an apology, this statement is pretty pathetic. Let's not forget that every image Ralph Lauren produces has been "distorted"-- this distortion was simply more obvious. Instead of addressing the way this image loudly calls attention to the ethical complications and social irresponsibility of creating and endorsing an standard of beauty that requires that every (already beautiful) face and body must be altered, they chose instead to plug the "quality and integrity" of their brand. Instead of assuring their customers that they respect and admire the female form and will ensure no further distortions of it, they tell us that they'll take precautions to "ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately."

Does anyone hear a real apology in there?

As consumers, we should demand more from companies like Polo Ralph Lauren-- a more ethical approach to the representation of the female body, and, if nothing else, a more serious regard for the feelings and intellect of their consumer.

4 Comments:

At October 13, 2009 at 3:35 PM , Blogger Sam said...

"While one might give Ralph Lauren a modicum of credit for going through the motions of an apology, this statement is pretty pathetic."

Not to mention the fact that they only considered apologizing AFTER they utterly failed at removing the evidence with copyright infringement attacks on the blogs that posted and criticized the image.

http://tinyurl.com/ya4wxcl

 
At October 14, 2009 at 12:25 PM , OpenID earwicga said...

I think it is great that this photo crossed enough lines to get it out there that no pictorial representation of women in the fashion is honest and real. In a funny way, this photo is actually good for women.

 
At October 16, 2009 at 12:53 AM , Blogger Jules said...

Please read my statement on this situation. Leave a comment with your opinion!

http://fashionawakening.blogspot.com/2009/10/ralph-lauren-does-no-no.html

 
At October 18, 2009 at 9:25 AM , OpenID ZoeyMO said...

I do not understand how anyone with eyes and/or a brain could think that picture is attractive. I've been a sucker for the "thin is better" line of thinking so I understand falling for that crap, but I do NOT understand glorifying an ideal of dangerously thin and anorexic bodies. That woman is quite beautiful in real life and at 5'10" and 120 is already too thin. How ANYONE could think it's a good idea to try and make her look thinner is beyond me. They really need to examine the need to marginalize women to the point that they have to be size of small children in order to be appealing.

 

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