Being a frequent ASOS shopper myself, I've noticed the lack of model retouching as of late, and I have to say, I'm more than impressed by it. The number of mental health issues that the media gets blamed for is staggering and noting previous incidences (H&M's plastic mannequin situ) of ridiculously shocking retouching, it's nice to see that a major online retailer like ASOS is finally breaking the mould. (Not related to this part of the article but check out this link which shows 6 hours of retouching in just 90 seconds. It's mad!)
As a more impressionable young woman in my late teens and early twenties, I was completely plagued by this notion of physical perfection. Actually, I was obsessed, and it pretty much ruined what should have been some of the happiest, most care-free years of my life. In my mind I never felt good enough, I relentlessly compared myself to others and I'd constantly pick flaws in my appearance. The blame? Including, but not limited to heavily retouched photos of women in magazines and throughout online retail; the places I looked for design inspo as a fashion student!
ASOS have a policy whereby they do not alter the physical appearance of any of their models, only the clothes they are wearing meaning stretchmarks, scars and cellulite are laid bare for all to see. Amazing! From a female's perspective, what better way to celebrate women and to help women of all ages to feel more confident than to sell clothes using non-airbrushed models? Models are seen to be the ultimate 100 in physical perfection, so to show that these women have flaws too is powerful, and actually, who is to say these things are even flaws? Personally as I've navigated my mid-late twenties, I've realised that there is no such thing as perfection and no one is perfect. Who really cares? I don't! If anything, I live in a parallel universe, away from the real girl's world of diets and personal fat shaming. I couldn't care less and I refuse to discuss body image with my friends, especially when there is food to be eaten and intelligent ( and sometimes not so intelligent #LoveIsland) conversations to be had! There is more to life and the more you get sucked into that stuff, the more miserable and potentially unwell you can become. Well done ASOS. On behalf of all the people that might have struggled with or still struggle with body image, you're doing your bit by laying your models bare and praise their natural beauty. I'm hoping that by the time I have children, we're still representing a raw human form in our advertising for both men and women.
It’s swimsuit season, which means it’s that time of year to flaunt your body in all it’s stretch-marked glory. Rather than photoshopping those “glitter stripes” out, Asos’ has a policy not to “artificially adjust photographs of models to change their appearance.” And Twitter users are taking note.