One Step Forward, Too Many Back

TRIGGER WARNING: Images of trafficked/kidnapped women experiencing emotional turmoil (second part of the post)

  1. I. The Good: Jacob, the Canadian clothing company, decides to stop retouching their fashion photography

Jacob, a Canadian based fashion retailer, announced this month that it will no longer be digitally altering the bodies of its fashion models in all of their promotional material for the upcoming fall season. To see a popular retailer (in Canada, at least) decide to implement such a controversial change is rather heartening. Admittedly, the company’s choice was made easier thanks to the recent moves towards some body acceptance being made by the magazine industry, as well as increasing demands for realism of body sizes from consumers. Regardless of their motivations, if Jacob adheres to its promises, this is a positive change in the fashion community as long as the company does not turn to using ever thinner models to achieve what Photoshop once did for them.

Is this move to less photo manipulation perfect? Certainly not. The company is still going retouch colours and skin textures, including the erasure of scars and tattoos. The idea that such common and/or natural traits are seen as making a photo imperfect rather than simply reflecting real individuals wearing the company’s clothing is rather disconcerting. Furthermore, the clothing company itself certainly does not support a particularly wide range of body sizes. The last time I stepped into the store, I could not fit anything other than tee-shirts and I am only a size fourteen. On the other hand, there are times when I take what I can get and I look forward to seeing Jacob’s fall campaign to see how well they have implemented their promises.

  1. II. The Terrible Beyond Comprehension: Suitcase Stickers and “Joking” about Abducted Women (Trigger warning begins here)

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