Anti-Anorexia Ad Campaign

Powerful anti-anorexia ad campaign tells women 'you are not a sketch' using models with fashion illustration proportions

Star Models, a modeling agency based in Brazil, has released a graphic new anti-anorexia ad campaign, using Photoshop to turn models into life-size fashion illustrations.

The ads, which run with the tag line 'Say no to anorexia,' show a fashion illustration with typically exaggerated proportions next to a model wearing the same outfit - and the same measurements.

While the models have been airbrushed to mimic the unrealistic illustrations, the ad pleads to young women: 'You are not a sketch.'

The graphic ad campaign has been lauded as 'powerful,' with critics hopeful that it will send an effective anti-anorexia message against thinspiration blogs and pro-anorexia websites.

Liz Osborne-Leavell, who works in customer service at Epicuren, said: 'It sends a powerful message... It's a literal visualization of what the fashion industry sets the standards at.'

While Adam Green commented: 'I like these ads because they address the issue that anorexia seems to stem from the inability for people to distinguish reality from fiction. 

'Barbie dolls don't have realistic body proportions, but we should be teaching girls that they don't have to look like a barbie doll before banning barbies. It's nitpicking a toy company versus actually making an effort to teach girls how to think healthy.'

However some believe the ads may actually promote thinspiration - advocacy of the disease through social media and 'pro-ana' websites.

One commenter wrote: 'Unfortunately I think some women could look to these images for thinspiration.'

Another stated: 'It is a good campaign for young girls who have not yet succumbed to the Thin Culture of our country, to perhaps nip the tendency in the bud. But for those who are already truly anorexic, these models are their GOAL.'

This is not the first anti-anorexia public service announcement to use shocking images to convey its message, however.

In 2007, an ad for Italian fashion brand Nolita starred model Isabelle Caro, who was openly suffering from anorexia at the time. 

Her skeletal image, with vertebrae and facial bones protruding, shocked viewers and drew worldwide attention. She passed away three years later at age 28. 

One commenter, who believes the Star Models' ad 'is a move in the right direction,' added: 'It would be better if modeling agencies practiced what they preached. 

'I've seen models regularly in magazines as thin as the ones shown in this ad. Nothing is going to change until models who are not skeleton thin are hired and photographed in fashion magazines and fashion shows.'

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