Urban Outfitters Ordered to Pull Images of Model With “Significant” Thigh Gap: Find Out More About the Controversy

Urban Outfitters underwear model
This photo from Urban Outfitters' website, featuring an underwear model with a significant thigh gap, is at the center of the brand's controversy with the UK's Advertising Standards Authority.  

Controversy is following Urban Outfitters into 2015.

The trendy clothing chain posted a series of images to its site featuring an extremely thin woman with a significant "thigh gap" modeling a pair of the brand's red lace underwear—and the UK's Advertising Standards Authority, for one, was not having it.

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On Dec. 31, the organization ruled that the ads must be removed from Urban's UK site, as they believed that the photos were "irresponsible and harmful," and could be seen as encouraging unhealthy eating habits in a young target audience.

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"We considered that the model was very thin, and noted, in particular, that there was a significant gap between the model's thighs, and that her thighs and knees were a similar width," the ASA announced in the ruling.

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In response to the decree, Urban Outfitters said that the model had a waist measurement of 23.5 inches—a width the brand considered to be healthy. They also noted that the model was naturally tall and slim. "The model was represented by one of the UK's most successful and well-respected agencies," the brand added.

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Some, like the UK's Minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson, supported the ASA's ruling: "Retailers will benefit from having a diverse range of models and mannequins, which is not only a positive way of challenging low body confidence but makes good business sense, too."

But many voices on Twitter had another opinion. Those critics believed that the scandal was blown a bit out of proportion:

Which side are you on in the Urban Outfitters advertising controversy? Tweet with @UsWeekly using the hashtag #stylebyUs!

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