Oops! Did H&M use wrong models in their Ads?
by FFE EU News Staff
Many Swedes are upset with fashion chain H&M’s new plus size ad. Why? Because it seems they got a ‘medium’ size model to feature the clothes in the catalogue.
After sending out thousands of catalogues to Swedes last week, H&M came under fire for manipulating sizes. H&M press contact Håcan Andersson clarified that ‘[The model] fits size (EU) 44 and that is also the size of the clothes she is wearing in our pictures.’ The official spokesman meanwhile said that the size of the model used in the photos was open to interpretation.
For the sake of clarity, Andersson said that H&M’s plus size models are between size 44 and 54. But research online revealed that the model Sabina Karlsson falls short of that standard: she has been listed as size 40 by her international agent Ford Models and 42 by her Swedish agent Mikas. By H&M’s own standards, size 40 is equivalent to a medium.
Mikas was quick to amend the error and changed Sabina’s size as 42-44. Mikas founder Mika Kjellberg said ‘[H&M] confirmed that Sabina was photographed in H&M’s size 44 clothing and that she fit perfectly in them, and therefore requested that the sizes on the website be coordinated.’
But no matter how much H&M and Mikas tried to patch up the glitch, it seems like the explanations were not enough for critics. Swedish journalist Frida Boisen said ‘Of course you can put size 44 clothes on a girl who normally buys a medium. But say so in that case. Stop lying to your customers.’
Upon receiving the catalogue, former professional swimmer and bulimia sufferer Emma Igelström was shocked and concerned by the images. She said ‘The model looks like a totally normal girl, even skinny. I’m bigger than she is, and I wear a medium at H&M.
‘H&M needs to take their responsibility for this. They are sponsors to the Swedish Olympics team, but by calling this model plus size they are strengthening the idea that super skinny is the ideal.’
H&M is not new to accusations of manipulating sizes and deceptive advertising. The chain came under fire last November when their spokesperson admitted that some of their models were too thin. Then as in now, the company apologised for unintentionally upsetting the public but did not offer any suggestions to address the issue.