Italy’s advertising watchdog has banned an ad campaign for a fashion label showing a naked anorexic woman, saying it breached its code of conduct.
The image “commercially exploited” the illness, the advertising body said.
The image, bearing the words “No Anorexia”, was first displayed during Milan Fashion Week in September.
The Publicity Control Institute (IAP) ruled that the image breached articles one and 10 of its code of conduct.
Article one states that advertising must be “honest, truthful and accurate. It must avoid anything that could discredit it”.
Article 10 states that advertising must not offend “moral, civic and religious” beliefs and must “respect human dignity in all its forms and expressions”.
Well, let’s see if they have any solid points here. A nude picture of an anorexic woman looking scrawny, sickly, sad and wasted is certainly honest, truthful and accurate. There isn’t much to discredit about the statement it makes–namely, that anorexia is not sexy, and should therefore not be dignified in any way by the fashion industry.
And as for offending “moral, civic and religious beliefs”–how could it possibly? Yes, it’s a nude shot, but I dare anyone to show me what’s sexually provocative about a hollow-cheeked, zombie-eyed face staring back at the camera over a pair of bony shoulderblades and the full length of a knobbly spine descending into a derriere reminiscent of a plucked chicken! The only part of me that’s offended by such a sight is the lining of my stomach. But my moral, civic and religious beliefs are in no way troubled. Why? Because, whether morally, civically or religiously, I believe anorexia is a disease, and what it really does to its victims–predominantly female–should be exposed as openly as possible.
Right now, there is this disgusting movement going on out there, in which anorexics and bulimics are using the Internets to promote the very diseases that are killing them. They refer to their revolting conditions as “Ana” and “Mia”–nice, chummy, feminine-sounding names that obscure the fact that anorexia and bulimia are the two deadliest mental disorders going, and that nine out of 10 victims are female. These “pro-Ana” and “pro-Mia” sites don’t point the way to real help for eating-disorder sufferers; instead, they carry life-threatening “advice” on how to undereat, overexercise, purge, vomit, conceal evidence of any or all of the above, and resist the efforts of family and friends trying to push the victim into treatment. Oh, and they provide beaucoup photos of “rexy” models as “thinspiration”–to push the idea that anorexia = sexy.
Never mind that nothing less sexy could possibly be imagined…
…at least, not by someone who is mentally healthy.
The kicker? All this hoopla comes as Milan’s fashion week is already over–and with it, the ad campaign in question.
And, oh yeah, the fact that the government liked the idea: “Italian health minister Livia Turco backed the billboard, saying it could ‘promote responsibility towards the problem of anorexia’.”
Gee, maybe the idea of healthy, well-fed young women, who menstruate, are fertile, and have interest in sex and other intellectual pursuits, is the thing that’s really offending the “moral, civic and religious beliefs” of those who object to the message that “No Anorexia” sends! Suddenly, it all makes sense. No, we can’t have uppity women running around looking all plump and rosy, using their heads for something other than obsessing over calories, and shaking their shapely, unemaciated butts! Must keep those sinful females down! Must keep pushing the idea that only a human hatrack can be fashionable! Must stop women from taking over the world!
(Must keep my spirits up and my breakfast down.)