Amanda Pendolino
April 19, 2013

‘You Are Not a Sketch’: Star Models Launches Powerful Anti-Anorexia Campaign

Women — even models — shouldn’t try to look like the super-slim sketches of fashion designers.

That’s the message behind a powerful campaign from Star Models, a modeling agency based in Brazil. The agency has released a series of ads featuring a sketch of a model on the left and a real model who’s been Photoshopped to look unhealthily thin on the right.

The ads also urge women to “Say no to anorexia.”

“It sends a powerful message… It’s a literal visualization of what the fashion industry sets the standards at,” commented Liz Osborne-Leavell, who works in customer service at Epicuren.

Critics say the ads don’t go far enough, that agencies like Star Models need to put the message into practice by signing healthy-weight women and promoting body diversity.

Controversies about beauty standards have been making headlines recently, from the infographic about how Barbies set unrealistic standards to Dove’s Real Beauty Sketches campaign.

While Dove’s campaign is less than empowering (it implies that being beautiful is the most important thing and also disapproves of looking like the “uglier” sketches), I think the Star Models campaign is headed in the right direction. An estimated 8 million Americans have an eating disorder – seven million women and one million men – and the fashion industry needs to be a part of changing that.

Israel has passed a law banning the use of models with a BMI under 18.5. Here’s hoping other countries follow suit.