From The Independent in Britain:
By Paul Bignell
Published: 04 February 2007
A health expert yesterday condemned Britain’s second-biggest supermarket chain, Asda, after the company announced it is to stock size-zero clothes.
In an open letter to the fashion industry, seen exclusively by The Independent on Sunday, Professor Janet Treasure, of the eating disorders unit at King’s College London, accused Asda of exploiting for profit young women’s obsession with appearing thin.
Professor Treasure said designers expected the public to change to fit the shape of their clothes, rather than changing their designs to suit healthier bodies.
She believes designers are influencing fashion retailers like Asda, owned by the US giant Wal-Mart, to produce clothes in smaller sizes.
She said: “From the timing of Asda’s announcement it seems like they have seen a market forming. They obviously don’t want to miss out on an opportunity for free advertising, even at the cost of public health.”
The supermarket chain will stock size-zero clothes – the equivalent of British size 4 – in its new G21 range from fashion label George. It will be the first mainstream collection in the UK to include clothes that go down to a size 4.
The typical waist measurement of the clothes, aimed at the younger end of the market, will be 22 inches – the average size of an eight-year-old girl.
Wal-Mart court case: here.
Last week, filmmaker Darryl Roberts launched a boycott against the clothing company Ralph Lauren on the grounds that their advertisements promote negative body images in women and girls. According to the Huffington Post, the boycott has so far generated the support of the National Association of Anorexia Nervousa and Associated Eating Disorders (ANAD), the YWCA and 60 other organizations, as well as a Facebook following of over 3,700: here.
Thousands of schoolgirls as young as 10 are skipping meals and taking up smoking to lose weight thanks to popular media images: here.