Thoughts

Are retailers like Boohoo having a negative impact on our body image?

A photo posted by boohoo.com (@boohoo) on

The promotion of healthy body image is something that most people will agree is necessary. Discrimination of any sort is wrong, including discrimination against people because of the way they look. There’s a fairly wide range of clothing and accessories available for people of all body types which, I think we can all agree, is a step in the right direction.

However, just the other day I was browsing the Boohoo app when I came across two items that really grabbed my attention – and not for a good reason. Before I continue, I should state that I’ve been a pretty loyal customer with Boohoo, as their clothes are often the only ones that I find fit my body type consistently.

Anyway, the first item I came across was an Anti Cellulite Cream. I’m not medically trained, so decided a bit of research was necessary. A simple Google search for ‘cellulite’ directed me to WebMD, where I learnt that “cellulite is nothing more than normal fat beneath the skin.” Okay, great, so why are Boohoo selling a product to get rid of something which is completely normal? Is this promoting a healthy body image for women? Or is it encouraging women to change their bodies? Granted, some women may feel conscious of having cellulite, but advertising products like this is potentially going to make that self-consciousness a recurring problem.

Is this encouraging women to love themselves?

Is this encouraging women to love themselves?

The second item which I was not a fan of was a pair of ‘breast enhancers.’ As with the Anti Cellulite Cream, I feel that these breast enhancers are definitely encouraging women to perceive their bodies in an unhealthy way. I understand that bigger breasts may be desirable for some women, and air-filled fillets are definitely the cheapest way to go about it but, again, is it something that manufacturers should promote? Are Boohoo essentially promoting the idea that ‘bigger is better’? Products such as the air-filled breast enhancers have the potential to be really damaging to young girls and women, and are not encouraging them to love their bodies.

Should manufacturers be promoting these sorts of products?

Should manufacturers be promoting these sorts of products?

After viewing these items, I began to wonder if they were the type of thing that we, as female consumers, should really be presented with. Surely Boohoo should be promoting a healthy body image across all of its products, not encouraging women to change their bodies? For hundreds of years women have worn make-up, specific clothes and even gone under the knife to alter the way they look, and everyone has the right to do that should they please. However, is it really acceptable in 2016 to encourage us to to alter our natural body shapes?

Screenshots via Charlie Gibbs

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