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H & M Apologised for ‘Tanorexic’ Swimsiut Model

Category: Lingerie news May 14th, 2012
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Swedish retailer H&M has now apologized for using pictures of Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana wearing bright bikinis and looking overly-bronzed in a swimwear campaign. The Swedish Cancer Society and other groups accused the company of promoting a dangerous beauty ideal that encourages consumers to tan and noted that more people in Sweden die of skin cancer than in car accidents each year.

Trying to emulate someone so tan could lead to an addiction to tanning – which, as doctors have recently confirmed, is officially called “tanorexia.”

H&M apologizes for controversial ad featuring ‘tanorexic’ model Isabeli Fontana

Dr. Ralph Braun, a dermatologist and professor at University Hospital Zürich, told 20 Minuten:

I find this very alarming.”

Amanda Ammann, a former Miss Switzerland and sufferer of skin cancer, also told 20 Minuten:

I think it’s a shame, because such advertising conveys a wrong impression.”

So, H&M has apparently realized their mistake. On Thursday, the reatailer released an apology, explaining that they were “sorry” if the ads had upset anyone and that the campaign was only intended to show off the swimsuit—not to encourage potentially deadly sun-tanning. In an e-mail sent to AP, H&M said:

We are sorry if we have upset anyone with our latest swimwear campaign. It was not our intention to show off a specific ideal or to encourage dangerous behaviour, but was instead to show off our latest summer collection…”

We have taken note of the views and will continue to discuss this internally ahead of future campaigns.”

But despite the company’s appearance of contrition, an image of the heavily tanned and swimwear clad Isabeli Fontana continues to dominate H&M’s homepage.

P.S. Isabeli Fontana in Victoria’s Secret swimsuit ad photoshoot (pic above). The model looks much lighter ‘wearing’ her natural skin color.

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