UK Department Store Bans Airbrushing Lingerie Models

DebenhamsOnce again, it has become news that, shock horror!, many forms of advertising portray unrealistic images that have a negative effect on body image.

UK department store Debenhams has decided to do something about it. By banning the digital airbrushing of their lingerie model photos, Debenhams hopes that it will send a more positive image to customers. This is the same store that used disabled, older and larger models to promote their brand in their lookbook earlier this year.

Debenhams hopes that other retail brands will follow suit, recognizing an ethical duty to promote realistic images but also acknowledging the economic benefits of reducing the use of digital image editing. In the wake of the whole Abercrombie & Fitch debacle, it may be worth trying to spread the message across the pond to U.S. brands as well.

The photo at left is an example of a Debenhams lingerie ad with marks showing what would previously have been changed. Sharon Webb, head of lingerie buying and design for Debenhams says that the store will now,

only airbrush minor things like pigmentation or stray hair and rely on the natural beauty of models to make our product look great.

That’s a reassuring statement for those who worry that reducing the use of airbrushing will put more pressure on the models to look more airbrushed in real life.

Debenhams’ decision is a step in the right direction toward eliminating advertising that produces unrealistic body images. With good reactions already, positive customer feedback and a bit of luck, it won’t be long before other retailers hopefully take up the trend.

Photo from Debenhams Press Center 


  1. Trini Andrea says:

    Finally!!!!! It’s about time that someone takes note.

  2. What can I say ? This is EXCELLENT news! Finally our little girls will grow with the knowledge that women are not all thin as a rake !

  3. That’s good. If more companies keep doing this I think it will work wonders for our young girl’s confidence and realize that all these models are not as perfect as they seem. One great step in the right direction. Awesome!

  4. Awesome post. Thanks for the share! I am in the process of getting my girlfriend some seductive lingerie for Christmas so I am reading up on the subject. But unfortunately, I am still none the wiser 🙂

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