Using Skinny Models Might be Hurting Brands' Sales, Study Says

Consumers are more likely to buy clothes modeled by "average" people, study says.

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Complex Original

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Turns out that banning dangerously skinny models, which countries like France and Israel have done, is not only good for people's health, it's also better for business. A new study reveals that consumers actually prefer to see an average-sized person in a clothing advertisement as opposed to the traditional size-zero model, Refinery29 reports

University of Kent conducted a study that involved showing women's clothing promotions from well-known brands that used a variety of models ranging from super-skinny to average-sized. Participants had no preference in that portion of the study. However, when shown "new" brands, which were actually made up, the women leaned toward models that looked more like regular people. 

"The issue of fashion industry use of skinny models is a very controversial and we have even seen France's parliament considering a ban," Dr. Bian, the scientist leading the study, told Refinery29. "Our research shows that the fashion industry has nothing to fear from using average-sized models in it marketing campaigns, and could even find that it sells more of its products by doing so."

So, while excessively skinny models continue to do whatever they can to work around the weight requirement, they may be out of work for a totally different reason if brands and labels catch wind of this research.  

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