Clothing brands turning women into Barbie dolls: Retailers including SHEIN and PLT are blasted over swimwear that’s so skimpy they have to airbrush models’ private parts to advertise it
- Fast fashion giants are known for their ultra-skimpy swimwear
- But shoppers have claimed they airbrush model pictures online
- Customers say daring pieces could only be worn by Barbie and not real women
- NHS gynaecologist warns of danger of unrealistic imagery to young women
Fast fashion giants such as SHEIN and PrettyLittleThing are facing a backlash over images of their ultra skimpy swimwear which have apparently been edited to make women look like Barbie dolls.
Known for barely there bikinis with little more than an inch-wide strip of material covering the crotch area, many of their images seem to be modified and airbrushed to make the vaginal area seem more ‘neat’.
As well as facing criticism from fans on social media over the unlrealistic images, an NHS gynecologist says such imagery is ‘damaging for young girls’ because ‘labia come in all shapes and sizes’.
For instance, one SHEIN Facebook advert for a ‘backless ring linked one piece swimsuit’ has so amassed hundreds of amused comments, on account of the model’s ‘missing labia’, with critics noting that the model looked like a Barbie doll.
One commented: ‘The extent they’ve gone to in order to airbrush out her private area is spectacular 10/10.’
Fast fashion retailers such as SHEIN (swimsuit pictured) are facing a backlash for turning women into Barbie dolls, by apparently airbrushing their genitals in pictures to advertise their ultra-skimpy swimwear
Shein’s £7.99 SXY Rhinestone Studded One Piece Swimsuit features an extraordinarily narrow strip of fabric at the crotch and a thong bottom
One user said ‘Do you get a free tube of Canesten with this?’
Another said ‘I swear brands do this for rage clicks, as when you go on the site, a lot of the models look nothing like this! I only see ads with their most insane items.’
One jokingly said ‘One sneeze and it’s gone,’ while another mused ‘The swimsuit you can use to floss your back teeth while you wear it!’
One said ‘I’ve blown my nose on pieces of tissue bigger than that!’
The sparkly backless swimsuit that has been likened to a ‘mankini’ by UK Facebook users is gaining a lot of attention online. Some say it’s a marketing tool to get ‘rage clicks’ and others say they ‘simply wouldn’t wear it’
Facebook users were perplexed by the model’s anatomy and how one would wear the glittery garment.
NHS gynecologist Dr Ahmed El Ghazim, told FEMAIL he has concerns about the impact such imagery has on young customers, agreeing that the models do not look natural.
‘The labia doesn’t have a typical shape and these representations are unrealistic,’ he explained.
‘The labia can be very long, and this includes the outer and inner labia called the labia minora and labia majora.
Experts are concerned that young women are being given an unrealistic impression of what their bodies should look like, fuelling a rise in inquiries about labiaplasty (Fashion Nova swimsuit pictured)
The barely-there swimsuit from US e-tailer Fashion Nov, featuring a diamante butterfly instead of fabric, recently went viral with shoppers commenting that the model may as well be naked
What is labiaplasty?
According to the NHS, labiaplasty is surgery to reduce the size of the labia minora – the flaps of skin either side of the vaginal opening.
It should not be done on girls younger than 18 because the labia continues to develop beyond puberty into early adulthood.
Some women want a labiaplasty because they do not like the look of their labia. But it’s completely normal to have noticeable skin folds around the opening of your vagina. In most cases, it does not cause any problems, which is why labiaplasty is rarely available on the NHS.
The procedure is often undertaken privately.
‘It can be uncomfortable if the labia majora are extremely long, and this is when one would seek labiaplasty.’
He added that there’s been a rise in women seeking labiaplasty surgery for cosmetic reasons.
‘We are now seeing more women coming in for surgery to get a perfect vagina,’ he said.
‘I’ve had many women coming to me concerned about the shape of their labia and I suspect it is to do with social pressure and possibly pornography.
‘The pictures on fashion sites give young girls especially, an insecurity they do not need about their bodies, because the shape of the vagina does not affect functionality.’
However, despite efforts at diversifying models, a lot of swimwear and lingerie models are still clearly ‘labia-less’ on the sites.
In recent years, diverse bodies and genitalia have been increasingly normalized by many brands in a bid to appear more authentic to consumers,but opposingly aesthetic culture and homogenized beauty online has led to a significant increase in cosmetic surgery, and in particular labiaplasty.
The procedure involves a ‘neatening’ of the vaginal area, as many woman struggle with confidence if they have long or misshapen labia- both of which are totally normal and healthy
A close shave: This black bikini, modelled on an enviable figure, seems to have a transparent strip and a smooth undercarriage area
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