Women shoppers prefer 'real' ads
A recent study has revealed that women are more likely to buy clothing if it is advertised with an average sized model rather than an underweight one.
The study - by Canadian researcher Dr Ben Barry - showed that women in the US, Canada and China like to see an average women as opposed to a size zero model.
He also found that a female’s intention to purchase an item of clothing was increased by 200 per cent when a woman similar in build modelled it.
“Average people rarely [wear] catwalk designs in ‘real’ life. They are used as a branding exercise between fashion brands, therefore skinny models work better,” said Artem Bjork, who studies BA Creative Advertising Strategy at London College of Communication.
Dr Barry showed eight advertisements to 2,500 women in the United States and Canada who said that they felt more comfortable buying clothes that were being worn by women of a similar age.
Dr Barry said in an interview with Elle Canada magazine: “When one mature woman saw an older model, she explained: ‘[The model] does more than make me feel beautiful, she inspires me to go out and get this dress and celebrate my beauty.’”
Eeshita Kapadiya, a second year BA Fashion Design Technology (Womenswear) student at the London College of Fashion, said: “You want to buy something that an average sized woman is wearing, It’s more realistic and not everyone is a size zero, so you want to see what something would look like on.
“As a womenswear designer myself I prefer to see realistic women, skinny models don’t look as aesthetically pleasing whereas a real woman does. We have to use realistic women to portray a healthy image.”
According to wisegeek.com the average fashion model in 1960 was about 5ft 7in (1.7m) tall, and weighed approximately 58.51kg (129 pounds). More than 50 years on the average fashion model is two inches taller and weighs around 51.7kg (114 pounds).
“Its not the size but the shape of the model that I am attracted to, there are young models from the age of 14 who portray the wrong image of what clothing should look like,” said Chanel Musa, a second year BA Fashion Contour student.
Cauille Culos, a BA Fashion Sportswear student said: “Skinny models distort the idea of beauty, I’m happy when I see a normal, average sized woman in advertisements as it shows how it would fit on you.”