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Topshop removes controversial image of thin model from website

The model in question has hit out at criticism about her appearance, saying that she is “naturally skinny” and is hurt that people were discussing her as if she was “not a real person”.

HIGH STREET RETAILER Topshop has pulled a picture from its website after receiving complaints that the model featured in it is too thin and that it may encourage young girls to develop an unhealthy body image.

The image of the 18-year-old Australian model Codie Young, wearing a blue dress and oversized retro sunglasses, has been removed following complaints and replaced with a different picture of the same model.

In a statement, Topshop’s head of publicity Andrew Leahy said that the company was confident Young was “a healthy young woman” but conceded that “the angle this image has been shot at may accentuate Codie’s proportions, making her head look bigger and neck longer in proportion to her body”, reports the Independent.

In response to a Daily Mail article, in which UK anorexia support group manager Karen Easthall speculated that the large glasses worn by Young were intended “to hide sunken eyes” – a symptom of under-eating - Leahy insisted that “the sunglasses are featured because we retail them and they make up part of the look”.

In the same article, Helen Davies from the Anorexia charity Beat said: “For girls to see pictures of models who are this thin suggests that it’s OK to be like that but it’s clearly not.”

Easthall is also quoted as saying: “The girl looks ill… I dread to think how she looks under her clothes.”

Young commented on the furore on her blog, saying that she was “very hurt” by comments made about her appearance:

“Supposed professionals who deal with anorexic sufferers, everyday for the job/career are talking about me as if I’m not a real person (like I’m just a model used for them to prove some point) which is not the case. I am a real person with real feelings just like everyone else and comments made by these people do hurt and affect me.”

Young added: “I am naturally skinny; and anyone who knows me would know that I have been naturally skinny my entire life… For someone like Ms Davies to say its not okay for me to be this thin ( which is how I was created) basically says its not okay for me to be who I am”.

(Below) the new image of Young featured on the Topshop website

Watch: Tax protesters force Topshop store closure >

Read: Kate Moss parts from Topshop >

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