Last week, filmmaker Darryl Roberts launched a boycott against the clothing company Ralph Lauren on the grounds that their advertisements promote negative body images in women and girls. According to the Huffington Post, the boycott has so far generated the support of the National Association of Anorexia Nervousa and Associated Eating Disorders (ANAD), the YWCA and 60 other organizations, as well as a Facebook following of over 3,700.
Roberts, creator of the documentary "America the Beautiful," said in an open letter that he started the campaign in response to several recent Ralph Lauren ads with extremely distorted images of women. After a media flurry of criticism, the designer publicly apologized for one of the ads, but then published two similar ads featuring equally, if not more severely, distorted images.
Working on "America the Beautiful," which examined the effect of ads featuring emaciated models on American women and youth, also played a part in his decision to start the boycott, Roberts told the Huffington Post. "From doing the film, I realized that those images--to me, they are just dumb stupid images-- but I realize that they have a lot of impact on a young girl's life...It's reckless and irresponsible to keep advertising in that manner just so you can make money. Many young girls have low self-esteem and hate the way they look, and through the process of doing the film and meeting them, face to face, I became an advocate against advertising that way toward young girls."
"We're going to pick three of Lauren's biggest stores and start boycotts--right at his stores," Roberts told the Huffington Post. "We're going to take young girls that feel that they're ugly, or have eating disorders, to his stores...so that they can explain to people who are attempting to go in there and shop, how their advertising affects them."