U.K. chain Debenhams has announced they will no longer airbrush the lingerie models in their ads and catalog. Debenhams' head lingerie buyer, Sharon Webb, explained the company wants "to help customers feel confident about their figures without bombarding them with unattainable body images."Acting as spokesperson for the company, Webb encouraged others to follow Debenhams' lead (read: tried to shame other companies into lower sales). "We want other retailers to follow suit and encourage positive body-image through minimal retouching rather than bombarding them with unattainable body images."
Recent research shows that airbrushed photos have a negative impact on self-esteem. A study from the University of Sussex surveyed 136 girls between the ages of 11 and 16, and found that the girls all evidenced lower body satisfaction and self-esteem when exposed to thin or average-sized magazine models.
This is not Debenhams' first effort to break the beauty mold–previous campaigns have featured size 16 girls, disabled models, and paralympians.