H&M have defended the campaign to the Swiss press by saying they chose a model with darker skin in order to best show the strong colours on sale this season.Let's start with two photos of Isabeli Fontana one from H&M 2012 and one from Victoria's Secret 2011.
The Swedish firm said Fontana, the model featured in the controversial campaign, has naturally dark skin.
However, pictures previously published of the other model in former campaigns show her with a light skin tone.(Source)
|Isabeli Fontana H&M 2012|
|Isabeli Fontana Victoria's Secret 2011|
Isn't it strange that Isablei's "naturally dark skin" is so much lighter in the 2011 Victoria's Secret photo? It's not all though, all photos I can find of Isabeli in a quick Google search showsher with skin that's much lighter than in the H&M photos.
Why lie about something that's so easy for everybody with internet access to look up? It makes no sense. Why not explain the reason for the dark tan without lying? This, together with all the other issues that H&M get critique for, shows how H&M is clearly out of touch with reality.
There is another side to the story. I and (I assume) many others would never have known that Isabeli has lighter skin than in the ad. There are models with naturally dark skin and I wouldn't have given it a second thought. Watching Oprah does not make me feel that I need to get a tan, nor does the H&M ad with Isabeli.
I also dislike how the "cancer experts" (who ever they are) target H&M because of the ad. This makes the experts look as if they are doing it for the PR they will get. There are far better ways to get attention and educate people about skin cancer and how to prevent it. As things are now people will remember the critique against the ad, but they will still not be educated about how to protect themselves.
This article explains the basics of staying safe quite well I think. The mistakes that many do are to apply to little sun screen and not reapplying after two hours.