Yesterday, around 30 protesters held a rally outside Ralph Lauren's NYC flagship to demand that the company stop using images of models who've been Photoshopped into unreality for its advertisements. Protest organizers said they even envision a legislative solution.
Manhattan was covered in a fresh layer of snow yesterday, and the protesters chanted and marched in a circle on East 72nd Street and Madison Avenue, a corner where the foot traffic was otherwise comprised of holiday shoppers and parents towing kids through the drifts on sleds. Sonia Ossorio, of the National Organization for Women's New York chapter, which organized the protest, said that the date was chosen with the holiday shopping season in mind. And although Ralph Lauren was targeted because of its recent spate of disgustingly over-Photoshopped advertisements, not to mention the revelation that the company terminated model Filippa Hamilton's multi-year contract because, at 5'9" and 120 lbs, she had become "too fat" for its tastes, the message is really for all fashion companies. "We'd like retailers to realize that their customer base is women," Ossorio told me. "It's like, who do they think they are? Making women feel less sexy and less beautiful than we are. Why do they think they have the right to do that? And it's so unfortunate. Look at how it impacts the entire world, and how we feel about ourselves." Then Ossorio jumped over a snowbank to talk to two policemen who'd pulled up in a cruiser. "I'm the organizer if you have any questions!" she shouted. The cops stayed parked on the corner for the rest of the hour-long protest, and flipped through Sunday's Post.