The retouched photos were first brought to light by the Ethical Adman, which noticed that a young woman modeling the "Xhilaration® Junior's Midkini 2-Piece" appeared to have a gaping, square-shaped gap where her crotch should be. As Jezebel reported, one of the model's arms also appear to be stretched, and a piece of her hip is missing.
Predictably, Twitter users savaged the retail giant.
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Looks like an intern is getting fired at Target. http://t.co/KNWteXFKRM- Dennis Jansen (@dennisjansen) March 11, 2014
Believe it or not, the so-called "thigh gap" is a real and unfortunate trend, the Daily Beast reported, in which true beauty means having legs that don't actually touch (you know, like an actual person). But the edits made to the Target images are so blatant that at first glance it looks like some kind of joke. And yes, it's pretty funny, until you think about the message Target is sending about how young girls (the Xhilaration brand is aimed at teenagers and young adults) should apparently have crotches that resemble one of those little staple-remover things. After all, what could be more desirable than that?
This isn't the first time that Target has come under fire for images on its website. Last April, the company advertised a plus-sized dress using a photo of a pregnant woman. It probably didn't help matters that the item's color was labeled "manatee gray."
They were also hit with a lawsuit last year over a memo asking managers to "note differences among Hispanic employees." ("Not everyone eats tacos and burritos!")
But their latest gaffe, which demonstrates not only an offensive approach to body image, but offensively bad photo-editing skills, is particularly egregious. Almost as egregious as the term "midkini." As opposed to, what, upperkini? Come on, guys.
The Xhilaration® Junior's Midkini 2-Piece is currently, mysteriously unavailable on Target's website.
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