Tan Model Causes Controversy; H&M Apologizes For Promoting ‘Dangerous Behavior’

How tan is too tan? If you answered this lady, you’d be right, but several people are also taking issue with a new H&M ad campaign. The new ad features Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana who, in addition to sporting a pink bikini, is also rocking an extremely dark tan.

The ad has drawn criticism from several groups who say that H&M is promoting a dangerous level of tan. The Swedish Cancer Society wrote:

“The clothing giant is creating, not least among young people, a beauty ideal that is deadly… Every year, more people die in Sweden of [skin cancer] than in traffic accidents, and the main cause is too much sunning.”

Shine reports that Fontana has a natural golden skin tone and probably didn’t spend too much time in a tanning bad to achieve her look. It’s unclear if Fontana went to a tanning booth, used spray tan, or if the dark look was computer generated, but according to the Cancer society it doesn’t matter how the look was achieved, the campaign still sends a dangerous message.

The group writes:

“Regardless of how the H&M model got her tan, through sunning or a computer program, the effect is the same: H&M tells us we should be very tan on the beach. It is sad to write this, but H&M will, through its latest advertising campaign, not only sell more bathing suits but also contribute to more people dying from skin cancer.”

H&M has apologized for the ad saying that they did not intend to promote dangerous tanning.

H&M wrote:

“We are sorry if we have upset anyone with our latest swimwear campaign. It was not our intention to show off a specific ideal or to encourage dangerous behavior, but was instead to show off our latest summer collection. We have taken note of the views and will continue to discuss this internally ahead of future campaigns.”

Do you think that the H&M ad is promoting dangerous tanning? If so, does that mean Brazilian model Isabeli Fontana will no longer be able to model swimwear? What a shame.