One California mom is questioning the ethics of Huggies after she said she received an ad that clearly showed that the company had airbrushed a baby a thigh gap, which is defined as a space between the inner thighs of someone when they are standing upright with their knees touching.
According to a recent article by Yahoo Parenting, the woman named Melody, who asked for her last name to not be shared, received the ad for Huggies’ Little Movers Slip-On Diapers on Thursday. When she took a closer look, she said the baby in the ad appeared to have airbrushed thighs.
“The picture looked manipulated,” Melody, who has an 11-month-old daughter, told the website. “Really manipulated — like what you see in fashion magazines to make models too thin and too perfect.”
“I just felt like there’s no need for airbrushing to exist on an ad about babies. All babies are wonderful and super cute. A baby is perfect no matter what,” the mom said, adding that seeing an airbrushed picture of a baby made her “feel badly.”
“I mean, don’t we love our babies no matter how they look? This ad was not cool.”
Melody later posted the picture on Reddit, asking, “Is it just me or did this Huggies ad photoshop thigh gap on a toddler?”
There were mixed comments on her post, with some people suggesting that the diaper had been photoshopped, not the baby. However, others said they agreed with Melody, and the baby in the picture appeared to have been manipulated.
— POPSUGAR Moms (@POPSUGARMoms) October 26, 2015
“Lots of skinny babies out there, but with this photo the legs look fatter further down. It definitely looks anatomically odd to me,” one reader wrote.
“Although the photo looks odd. I’m staring at my toddler now as he stands in front of the tv and his thighs do not touch. I believe all toddlers have ‘thigh gaps’. And sometimes toddlers stand with their knees touching and it makes them look awkward,” another reader wrote.
Despite Melody’s accusations, a Huggies spokesperson said there was no photoshopping or airbrushing done to the ad. However, he said the Little Movers Slip-On Diapers line is no longer sold by Huggies directly, and he cannot speak to the advertising practices of any third party seller.
— Luis (@LuisRamComedy) October 23, 2015
“We always use real-life customers and users of our products, and do not airbrush the bodies of the babies in our advertising and photography,” Terry Balluck explained. “All babies are different. We look to celebrate those differences and everyday real-life tests and messes in our photography and communication.”
Whether the image was photoshopped or not, body image expert Dr. Robyn Silverman said the topic is very important for parents to consider. Silverman, who is the author of the book Good Girls Don’t Get Fat: How Weight Obsession is Messing Up Our Girls and How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It, said children between the ages of 3 and 5 already understand the “fat is bad” message.
“It’s vital to teach even our youngest children to embrace their bodies for the amazing things they can do,” Silverman said, adding that when children feel good about their bodies, “they are more likely to treat them with the respect they deserve.”
What do you think? Did the company airbrush a thigh gap on the baby, or is the baby just standing in an awkward position, giving the appearance that it had been photoshopped? Leave your comments below.
[Photo by Mike Windle/Getty Images]