I'm always slightly dubious when it comes to best dressed lists. Sorry to name check but as many of you will recall, British Glamour's 2012 round-up that they released back in Aril was an example of just how bad they can get. I mean, Tulisa being ranked higher than Nicole Richie and Kristen Stewart as number one. Need I say anymore?
Last week Net-A-Porter released theirs and in stark contrast, it's pretty spot on. Giovanna Battaglia stole the top spot and came in at number one. Whether you're fan of her bold Italian style or not, nobody can deny that she is always perfectly well put together and channels that aesthetic like a pro. In that respect, her position is well deserved.
Model of the moment Hanne Gabby Odiele came in at number two, which I'm really happy to see. She's one of the few models that actually take risks and breaks away from that increasingly boring and predictable models off duty look. I mean, the girl can pull off those high waisted thigh skimming Balenciaga shortsand in broad daylight. Now that's not an easy task.
Despite joining Pinterest reluctantly, I'm now addicted and by the sounds of it you are too. The third most popular social network platform has quickly grown into a real force to be reckoned with and now brands are seeing it as another area worth investing in. Mashable recently reported that the site has become a major traffic driver to e-commerce sites but nothing had been done to measure whether that actually results in sales. Now we know.
Shopify did some investigating and discovered that Pinterest refers as much traffic to retailers as Twitter and Facebook but people are 10% more likely to purchase something directed from Pinterest than any other social networking platform. This says a lot. Considering that Facebook drives more traffic to these sites, it suggests that there's something unique to Pinterest that drives people to actually want to purchase something rather than browsing.
A week ago this image of Alexa Chung, which she posted on Instagram, helped keep the current debate about banning 'thinspo' on social networking channels alive. Tumblr was the first to ban the images on their platform and after receiving a lot of images on their platform as a result, Pinterest quickly followed suit leading the same thing to happen to Instagram. Not willing to appear like they are not taking a zero-tolerance approach too, Instagram release a statement in their community guidelines prohibiting the images:
Don't promote or glorify self-harm: While Instagram is a place where people can share their lives with others through photographs, any account found encouraging or urging users to embrace anorexia, bulimia, or other eating disorders; or to cut, harm themselves, or commit suicide will result in a disabled account without warning. We believe that communication regarding these behaviors in order to create awareness, come together for support and to facilitate recovery is important, but that Instagram is not the place for active promotion or glorification of self-harm.
Now hashtags like 'thingspo' and 'thinspiration' no longer yield search results.
Do you think Instagram's decision to follow the others will make any difference?
Alexa Chung is on the thin side. I don't think anyone can deny that but this week the presenter's body image was the subject of controversy after she posted an image of herself on Instagram. On the surface the image simply shows Chung posing with her mother but the controversy has stemmed from the size of her legs, which are on display under her denim dress.
The past few months have seen the issue of thinspiration images back in the media, especially with Tumblr and Pinterest cracking down on thinspo images being made available on their sites. Chung's images has fuelled the debate as many have said that her photographs are perpetuating the problem and are being used as inspiration images for weight loss and eating disorders. While some fans saw her size as aspirational, the majority of the comments were bad with some labelling her body as 'unhealthy' and others going as far as to say she looks 'disgustingly skinny'.
The fight against thinspiration images is the story that keeps on giving. When the content was first banned on Tumblr, all the banned images were moved to Pinterest and now the latter has followed Tumblr in cracking down on the images, naturally they have all moved to Instagram.
Instagram's guidelines do not explicitly allow the content but they definitely aren't tacking a firm approach like the other social media platforms have:
“Remember that our community is a diverse one, and that your photos are visible to people as young as 13 years old. While we respect the artistic integrity of photos, we have to keep our product and the photos within it in line with our App Store’s rating for nudity and mature content.”
The range of new social media platforms proves that the problem is hard to control. Firm bans on the content on one site simply drives the images to another one and so long as users continue to search for tags like 'thighgap' and 'hipbones', the content will always be there.
Last month when Tumblrannounced that they would crack down on thinspiration posts, the decision was met with a mixed response. While many praised the social networking platform for taking a strong stance, many were conscious of the fact that these posts were simply moving to pinterest to get around the ban.
Yesterday though, Pinterest decided to follow suit announcing that from April 6 they will ban ban content that 'creates a risk of harm, loss, physical or mental injury, emotional distress, death, disability, disfigurement, or physical or mental illness to yourself, to any other person, or to any animal.'
I had a quick search for 'thinspiration' on the platform this morning and was met with page after page of scary quotes and emaciated images but hopefully with the crack down, those images will disappear. The problem, as is often the case, is how both platforms will be able to police this. Facebook has been pretty good with this, especially when it comes to images with nudity so hopefully the other platforms will be able to follow suit and monitor these images to make sure that the ban actually results in a change.