The criticism that Ralph Lauren doesn't want you to see!

Last month, Xeni blogged about the photoshop disaster that is this Ralph Lauren advertisement, in which a model's proportions appear to have been altered to give her an impossibly skinny body ("Dude, her head's bigger than her pelvis"). Naturally, Xeni reproduced the ad in question. This is classic fair use: a reproduction "for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting," etc.

However, Ralph Lauren's marketing arm and its law firm don't see it that way. According to them, this is an "infringing image," and they thoughtfully took the time to send a DMCA takedown notice to our awesome ISP, Canada's Priority Colo. One of the things that makes Priority Colo so awesome is that they don't automatically act on DMCA takedowns. Instead, they pass them on to us and we talk about whether they pass the giggle-test.

This one doesn't.

So, instead of responding to their legal threat by suppressing our criticism of their marketing images, we're gonna mock them. Hence this post.

As Wendy Seltzer from the Chilling Effects project said, "Sounds like a pretty solid fair use case to me. If criticism diminishes its effectiveness, that's different from the market substitution copyright protects against. And I've rarely seen a thinner DMCA form-letter."

So, to Ralph Lauren, GreenbergTraurig, and PRL Holdings, Inc: sue and be damned. Copyright law doesn't give you the right to threaten your critics for pointing out the problems with your offerings. You should know better. And every time you threaten to sue us over stuff like this, we will:

a) Reproduce the original criticism, making damned sure that all our readers get a good, long look at it, and;

b) Publish your spurious legal threat along with copious mockery, so that it becomes highly ranked in search engines where other people you threaten can find it and take heart; and

c) Offer nourishing soup and sandwiches to your models.

Update: Looks like Photoshop Disaster's ISP caved to a similar notice.

DMCA Infringement Notification

Update:: Ralph Lauren accepts responsibility for the dodgy 'shop, but no word on its DMCA takedown.


  1. Forget the soup and sandwiches, I’m pretty sure she needs corrective surgery because her spine is not so much broken, as stolen by a witchdoctor.

  2. Did Photoshop Disasters, the blog who originally ran this, get the same notice? Did they take action?

    1. No they deleted their original post. Boing Boing is the only one that deserves recognition here. Thanks for standing up for women everywhere, BB!

  3. Hi Ralph Lauren, before I didn’t have an opinion of your brand and could have been converted into a paying customer.

    Guess what! Now I hope your company fails. Bit strong perhaps, but every time Boing Boing republish your legal threats, there will be more and more like me.

    1. I wholeheartedly AGREE with Tom Davenport. From now, I am BOYCOTTING anything Ralph Lauren.

      In addition to false advertising, Ralph Lauren’s attempts to strong arm others pointing out their deceits is proof that LAUEN KNOWS HE uses unethical practices to promote merchandise.

      Why on God’s Earth would anyone want to support such an unethical company?

      Time to close shop, Ralph Lauren. Your old school ways do not match the new century’s plan and thus you need to go away.

  4. c) Offer nourishing soup and sandwiches to your models and your digital imaging staff.

    ‘Cause that’s a lot of Photoshop…

  5. If that were a real and un-Photoshopped person, she should be in a hospital – not a magazine ad.

    1. Yeah, ironically I love the outfit, too. Although I’d never even get one leg into the negative-sized pants Miss Stick Figure is wearing.

  6. At my college newspaper we ran an article and pic from a local art show that featured a painting or Bert and Ernie engaged in “adult acts”. The Children’s Television Workshop sent us a threatening letter. Our lawyers politely told them to go pound sand. That was the last we heard of it. Good for you for standing up to this ridiculous attempt at legal strongarmory.

  7. Um. Four things:
    -abuse of process
    -abuse of copyright, see Online Policy Group v. Diebold, 337 F. Supp. 2d 1195 (N.D. Cal. 2004 (though since fair use is a defense, maybe not).
    -malpractice (if not legal, at least PR)

    Good for your ISP.

  8. The DMCA take down notices are like no other threat facing the freedom of speech. The ability to threaten an individual with the loss of access based solely on allegation of wrong doing is no different than disconnecting an individual’s home phone line because a particular conversation was overheard and deemed objectionable to a marketing department. We have the right to offend and the right to be offended. We do not however have the right to silence criticism.

    Note to Ralph Lauren: you will hear our criticism here, or at the bank. You decide.

    Oh and you suck. Sue me.

    1. Paff, DMCA notices are both good and bad- here, they’re obviously being misused to the n-th degree, but at the same time, I’ve had to send them out myself to eBay and other sites that my own artwork was being used for profit. So please don’t blanket all DMCAs as horrible things- sometimes they’re the only way for artists to be able to see returns of their work.

      1. Jess: I should have said, the abuse of DMCA take down notices are like no other threat facing the freedom of speech.

        It’s just to effing easily abused.

        However, I am 100% opposed to a company having the ability (at all) to cut off someone’s connection to the internet or take down free speech *without a trial*.

    2. My girlfriend was the first person I’d ever heard express the idea that free speech (or radical self-expression, as Burners like to call it) was not only about the right to offend, but the right to be offended, and that being offended by others’ expression was just as important as being able to express yourself in ways that offend others.

      Now you’re the second.

      Rock on.

  9. “Reproduce the original criticism, making damned sure that all our readers get a good, long look at it, and; “

    Yup, nice one!

  10. Be careful, Boingers. What if Ralph Lauren decides to unleash their army of gene-spliced preying mantis/runway model hybrids on you?

  11. Nicely done — the kudos to your ISP, the giggle test, and especially the notice on the DMCA. If someone’s gonna throw the DMCA around, they better learn to duck when it’s thrown back at them — and especially when it’s quite well-earned. For purposes of comment and criticism, indeed.

  12. I think it’s really nice of Boing Boing to give all those bored Ralph Lauren attorneys something to do while they fritter away their retainers.

    I’m so glad that Photoshop Disasters picked up on this and thank you Xeni for writing about this. You rock!

  13. Wow, this might be the first C&D directed *at* BB that I’ve ever seen! How many have there been? Also, yay for having courage and convictions!

    To me this picture has two major fails — other than the obvious ‘trimming to the bone’ of her body, the head and arms clearly come from a picture of a radically different scale!

    That ISP isn’t located in the country of sucky ISPs? I’m on TekSavvy now myself, but Bell and Rogers also like money from their customers better than MAFIAA trolls in my experience — sure they threaten to cut people off, but in the end they (almost) never do, and even then only for a few days.

  14. I’m not sure it’s a photoshop. It looks like bad panoramic distortion with wide angle camera lens. So while it’s a fair use the accusation of photoshoping still could be a libel.

    1. Libel?

      I think not. Libel is “communication of a statement that makes a claim, expressly stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image.”

      Sure it may suggest that they have idiots for graphic designers but that’s hardly libel. “RL buys their models from european slave traders!”… now *that* can be considered libelous.

      Either way, f*** you RL. I’ve dealt with similar legal threats only to throw it right back in their faces and never hear about it again.

    1. And there is no “Fair Use” in Canada, there is a somewhat similar but weaker, IMO, “Fair Dealing”.

      I just don’t see how any of this would have played out… other than a strong arming tactic.

      1. There’s no DCMA either. Contact your MP to make sure it stays that way. DCMA does not protect the rights of people just infringes on them.

  15. Disney should issue a DMCA claim to Ralph Lauren for unauthorized use of the Jack Skellington character.

  16. I got a good, long look at it. And man, these models do need a mile long sandwich.
    Well played BB and Priority Colo, feels good seeing that the big firms don’t ALWAYS get what they want.
    They acted so stupid it looks like they did it on purpose… Maybe they love seeing the boomerang effect in motion?

  17. I never thought the original post could get any funnier, but put it in context of an ultra-serious legalese poorly-scanned fax and boy, yes, that’s funny.

    Massive props to BB staff and Priority Colo for keepin’ it reasonable.

  18. Yep, I agree with the article. Threatening legal action is dumb on the part of RL. The models proportions are actually comical. However, she could be the sister of Giada De Laurentiis on FoodNetwork. Very similar proportions. All that said, I lurve Ralph Lauren and will NEVER stop buying his clothes and now I need to go buy that blouse.

  19. Ha Ha! Well done. I boycott Ralph Lauren and his crappy country club rags.

    signing off… neoprene 98

  20. Do you think the lawyer who sent the note, Ms. Roxanne Elings (bio here: realized how weak her DMCA take down notices. I realize that her client MADE her do it, but doesn’t it reflect poorly on the law firm for not pushing back on the client and telling them what people legally can and cannot do?

  21. Lets see: this has been up for an hour, and already has 20+ comments, 250+ retweets, and admin knows how many page views.

    It sounds like Ralph Lauren has successfully activated the Streisand effect. Good for them. I think that should earn an Achievement or Badge of some sort.

  22. My hat’s off to BB and the ISP for bringing this to my attention. Free speech on the internet’s is constantly being threatened and it’s good to know you guys are sticking up for your content. I can’t believe I haven’t seen this ad yet…..disturbing. :\

  23. I agree that this is a terrible Photoshop job, and you’re clearly in the realm of fair use to post it. But I’m really surprised that nobody has called shenanigans on this image. Considering all the layers of approval a *good* photo goes through before making it out Polo’s corporate doors, I find it hard to believe this obviously awful manipulation made it through without someone calling it out. At least 50 people who are all good at their jobs would have seen this photo before it got final approval. Someone would have said something.

    I’d guess this is either a manipulation by whoever uploaded it to PS Disasters in the first place, or somebody’s idea of a joke. But I’d bet money that this isn’t a case of Polo putting this out there believing it looked good.

    1. @I’d rather not say: I’m inclined to agree with you that photoshop disasters might have been punked themselves with the ‘photoshop disaster’. This outfit is an outdated offering from RL Blue, but it appears in google image caches of a sale outlet which sells past season RL Blue label,, with original photography of a different model sporting a regular-sized head in proportion to the rest of her body here:

      and here:

      If this is the case, rather than jumping the gun with an aggressively arrogant C&D notice to boingboing, Ralph Lauren’s people would have served their company better by simply informing photoshop disasters & this site that their proprietary image had been deliberately manipulated by someone unknown without their permission and requesting that the two blogposts be updated to correct the inaccuracy.That would require RL’s highly-paid lawyers to have minimal amounts of common sense & a modicum of old-fashioned PR savvy in addition to their JDs though.

      Really, I can’t imagine for one minute that this image would have ever been approved for public release by anyone in RL marketing since it looks so absurdly – and so obviously – freakish. They are in the business of making their clothes look attractive to buyers & not repulsing potential customers with their product.

  24. All hail


    “You should know better. And every time you threaten to sue us over stuff like this, we will:

    a) Reproduce the original criticism, making damned sure that all our readers get a good, long look at it, and;

    b) Publish your spurious legal threat along with copious mockery, so that it becomes highly ranked in search engines where other people you threaten can find it and take heart; and

    c) Offer nourishing soup and sandwiches to your models. “

  25. I’m having second thoughts about my earlier post saying that RL is dumb to have sued. It’s f’ing brilliant because the controversy has RL on people’s minds. People on here can say they will boycott those $498 jeans or that $198 blouse but I kinda figure you weren’t going to buy them anyway. After spending a few minutes on the RL web site I’m even beginning to wonder if the pic is truly shopped because many of the models look like that. The one thing people should know (and nobody commenting seems to) is that RL is one of the only premier designers to offer women’s sizes up to 22 and 3X and they show plus size models on the RL website. Others max out at a size 12 if they even get that large. Additionally, RL has clothing lines in a wide range of prices all made with the highest quality. Even some of the people on here who say they are boycotting (though they have never worn a Ralph Lauren outfit in their lives), could actually afford to buy one. Now, I need to switch windows and complete the RL checkout. My ass is going to look steamin’ hot in those jeans.

    1. If your second post is, indeed, not astroturf and you’re seriously considering purchasing one of the above featured garments, I will say just one thing. Money does not buy taste.

      Cheers! (And don’t be acting all indignantly surprised when your best buds turn you in to the What Not To Wear people.)

      1. I certainly agree that money doesn’t buy taste. Neither does disagreeing with other posters equate to astroturfing. I buy Ralph Lauren clothing all the time and get nothing but compliments. My RL clothes will also hold up well enough to come back out of my closet 10 years from now as styles change while your Wal-Mart rags might make it through a season. You get what you pay for.

        I do take issue with designers use of wisp thin models but that’s an industry problem which RL is only partly guilty of, they also use plus size models. I don’t wear anything approaching the minimal size of the model in the pic but even if I were huge I could buy Ralph Lauren clothes. That’s the destinction that needs to be made.

        I also think that in order to say that this photo is even produced by Ralph Lauren someone needs to cite where it was found. The only place I can find it is on snark sites. What mag was it originally published in? What’s the name of the model? Those questions need answers before blaming RL for anything but the legal action they took.

        1. Oh, but you’ve made a less defensible assumptions about your fellow commenter, din’t you? You know nothing about me, but you’ve told all Boingers where you shop and have practically provided advertising for that producer in two consecutive posts. Did I state where I shop in my post? No. You jumped a conclusion about where I MUST shop because I find the clothing in the photo to be hideous. The shirt and jeans in the featured PS disaster ARE hideous. Please re-read your second post. The tone is that of a sales pitch.

          You DO generally get what you pay for and that’s why I don’t buy RL. Overpriced and not particularly well made. There are better values to be had. Especially if you dollar-cost average your purchases. A smart consumer doesn’t overspend on trendy crap meant to only last one season. A smart consumer also doesn’t underspend on foundational wardrobe pieces with classic styling that will still be fashionable in several years time.

          A quick image search reveals this:

          Sure looks like Filippa Hamilton-P­­almstiern­a in the contentious photoshop disaster at the top of the page.

    2. I’m sure you work for RL and don’t want to lose your job if less and less people buy their products due to this critics. And yes lot of people have RL in their mind IN A NEGATIVE WAY after seeing this ridiculous picture and the fuzz about it.

  26. I love how Exhibit A includes the first comment about her thick ankles. Fantastic.

    Complete lawyer bully BS. Keep up the good fight BB!

    PS> When this story first made the rounds on BB I thought it was an intentional piece of satire on the use of of Photoshop in fashion advertisements. RTFA on my part, holy crap on the part of the ad agency. Who gave the final stamp of approval on that?

    Suggested Soup: Spicy Italian Sausage and Potato in a heavy cream sauce with kale. Yum!

  27. Has anyone seen the original?? Now THAT would be an interesting find- Especially if they were placed side by side. I’m sure the original model was already scarily thin but it’s be interesting to see what they thought need more thinning down.

  28. Ralph Lauren’s new brand marketing model:

    1. Make yourself look stupid.
    2. Make yourself look stupider trying to stop people from saying you looked stupid.
    3. ??????
    4. FAIL.

  29. Does boingboing still have that linking policy?

    Did the link in the notice comply with boingboing’s linking policy?

  30. I’ve actually purchased Ralph Lauren clothing and home products, such as their paint line, before. But I guess I’ll think twice about lining the pockets of a corporation who would try to dance on my right to criticize and critique.

  31. You’ve got it all wrong–this is just the granddaughter of one of Giacometti’s models. The whole family’s built this way.

  32. There is no way that is ‘shopped guys. Ralph Lauren is simply getting their models from planets with very small gravitational fields.

    On the other hand, RL lawyers seem to come from some place very DENSE.

  33. The real problem here is that there’s zero evidence that this is a real Ralph Lauren ad, or, rather, that it’s not a real ad that someone has shopped before submitting it to Photoshop Disasters. That’s what the comments on PD say, and I can’t find this image anywhere else. Has anyone seen it in a magazine? Most tellingly, this is the wrong proportion for a full-page magazine ad, but is otherwise in the same format as one would be.

    Looking at it, I think the person has taken an 8 1/2 x 11 Ralph Lauren ad, stretched it by about a third, and then done a perspective transformation (you can see this by looking at the way the edges of the background go inward). I’m not saying that the model wasn’t ludicrously retouched in the original, but this is a spoof.

    So yes, if this is a real RL ad, then bully for you for standing up to them. But if you and PD have both been had, then, well, not so much.

  34. Your methodology is not dissimilar to that of Something Awful. Might I suggest that you engage the services of the legendary Attorney At Internet Law, Leonard J. Crabs? He once ate a bathful of pinto beans to demonstrate the paternity of Timecube.

  35. Silly, Boing Boing, making me laugh out loud at work. Very embarrassing. But honestly, this is why I love you guys. I hope heads are rolling at Ralph Lauren’s legal department right now. I’m pretty sure this can’t be good for them.

    Way to go, B.B.!

  36. After a glance at the RL lawyer’s bio, I am guessing that she doesn’t know much about the DMCA. She is a member of the Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition (aka the fashion police) and the word “brand” pops up frequently in her list of accomplishments.

    So here’s what I think: RL asked their favorite lawyer to do something about the Bad Picture and, not wanting to say that she knows nothing about it, digs up a template of a DMCA letter and sends it off. Tsk-tsk….

  37. “And I’ve rarely seen a thinner DMCA form-letter.”

    Let’s not let that one sneak past.

    Honestly, it’s times like this when I love you guys.

  38. Interesting how BB is so willing to fight the good fight for ‘fair use’ and ‘lawful criticism’ concerning the material of others, any yet is so thin-skinned when it comes to critiques of their own postings-many of my posts, all as (hopefully) articulate and no more mean spirited than this one, have been either removed or rejected.


  39. Doesn’t the DMCA have provisions for legal remedy against those who try to use takedown notices in this way?

  40. I personally have to say, Good for you Boing Boing! Step on our toes Ralph Lauren, we will break your freaky little spined models with our fingertips. HA!

  41. geez, it would be one thing if she were ‘shopped to appear more attractive – shallow to be sure, but at least they’d be going with a time tested advertising strategy. but this is, well, gross to look at. what is that, the head of a 25 year old model on the body of an anorexic 11 year old who was raised in moon gravity?

    sad thing is, i’ve SEEN girls with bodies like that, legs as skinny as arms – and they go out of their way to ‘show off’ by wearing stretchy skinny jeans. gross.

    is it irony when a picture like this makes ME want to go force myself to throw up?

  42. For those asking whether it’s a real RL ad, just look at the takedown request: RL’s attorney says it’s a real RL ad.

  43. True Story:

    A friend of mine used to work directly for Ralph. They were working on an industry hommage to Raplph which was to be a lifetime achievement video shown at a big fashion awards show. All the employees worked for hours straight at a table with Ralph. Lunch time rolls around and Ralph’s assistant brings in a full meal for Ralph, who calmly eats while his starving minions seethe. Ralph Lipshutz (his real name) has no shame and certainly no empathy. But he is a billionaire because he convinced me a second rate polo shirt with a pony on it was something I really needed.

  44. @Chinny Racoon

    Thank you very much, I now have a very good stock answer for several annoyances in my life, simply:

    We refer you to the reply given in the case of Arkell v. Pressdram

    Very sweet indeed!

  45. In Germany, the well-known women’s magazine “Brigitte” decided days ago to stop using conventional fashion models and go with “real people”. The problem was that professional models were so thin (23% thinner than the population mean, apparently) that they have had to photoshop the models /thicker/ to not disgust their audience. I mean, get this.

  46. Kudos, this is almost enough to make me not get real pissy about their new format. GRANDMA doesn’t like change.

  47. This story more than makes up for the PS disaster that I was thinking the front page at BB has become.

  48. I just emailed Ralph Lauren and let them know that they’re wrong, both for false accusations of copyright infringement, and for that advertisement itself. I let them know that I won’t be buying anymore Ralph Lauren products if they keep threatening bloggers or doctoring their models’ photos to extreme levels. I often buy Ralph Lauren clothes and cologne for my husband. But if they keep this silliness up, I’m not going to be able to keep supporting them.

    I love photoshop. I’m all for using it glam things up a bit. I’m fine with models with a little airbrushing instead of pimples. I’m fine with a few tweeks here and there. I expect advertisers to do a little retouching. However, that wasn’t just a little cosmetic touch up. That was ridiculous. She didn’t even look human anymore! Girls and women have a hard enough time with comparing their bodies to models without having to strive for an absolutely unachievable anatomical structure.

  49. On Photoshop disasters (like this one): France is considering putting warning labels on airbrushed photos:,8816,1927227,00.html

    According to London Times’ Charles Bremner, “A parliamentarian from President Sarkozy’s party has tabled a bill that would require a ‘photo retouched’ label on every improved picture that appears in advertising, the media or product-wrapping. Failure to signal Photoshopping or other enhancement would be punished with a 37,500€ fine.” The argument being that “These pictures can lead people to believe in [fake/fatal] realities which often do not exist.”


  50. Dear Ralph Lauren Staff:

    Perhaps this is a good opportunity to look at yourselves in the mirror and realize that you have a chance to mend yourselves. Non fact based copyright take downs is the wrong way to do it. If I may suggest, take a look at who approved that ad because someone with enough signature power sent that to print.

    Whoever approved that , representing the views of the company, probably thought that the image would appeal to the intended target audience because it conveys “beauty”.

    It didn’t.

    So, take the opportunity to grow up, learn how to take criticism, after all, you are in the fashion industry.
    Learn more about what your consumers identify as beautiful and design inspiring fashion for them with anatomically proportioned and unphotoshoped models that resemble a healthy human being.

  51. Kudos to you!I’m sure that her body was fine before they used the eraser tool. It’s crazy that they’d want to show an image of an altered figure (which is the norm) and then have it turn out looking disfigured. THe graphic designer probably hasn’t seen an add with a real looking woman (or model even) in a long time so his eye couldn’t tell how weird this picture looks.

    Good for them. So many people are trying to achieve a look that no one has.

  52. Thanks for standing up to this. Maybe this could be the start of a soup and sandwich competition at BB? Or a “beautiful women eating food” Flickr pool? Because seriously, if Lauren wanted anime characters to model his clothes, he should have just hired some.

  53. i first saw this image on and after seeing this post went to chck if it wasstill there, sadly they have taken it down, this picture is disgusting though…i dont think we need models anymore we can just photoshop the clothes onto mannequins and put some facial features on them

  54. Well done. Kudos to BB and Priority Colo. sign me, Against Big Corporations’ Intimidation of Free Speech

  55. Wow….the first thing you see is her head and Photoshop. Lots and lots of Photoshop…DMCA is supposed to deter piracy, how the heck is criticizing considered piracy? Eat some soup and sandwich maybe Ralph Lauren and his marketing and law firm will think more clearly.

  56. One needs only look at their site to find other examples of horrible editing. They have severely dwarfed this woman’s legs. has her torso shrunken and her thighs elongated. Normal human beings have torsos that are give or take a third, about as long as their legs. Her thighs are as long as her torso. has a ginormous head and shrunken body that makes no sense whatsoever unless the model has a weird hybrid dwarfism gene.

    Whether this one is real or not, they are clearly in the practice of badly proportioning photos through one method or another.

  57. Dude I can’t believe how big her wrists and elbows are. What is she thinking? She looks so damn fat. She needs long sleeves with arms like that. Now the legs, those are great – I really something new to floss with. But, her waist, seriously, she could hide behind a 2×4. It’s supposed to be 36-24-36, not 34/13/22. But why is Boing Boing pushing this issue, making such a big deal about it, and letting even more girls see this horrible picture? I don’t want my girls seeing it. Shame on Ralph Lauren for making this ad, and shame on BoingBoing for making it Viral. BLUR OUT HER NON EXISTANT WAIST LIKE IT WAS PORN IF YOU ARE GOING TO DISPLAY THIS TRASH!!! Please don’t censor me because I criticized you, just take my advice and don’t be THAT site.

    1. Your girls see (or undoubtedly will see) much worse in the everyday world, mostly delivered without comments or context. Here, at least, they can also see this sort of advertisement trashed, mocked and condemned. I’d think it would be a positive for them to see both sides of the coin.

  58. Hey, am I not getting a comment posted on here because I don’t agree with your perception of the model on the magazine? Or is it a technical glitch?

  59. Here, I’ll try again. I think something’s funky with comments technically. Anyway, my comment was:

    Fantastic! What humorless nitwits over at Ralph Lauren. I want to reproduce the picture too! It’s cool. I like her. She’s amazing. Look at her! Lovely. Nice pants. Patches. She’s a bit haughty. Mmmmm.

    Do you have her phone number?

  60. DropWise.. huh?

    Perhaps you should look at the picture with your daughters, as a lesson in the dangers of corporate-driven, hyper-stylized body image.

    I imagine they are intelligent enough to understand the issue, if given the head-start of a clear explanation.


    There are some hiccups with the change-over. Try logging out, deleting your BB-related cookies, and logging in again.

  61. ..if given the head-start of a clear explanation.

    *and with the aid of the sterling example, provided above, by Ralph Lauren*

  62. Unfortunately, it appears that the original posting at Photoshop disasters was taken down. Someone should really contact them and set them straight.

  63. It still makes perfect sense to blur the waist (or put a big black box over it) like you would if it was an ad showing porn or worse…you could still deconstruct the photo and ad with a visible statement of how wrong it is. Why should RL get the free advertizing? IT IS FREE ADVERTISING – the rule is ANY PRESS IS GOOD PRESS. Politicians know it and so do advertisers. That’s marketing 101. Sure you’ve made people like me mad at RL, and hopefully there is enough backlash that they lose money, but I don’t think that will happen. Let’s keep blowing this thing up until it’s on every news channel and blog, and see if RL’s stock goes up or down. In two months most people will have forgotten this nasty ad, but they will have RL in the back of their mind as they are walking through the mall.

  64. And sadly, the image is actually very enticing, as it is the Barbie body we grew up never getting to have. I’m just not sure I (or anyone) could fit in her (outfit).

  65. Seriously, is there any way we can get a second opinion on this? I’d like to see another scan/photo of this original ad. Where did it run? During what period? Is it outdoors? Magazine?

    I am somewhat skeptical that RL would hire agencies that screw up this bad when it comes to post processing images used for ads. I am a buyer/art director myself and I would get fired (and never work in the industry again) if I approved of such shoddy work.

    So before we all give our RL merchandise to the local charities shop, could we please get a second opinion on this? In this case, in the interest of fairness to all involved (the agency, the photographer, the brand, the model herself etc) I don’t think someone’s iPhone photo is enough to shoot down an entire company. It’s an ad. They’re supposed to be run all over the place. Very visible.

  66. And sadly, the image is actually very enticing..

    Are you eff’ing insane? Nobody could look at that image and think it wasn’t altered, or that the model wasn’t physically deformed somehow. It isn’t even remotely attractive, beyond those with a fetish for holocaust survivors.

    This isn’t Size Zero, it’s Size Negative. Size Cuckooland.

    I’m just not sure I (or anyone) could fit in her (outfit).

    Ok, +1 for open-mindedness-in-the-face-of-overwhelming-obviousness, but *cough cough* IT’S PHOTOSHOPPED!

  67. I don’t know if this has been said yet but I’m sure that any legal defence fund BB sets up on this or a similar issue will get crazy donations from the readership. You can count on my microdonation.

  68. Why do law firms send “DMCA Notifications” to Canada? I’m assuming they are aware we are not actually subject to the laws of the USA, and hence have no DMCA. Perhaps so they can more easily intimidate and bully small ISPs?

  69. Does anyone know who the model in the advertisement is? I think it might be Filippa Hamilton (who Ralph Lauren use a lot) but can’t confirm. Trying to find other (non photo-shopped) photos of the model to compare.

  70. I just clicked through from a tweet by matttbastard and I thought that image was a joke. Like, RL was threatening y’all over fair use based on -parody-, not criticism.

    Yeesh, that thing gives me the shivers.

  71. Really??? The next thing you know we are gonna have to lose a demention to be fashionable.
    Two dimentional and voiceless, Im sure they will sell that as sexy someday real soon.
    When did it become sexy to be a genitic mutant???

  72. @yish
    Lil’ Orphan Anorexic?
    Serously, though, Ralph Lauren must be stopped. Sometime back, a friend was having a house repainted. They wanted the walls to match the nice, warm tannish colour in the living room, so they took a chip to the local big box hardware store. They used a scanner to see what pigment needed to be mixed to match. Suddenly, the computer spits back a copyrighted match.
    Ralph Lauren Camel.
    Which, of course, is pricey.
    So, they ask if the paint can simply be mixed to match, and the manager of the department won’t budge; copyrighted, can’t do it.
    They just painted all the walls off white…

  73. Almost as painful as photoshop disasters and DMCA idiocy are spelling implosions by people typing on a computer wired to the internet…

  74. Hooray to preaching to the choir. Does anyone here love Ralph Lauren to begin with? Is a boycott (as many have suggested) by the readers here needed?
    Maybe if that picture inspires a tiny fraction of the Biggest Loser sect to drop a few pounds, then maybe we need MORE phtotshopping like this, not less.
    I’m not suggesting that anorexia isn’t a big problem but obesity is a frickin epidemic.

  75. I agree with Alison Scott and with Robert — I’d like to know where the original ad came from. Can anyone track down the citation?

    Of course, Greenberg Traurig is as good as claiming that the picture *did* run as reproduced here, since they’re claiming infringement. If someone had altered the ad, you’d think they’d object on other grounds. Not that there’s any logic to these things.

  76. Did anyone see that the header on the second page says “Legal Assistant –”


  77. I’m down. Ralph Lauren blacklisted because of attempts at censorship.

    /passes copies of Naomi Klein’s “No Logo” around.

    kudos to boing and their mighty isp.

  78. I feel like I’m missing something here. I don’t think anyone at BoingBoing is criticizing RL’s products or the designer’s name; rather, it’s the ad that’s a complete disaster. Responding to the criticism with threats of litigation only makes them vulnerable to others. Simply removing or correcting the ad image in question would be the reaction I’d expect from the House of Ralph.

    As an aside, I still really like those round tortoiseshell sunglasses they offer. I keep telling myself I’ll get a pair, but not until after the holidays.

  79. What about :

    d) pay your graphic designers so that they don’t starve (like your models) and can focus on creating better PS disasters :)

    I never liked RL … but now I even have a more negative feeling towards them … they either starve their models or graphic designers … and besides a pair of jammies I really liked, i never saw anything I would by from them …

  80. Man, Ralph Lauren so deserved that one! With so many teenage girls suffering from anorexia, they are still trying to glorify skinny girls with these photoshopped images!

    Got here from Photoshop disasters. Can’t believe their’s got taken down. Anyway, kudos to you guy for for doing this. Don’t mind me saying this but this almost reminds me of PirateBay. Only, you guys are (clearly) on the right side of the law. ;-)

  81. Just one thing. The links to pics on the RL site do show weird proportions but it could be argued that it is the result of the lens the photog used and at which height he took the pics (two steps up a ladder, kneeling, etc) hence the distortions. The stuff BB is talking about here, on this post, is shitty photoshop and crap legal action. Different thing.


  82. + 1 to Tom Davenport – my opinion of RL has just nose-dived.

    I would never have found this news or the blog if they hadn’t launched this frivolous action – it’s now being tweeted and retweeted around the world…

    That image is the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen – seriously.


  83. Change your ISP, I know a lot of them who answer an DCMA with WTF? This is the best way to force fascistic countries (like the USA) to refrain from such methods.

    This should not be a discussion about the shape of women. This should be a discussion about free speech.

    Free speech is one of the most important parts of a democracy. Copyright is NOT! How can someone (the former government of the USA) pervert this principle? And did they get away with this?

  84. I work for Polo Ralph Lauren, one should also remember all the good Ralph Lauren does such as Pink Pony and charity events.

    Nothing is black or white, nor are the commentators in this field, you have probably lied, cheated or did other things that are frowned upon.

  85. @alison scott et all

    If you read the title of the original blog it might give it away. I don’t believe it’s a magazine ad – it’s a display stand (probably a 6 x 2 ft). Hence the reason for seeing the curl at the sides – as it’ll be a free standing roller banner.

    This is the kind of thing that dept stores put up at the doors and the likes, or besides their boutiques.

    Might explain why you can’t find it in magazines, as they are quite often separate from any magazine ad runs.

    I can’t say this is definate – don’t get me wrong. But I used to work in the industry of making the stands, and I’d assumed that’s what it was from the get go.

  86. Well done Boing Biong, and Photoshop Disasters, as usual providing a welcome does of sanity to fling in the face of idiots like Ralph Lauren et al who repeatedly rape and pillage our eyes and minds with their deranged claptrap.

  87. Keep up the good copyfight Boing Boing & Priority Colo! You guys are doing important work. Also RL = blech.

  88. I stand by what I said earlier.

    This is a real ad (itself heavily retouched; I’m not suggesting RL are innocent victims here) which has been subsequently photoshopped, mostly by stretching and by doing a perspective transformation to bring the lower edges in, before sending to Photoshop Disasters with the intention of duping them. And now also others.

    Even just reversing the perspective crop makes an enormous difference to the plausibility of the model, though I think it very likely that the hoaxer did other shopping as well.

    If it’s a display stand, free standing roller banner, or any similar thing, then I refer to what I said earlier — produce another example of it being used, or a photo of this one in visible context, please.

  89. If I were a dangerously underweight fashion model, I’d totally take up Cory for the offer of nourishing soup and sandwiches. A meal with the BoingBoing gang sounds pretty good!

  90. The news is not on, where they say they got most of the story’s details wrong. But the funniest thing they wrote is this: “celebrity news review source Boing Boing”
    Note to Cory Doctorow != Perez Hilton

  91. Alison’s theory does, in fact, explain why the black edges widen towards the bottom of the image — why the entire image is a trapezoid, in fact. In Alison’s re-touching, the image is rectangular.

    It’s not unlikely that someone would photoshop this before submitting it to Photoshop Disasters.

    Anyway, that aside, this is about RL’s take-down notice.

  92. Alison,

    Even with your ‘proof’, the model is still seriously shopped. Seriously. She isn’t that thin in reality, and her head and pelvis are still way out of proportion in the picture. The only thing really affected by your transform is the feet.

    And while you are certain this must mean a hoax is afoot, could the distortion you mention not just be the result of a slightly-below-eye-level photo-target?

    Your earnestness is cute, though :)

    1. Are moderators on boingboing in the habit of calling male commentors earnestness “cute” also? I completely agree with Alison’s assessment, and I found arkizzle’s summation of what she had to say as “cute” a bit “sexist”.

  93. Their takedown notice has new meaning if this is not the ad as RL produced it themselves and are being accused of doing so.

  94. Alison’s probably right. This likely began life as a real RL ad, and then was altered by whoever sent this to Photoshopdisasters. This alteration was probably by photoshop, rather than off-angle photography, as arkizzle suggests, as the submitter intended to create a ridiculous looking image, altho either is possible.

    RL then foolishly attempted to combat the posting with a DMCA notice. This explains why the image looks so bad (unlikely from RL marketing) but also why a DMCA notice could be sent (the image was based on a real RL ad, albeit altered, so the lawyers figured they could claim copyright).

    Needless to say, this is poor lawyering. The better option would have been to 1) ignore the issue, or 2) for a marketing person to post the original ad and point out the alteration in the version submitted to PSD. Hard for lawyers to spot good marketing responses, though.

  95. YAY to the ISP! BOOOO to the 1980’s homage to “Fashion” giant hair and head with a $500 peasant styled blouse paired with the “My daddy is rich enough for me to buy pre destroyed post Grateful Dead following patchouli soaked pants” makes me retch. Give the woman a make over and a god damn sandwich!

  96. OK, granted I live in middle America (that area between the coasts). But, taking this ad as what it is: an advertisement – I cannot see the appeal of making your model look deformed and more starved than a third-world orphan. Who would look at this and say, “I want to look just like that?”

    Oh, wait, that would be one of the 8 million Americans suffering from anorexia nervosa. Our daughters thank you, Ralph & co., for adding to the epidemic.

  97. When I first saw that cover, I honestly thought it was a hoax – that RL couldn’t be so daft as to publish something so ludicrous. WRONG….

    I’m sure they’re working on a way to sue people who hold the actual hard copy print edition up to ridicule…

  98. Oh, Rob Liefield, NO! Mutilating women in comics is bad enough. Doing it to real women via photoshop (and being paid for it!) is horrific.

    *adds Ralph Lauren to list of brands to avoid*

  99. This is great – RL obviously failed on QC, and should just blame “an intern” for this grotesque (as a noun, eh!). Them trying to fight their corner is just hilarity – obviously, they’re also failing on QC of their lawyers, who are simply billing RL for the time spent.

    Times are hard. Lawyers are down at heel, and models can’t get any good treatment. And I can’t stop laughing. That’s starting to hurt.

  100. @alison: Can you then explain how someone’s head can be bigger then the pelvis? Or are you an insider working for RL?

  101. I love this stuff, at what point did the most important part of our selves “instinct and the ingrained need to survive” swap our brains from thinking that a healthy chick was beautiful to idolizing the deathly looking twigs?
    I have no sympathy for the models, the world population needs thinning…pun f’ing intended.

    PS. love the idea of labeling shopped images, go france.

  102. Jaime,

    Vaguely patronising maybe, but definitely not sexist. I can’t check right now, because the profiles are a little screwy with the change-over, but I’ve definitely described people’s attitudes (about whatever) as ‘cute’ before.. again in a vaguely patronising way, but without referencing their gender.

    Should I have made the eyes on my smiley a wink instead, or would that have been sexual harrasment?

    1. Uh, no. I stand by my assessment of it being patronizing in a sexist way since 99% percent of bb comments are male, earnestly made and dismissed as “cute” by moderators.

      And, I think she’s right. I am a long, long time bb reader, but rare commentor. I think boingboing has posted an image that is altered by others and, I never thought I’d defend RL, but I think BB was overly quick to the draw on this one (I mean, Xeni’s post even just repeated the same text as the original post on photoshop disasters as her own comment – how lazy is that?) I have to admit, as much as I hate to see bb get into trouble, that if I were RL I’d be unhappy too if an altered version of my ad were being circulated with criticism directed at my company for alterations made by a third party.

  103. “”And sadly, the image is actually very enticing..”
    Are you eff’ing insane? Nobody could look at that image and think it wasn’t altered, or that the model wasn’t physically deformed somehow. It isn’t even remotely attractive, beyond those with a fetish for holocaust survivors.
    This isn’t Size Zero, it’s Size Negative. Size Cuckooland.
    “I’m just not sure I could fit in her (outfit)”

    I’m not insane for getting a little turned on by that skinny waist, arms and legs. Personally, the unphotoshopped photo up on the site now is much more,( how did you say it as a mod? Oh yeah,) eff’able, because who really wants to chance breaking a girl that is that skinny. But, the unnaturally skinny waist is not new, nor is the male attraction to it.
    Women had to wear corsets to make themselves ACTUALLY LOOK LIKE THAT (or worse) by slowly shifting where their internal organ sit over time. Women were doing this centuries before the holocaust. I’m certainly not advocating this unhealthy practice, or defending RL from being very irresponsible, I am just saying that as a man, the photoshopped image would be enticing, if it weren’t so obviously fake (hence why I suggested it be blurred in the first place.) And I did get my joke through, even if I hid it a little too well, (just remove the parenthetical additions to my statement about fitting in her).

  104. so, does this apply to students who have to cut out pictures and paste them on poster board for class projects on say…I don’t know, anorexia? bulimia?

  105. This is mad – whoever did the retouching of the photo needs glasses in a big way. the shape of the model is laughable. Has anyone ever seen any human being that looked like that? Obviously those fashion folk at RL have lost perspective if they think they are clothing humans that don’t exist in real life – it is actually kind of offensive if they assume we won’t notice

  106. This gives me a very clear idea of how dirty, low, prepotent and cheap Ralph Lauren and its b**ches really are. Thanks for letting us know.

  107. I’m confused about why this is a DMCA issue – this seems to me like a garden variety copyright infringement allegation. The DMCA is about circumventing DRM, which does not seem to be the case here. As I understand it, the DMCA does not have any provision for fair use – this is part of the reason copyright holders prefer to issue takedown notices under DMCA, but this only seems like a plausible strategy if the allegation involves de-encryption. What am I missing here? Has DMCA simply become a Kleenex term for copyright violation?

  108. I think the real solution here is for the lovely Xeni to model for RL and show the world what real woman look like. She could even donate her modeling fee to the EFF legal defense fund to continue the fight.

  109. Sorry DropWise, I still don’t get it. I can’t even begin to see the model (as pictured, above) as anything other than distorted and disfigured. You have your own opinion and sexual-cues though, so I can’t argue with you.

    And, IMO, psychological corsets (based on hyper-stylized societal norms) are only marginally less dangerous than the physical ones.

  110. This is a GREAT example why Marketing people need to STAY OUT OF THE DESIGNER’s BUSINESS!!!! This is the kind of disaster that happens when the graphic artist is enslaved to the ego-ridden overpaid moronic marketing people in this industry. (I worked for Calvin Klein as a graphic artist – it was HELL!!!) If a company wants to wise up – cut the marketing budget to pay for advertising NOT overdressed insane otherwise unemployable people who create crap like this. Seriously – anyone with any sense and who understand the basic laws of physics and actually know HOW to use photoshop responsibly would never do this!

    Ahhhh -spleen much vented!

  111. @ IronEdithKidd – sorry your “proof” just proves that BOTH images have been manipulated. If you look at her arms they are completely out of proportion to her body in either photo. In the one above, her upper arms are much longer than the photo you linked to. The photo you linked to shows her arms only being long enough to reach her hips – the photo above they would well reach to halfway down her thighs. What’s so sad about these manipulations is they are distorting the figure of an undeniably lovely woman and making her look much worse.

    As a graphic artist I can tell you 100% this is the work of micromanaging ego ridden vain marketing people NOT the photoshop artist!! I’ve worked for Calvin Klein and the horror show that goes on in the graphics departments in the fashion industry would make coal miners thrilled with their jobs. It’s an ugly ugly ugly business.

  112. Check out the disparity between the DCMA letter’s addresse (Priority Colo Legal Department) and the letter’s second page head (Legal Asst. – Nice form letter Ms. Attorney….

  113. The poor girl looks like a Bratz doll. The ‘model waif’ look has gotten too far out of hand. Please, give them food.

  114. Where is the DCMA reference in the supposed DCMA letter? I also like the statement on page 2, stating that the legality of the letter may be questionable.

  115. Shame on you Ralph Lauren. You’re the reason why my college athlete daughter considers herself “more to love” at 5’9.5″ and 135 lbs. Your reckless misuse of the power you have to affect the way women feel about their bodies, and themselves, disgusts me. I think we all should sue you.

  116. Biggest news there, I think is that there’s an ISP that doesn’t auto-remove for a DMCA.

    Even knowing nothing else about “Priority Colo”, they will now be the first company who’s prices I check out, next time I need more servers.

  117. Here’s a copy/paste of the response they sent me to my email (minus the contact info they gave me if I still wanted to discuss it further)

    “Thank you for contacting customer assistance.

    We apologize for any inconvenience and concern that this situation has caused you, and we want to assure you that our main goal at Ralph Lauren is to promote a positive image to our customers. We truly appreciate that you have taken the time to bring this matter to our attention and have forwarded your concerns to Upper Management at our Contact Center.

    We thank you for your past support of Ralph Lauren and do hope that we can resolve this situation so that you will consider continuing as a Ralph Lauren customer in the future.”

    Nice to see a quick response and that they’re taking us seriously. I hope to see real action taken on it,too.

  118. Yeah, sorry, but if they’re thinking the Canadian ISP has to followthier DMCA laws, they’re wrong. Keep the image up – or better, put it into a satire or parody, then you’re in the clear!

  119. Streisand effect works. I found you after it made the news :)

    Came to see what the fuss was about. Source =

    Bloody DCMA is a pain in the rear.

  120. Pretty sloppy legal drafting – the attorney left the wrong header on page 2 of the takedown letter. That’s why they teach associates not to copy old documents and edit them, but rather to create shiny new documents. Otherwise you embarrass yourself and your firm with your crappy cut-and-paste lawyering.

  121. May I add another reponse to your list of actions you will take in the future? It appears that the person who signed the DMCA Infringement notice is a lawyer who had to affirm “under penalty of perjury” and upon a “good faith belief” that use of the image was not lawful. As a lawyer, we are bound by an ethical code not to misrepresent the truth. Put an equal amount of “hurt” and nuisance back upon that bad lawyer Elings as she put on you. Please see my addition of “d)” below:

    a) Reproduce the original criticism, making damned sure that all our readers get a good, long look at it, and;

    b) Publish your spurious legal threat along with copious mockery, so that it becomes highly ranked in search engines where other people you threaten can find it and take heart; and

    c) Offer nourishing soup and sandwiches to your models.

    d) File an ethical complaint with the State Bar against the lawyer who signed the frivolous DCMA letter for false pleading and misrepresentation. (Believe me, it will hurt!)

  122. We’re here to applaud your efforts, but ask that you reconsider your use of the phrase:

    “Offer nourishing soup and sandwiches to your models.”

    I was absolutely impressed by your gusto and confidence… until I read that sentence. I still shared your piece with RRW’s ALLIESâ„¢ because I felt it was important, but being a body image activist AND an eating disorders awareness advocate means I must spread the word on the seriousness of eating disorders. Merely suggesting that someone “go eat a sandwich” is one of the most overused, counterproductive statements out there in regards to models and the issue of their weight. ED’s are very serious and the issue is so VERY much more complicated than the likes of suggesting to feed models.

    Thank you! Otherwise, keep up the great work.

    REVOLUTION OF REAL WOMEN.comâ„¢ (goes live 10.30.09!)

  123. I love this ad because it’s so awesomely stupid. You have to wonder who looked at this photoshop job and thought, “yeah… yeah that looks good.”. Someone got paid to produce this. I seriously hope they’ve been fired since then.

  124. I won’t buy RL brands commonly available to plebes like me because the quality just isn’t there for me (the Black and Purple labels are a completely different matter). Looks like the quality of Lauren’s legal work has sunk to the same level. Maybe their lawyers have a sweatshop in China too …

  125. Arkizzle and Dario — no, I have absolutely no idea why the original picture was a bobblehead (and having seen other RL advertising images, I can well believe it was — a quick web search turns up this creature, for example). I just think someone decided to improve on it before submitting it to PD, and as such it’s a bit of a non-event.

    I’m not normally noted for earnestness, and I’m not an RL insider — I’m a reasonably well-known SF fan. I don’t know any of the boingboingers well, though Cory cuddled one of my Hugos once. I am very interested in the uses of Photoshop in advertising.

  126. (I hope I haven’t just left this same comment three times… Oy!)

    For fun, look up:

    Greenberg Traurig (the law firm on the DMCA Infringement notification)
    Jack Abramoff

    Here’s a start:

    Greenberg Traurig Indicted in Guam

    Posted Mar 12, 2008, 03:41 pm CDT
    By Martha Neil

    “Disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the firm for which he formerly worked have been indicted in Guam for allegedly making improper billings to the U.S. territory’s superior court.”

  127. The notice states, “under penalty of perjury…information in this notice to be accurate.”

    It’s obvious to anybody (even lawyers and judges), that the fair use clause applies here. Can you push back and charge them with perjury? If they assumed responsibility for their actions, they may think twice before trying to intimidate smaller companies and indivuals without deep pockets.

    Just a thought,

    P.S. I hope I don’t get into trouble for quoting the notice.

  128. Just send an appropriate counter-notice to your ISP that the picture is not, in fact, a copyright infringement. If Ralph Lauren doesn’t sue in 14 days (which they won’t) your ISP will be legally obliged to put it back up. You may also claim damages if the take-down notice was a fraud like this one.

  129. I just noticed the the Lawyer’s page on the Greenberg Traurig site has been taken down /file not found. either she got fired, or got so much hassling for an obviously inept DCMA letter Somehow I think that BB Readers may have been involved WTG! (BTW Whats Astroturf in the context of posting?”

  130. Alison, I think it looks a lot like a photograph of a point-of-sale poster. Which explains the perspective distortion and vignetting.

    This conversation is continued in the newer thread, here.

  131. I have to think that this is not the work of RL (too insanely thin), and that RL’s lawyers sent the letter just to pull the bad press. But it shows that our tolerance for photo-chicanery is diminishing, and that’s all good.

  132. Just from Ralph Lauren’s heinous reaction to this piece of art, I will never purchase one of their products again.
    Obviously the Ralph Lauren label has an inferiority complex and who wants to be associated with a corporate inferiority complex?

  133. FYI: This picture was taken in Japan, Tokyo, Odaiba, in a maul called Venus Fort, in front of the RL Flag Store, and actually few months old.

    Does that make any difference on the suing thing ? ^_^

  134. I’ve long enjoyed BB, but I’ve never been prouder of you all and your stand for free expression. Keep the faith. And please feed the models.

  135. How about that. Just got added as a cool bookmark. Death-camp thin model mockery, Carl Sagan at the top, sci-fi vids along the side? I am ashamed of my friends for not telling me about this site.

  136. I must say, I have been a Ralph Lauren devotee in the past…from perfumes to sweaters. But as the mother of a teenage girl, I’ve just reached my limit. Mr. Ralph Lifshitz, why?

  137. Thank you for bringing this to attention, this is really disgusting, Ralph Lauren should be ashamed of itself. Why, why would they do this? Even in their private lives, this rich dogs have girlfriends that are toothpick thin. The eating sandwiches part was priceless, and it has nothing to do with eating disorders and one commenter proposed, these girls just want to make money being models, it’s a money thing, not a starvation thing or hating their bodies as people like to claim. If models only got paid $10 bucks and hour they wouldn’t even be a part of this madness. Would you say that people in poor countries who sell their kidneys have a ‘kidney disorder’ and must hate their kidneys? Foolish. These girls just want to be famous models and pay their bills, but these rich guys make it so hard.

    1. it’s a money thing, not a starvation thing or hating their bodies as people like to claim.

      Anorexia wasn’t invented by Karen Carpenter and Anna Wintour. It’s been around for centuries, if not millennia. In the middle ages, it was a form of religious mortification. And BDD certainly isn’t being ‘practiced’ for financial gain.

  138. Can I just say I love you guys. Not even for the fact of pointing out the awful photo but for standing up to someone who thought for sure they could bully anyone who didn’t do what they want. Keep up the good work!

  139. Should have told Lauren to shove their DMCA notice up their arses but then realized it obviously wouldn’t fit with their heads already in there…

  140. Well put, Boing Boing!! I don’t think I’d ever been to your site, but news of this outrage brought be and I’m going to promote you to anyone I talk to, especially about freedom of speech and the insanity of thin-skinned idiots who think their published works are too grand too grand to be mocked. Unfortunately negative publicity will probably still benefit them, but kudos to you for standing up to them!

  141. GO BOING BOING! You tell ’em!

    Back off RL. I’m disappointed in you by this news, Ralph. You really should know better. I’m surprised :-(

  142. @Johan: As it happens, I’m neither a liar nor a cheat, and accusing me of being one does not make me want to keep buying products from your company.

    Half of my wardrobe is Ralph Lauren. After seeing this ad and the stupid threat of legal action, I am never buying another piece of Ralph Lauren clothing. Ever.

  143. I feel sorry for this poor model. But worse are the beauty standars that these companies are stablishing inspite to the psychological damage to our kids and the suffering they cause!!! In Spain, the Government stablished a law prohibiting models under a certain body mass standars to be used in publicity!!! All countries should do the same! G.

  144. Kudos to you and your ISP. Lauren needs to develop thicker skin if he is going to be social irresponsible. OR here’s a novel idea — develop respect and responsibility to society and stop trying to manipulate us in order to generate sales. It’s wonderful that you stuck by your principle and not be bullied.

  145. Great article. I think I might use the picture as a Halloween decoration ha ha. It’s wrong for Ralph Lauren to threaten you for justified criticism of their photograph. Keep mocking them, it’s well deserved!

  146. Sometimes we are reminded that it is still the America it was meant to be! Good for you. Been practicing law for 30 years and wouldn’t have let a client make me look like a fool when the standards are so SIMPLE and clear. Well. I’m sure she makes a lot more money that do I, but I am grateful that you and Canada’s Colo. ISP didn’t fold and run. Thanks.

  147. Whoa, I also just stumbled upon the Yahoo News front page… Congrats, Boing Boing!

    Really, this isn’t all about Ralph Lauren. That company isn’t any worse than any other fashion advertiser out there. But I think the current whirlwind (I’d say shitstorm but the policy says ‘no cussing’ ;)) is showing that there is a huge backlash against the shameless and blatant false imagery that has been plaguing the beauty/fashion industry.

    The public is starting to demand more honest practices from companies and that is a beautiful thing.

    You’re awesome for rocking the boat :)

  148. I WANT TO APPLAUDE YOU; THANK YOU FOR STANDING UP FOR OUR THOUGHTS ON THIS AD! This ridiculous ad makes it harder for teen girls to be themselves, especially when a WAY TOO SKINNY GIRL, is thought of as GREAT! I personally think she looks disgusting.

  149. Has anyone else noticed that Ralph Lauren polo shirts are of terrible quality now? I am an averaged sized male, 6’0 and 185 lbs. Every time I get a new “polo” shirt, it shrinks when I dry it or after wearing it it “tents” out in the front to look like a dress! The problem is SIZING. Sizing should be applied to cloth when it is manufactured to help cloth maintain its shape. The cheap cloth that overseas manufacturers use to make clothing now, is lacking in time-tested and what used to be “standard” and expected techniques. If I pay 80 bucks for a simple shirt, I have certain expectations of fit and quality. Is this too much to ask? I am going to start buying Lacoste again. Maybe their quality is better, even if their shirts are exorbitantly priced.

  150. I am so glad that you have brought photo touching extremes to light. Children, now more than ever, want more than any thing else to be grown up and if this is what they are using as a role model, than I am very afraid for them. Ads like this only set young girls and women up for failure, if this is what they have to compare themselves to. Beauty has become more and more distorted through the years and I am ashamed this image, as well as other photo shopped images, have been used in advertisements. I hope this press coverage will highlight the dangers of photo shopping and portraying these images as being “real.” I am greatly disturbed by this advertisement, but grateful because I hope it will disturb more people into realizing our idea of beauty needs to change.

  151. wow! if you try to repost this to Facebook a different illustration shows up (not the lollipop-headed freak photo that’s meant to make normal sized women feel bad about eating). I wonder what gives?

  152. I am naturally very thin, and even as a thin woman I am outraged. This is so incredibly dumb that I can’t even believe that somebody published this photo. (1) it’s such a BAD photoshop job and (2) this is exactly what is wrong with this country. I don’t think a lot of men understand how freaking hard it is to be a woman these days. Not only do we have to be EXTREMELY thin to be considered “pretty”, but we have to have perfect skin, teeth, hair, nails, and everything else too. On top of that we have to raise families, hold down jobs, go to school, settle for lower salaries than men, cook, clean, shop, and smile while we do it. These women…these ad women…are not real women. They are little girls that have no responsibility and get paid for being pretty. What a great message American media sends to other countries, no wonder we’re at war.

  153. LOL….Ralph Lauren FAIL!!!!
    I havent bought any clothes from this guy in a wile allready for other insidents and more so now, dont plan on starting to do so….I 2 hope your company belly flops.

  154. Thank you, it is pretty sad that this ad found its way to the laymen, how coudl anyone with an ounce of common sense find it attractive, it makes me feels uncomfortable and honestly sad because youg girls may think that is what a pretty woman needs to look like.

    Way to go boing boing for not letting them bully you, result for me is i am going to avoid their products (i live in teh US) spread the word about this sad ad.

  155. All well and good. RL is in the wrong to send the DMCA. But I’d like to note that one of my regular daily customers is built almost identically to this model – as pictured. The only difference is that Sherri (my customer) has much larger breasts (Silicone), and she is about 15-20 years older than the model. Sherri is “impossibly thin”, and yes, in fact, her head IS larger than her hips – really. I’d send a pic if I had one. So, while this model’s picture has obviously been ‘shopped, it is not her thin frame that makes it obvious. What’s obvious about it is the fact that in other publications, this model has vastly different proportions.

  156. RL clothes suck anyways! They are of poor quality and overly prices not to mention horribly designed.

  157. Well congratulations. I am the most unaware person on the planet, I have no idea who the modern actors are nor do I care to know. But your bold action got my attention and I am here in support. As a Marilyn Monroe shaped woman I have tuned out the stick figure clothing offered by designers like Lauren for a long time (at this point I try to buy only when I travel abroad to countries where women are expected to have hips). THANK YOU FOR CRITICIZING THIS RIDICULOUS USE OF STICK FIGURES.

  158. Finally, people are learning not to be cowed by ridiculous letters from lawyers. This is an appalling image and GOOD FOR YOU for standing up for your rights.

  159. This picture is a little creepy. Something odd about her entire shape. The arms, hips & legs look oddly proportioned.
    As a graphic artist I know the wonders of Photoshop. Who ever did this photo did a very poor job. They went too far or possibly combined the effect with another digital imaging program. There are some programs now that were designed specifically for weight loss clinics, which are used to entice new customers by offering them a free digital photo of what they could look like after loosing weight. They photograph you, then put it into this imaging software that shrinks your body parts down. It takes a few days, but when the people see this enhanced photo of themselves they join because they want to look the way the photo makes them appear.

    But it’s a tricky program. If you don’t know what your doing the body can look very oddly proportioned the way this one does. Either way, no matter what they used

    I think RL did himself a disservice by using this photo One would think the majority of people looking at this would immediately think the poor girl is anorexic. I hope for her sake she really isn’t that thin because she doesn’t look healthy.

  160. I am a fashion designer. It was difficult a few years ago to follow the path dictated by the industry. If you didn’t have your runway samples made in an ever shrinking size 6, you weren’t invited to take part in shows. Recently, a size 6 is seen as too big for the runway in some places. There are shows that ask for a size 4 or 2 sample to fit their models. So one takes a chance and starts making samples in size 8 and 10. It seems that turns me into a plus size designer. Someone has to bring a sense of reality to the industry. Kudos to you for standing against this ridiculous notion that a woman should look like a broom held upside down to be beautiful. Thank you from those of us in the industry that refuse to play the skeleton runway game.



    “We give new meaning to ‘Dressed To Kill’ ”

    “They used to kick sand in my face at the beach,
    so I called in my big sister”

    “After I *dressed* the turkey
    I knew the butcher had cheated me”

  162. While it’s sad they deleted the original post on photoshopdisasters, they have started using a new term for “photoshop problems” over there. Quote: “Mega Magazine in the Philippines manages to totally Ralph Lauren their cover.”

    I like it and hope it catches on for “photoshop problems”.

  163. Google’s Fast Disappearing Cojones!

    “Despite Blogger’s new DMCA policy, Google still quickly took down the post at Photoshop Disasters”…I am so disappointed in Google (ISP). Ever since they caved-in to the Chinese Gov’t demands to filter search results for Chinese users, it seems their cojones have shrunk to the size of grapes.

  164. Love u guys,

    I am a Mom, my daughter’s father a native of West Africa. It’s bad enough trying to find age appropriate clothing, when everything is made of spandex, even harder when you have a daughter, born genetically with a gymnast body. Did I mention, she is only 6. She really doesnt need to see this ad. It’s so sad. Thank God for Beyonce, Bless her butt (literally).

  165. Kudos to you for standing up for what’s right and doing so in an intellectual and humorous way. I’d just like to add that Ralph Lauren’s campaigns are an embarassment, and further that my use of Ralph Lauren’s name in this sentence in no way constitutes a misappropriation of Ralph Lauren’s copyright or trademark. Perhaps people searching for Ralph Lauren on the internet will increasingly come upon this discussion of Ralph Lauren, and others like it, more often since clearly Ralph Lauren’s name is associated with this nightmare of an image. Good job, Ralph Lauren. Nicely done.

  166. I know this model has sold the rights to her image, but dag, can’t her agent get some kinda “final approval” clause in her contract for any images that are chop shopped? Something that says “if my body profile changes more than 5% by digital manipulation I have the right to reject the edit.”

    In defense of Ms. Hamilton, I offer better images:

    And this collection, minus RL, featuring a place I’d like to visit geographically and biologically…:

  167. I am wondering why is there only one picture of this floating around and a cheesy cell phone picture at best . I may be wrong though it is possible someone may have posted this after they photo shopped it trying to make RL look bad.Then you all jumped on the band wagon throwing stones ready to burn crosses to assume RL had made and published this..Right and those guys at RL have been doing magazines like this how long ? If I owned a company and someone hacked up a picture and posted it I would call a lawyer too..

    1. @kevin – If you ever do have to call a lawyer for someone posting and commenting on a picture of yours and the lawyer suggests sending a DMCA Infringement Notification – get a new lawyer. I bet Ralph Lauren wishes Ms. Roxanne Elings and Greenberg Traurig, LLC. had taken a different approach.

  168. Thank you guys for standing your ground. Lol, soup and sandwiches to the models, rofl…love it!
    It’s really important that someone points out these ridiculously impossible beauty images, because women and girls everywhere suffer from thinking we should look in a way that no one actually does. Hopefully, more girls will see this and know looking like a bobble head is not so hot, regardless of a fancy label. And really suing people for pointing out the obvious? (rolling eyes) Give me a break, geez.

  169. I would take their threat and turn it back on them for trying to silence your organization…don’t just play defense…go on the offense and take a little bit of their money and open a bigger can of worms.

  170. I just heard about you phenomenal work in posting the original post and this reply, and all of the Ralph Lauren BS that prompted it all. As someone who has sometimes bought RL products (and occasionally had some bought for me), I immediately jumped over to their site to email them that their actions have made it an absolute certainty that I will never buy their products again. While this retouching is its own obscenity, the attempted (and partially successful) stifling of the media is an obscenity that means more to me. After all, evil will always win as long as those who point it out are stifled.

    I’m just really bothered that a company that is vastly more powerful than RL (Google) caved so readily to this. But in the meantime, while I may have said so long to RL, I now intend to bookmark Boing Boing, and look over far more of your articles–having never previously heard of you, I have some catching up to do.

    Keep up the good work!

  171. thanks alot for showing this and not backing down. right on for you. i feel you are totally in the right here. i had no idea how much Ralph Lauren actually hates women. Now i do….. so gross.

  172. I don’t have any problem with the model, I am sure she eats, she’s looks rather healthy in terms of color, etc., although she appears thin. Many people are genetically thin and many don’t have anorexia. It does appear that some sort of manipulation of photoshop has been used, but even in the case it wan’t the photo is not too bad. I am neither for or against thin models, it is really their health at the line and I am sure they are aware of the consequences just like any person who chooses to be overweight.

    Ralph, your a great designer of all time!

  173. YES YES YES! It is HIGH time that HIGH FASHION got a reality check! Show it REAL and RAW … not unattainable and, quite frankly, totally grotesque. I have two young girls and I will do all it takes to be sure they aren’t gobbling down skewed, unhealthy, unrealistic and UNTRUE ideas of what “beautiful” is. SHAME ON YOU RALPH LAUREN! SHAME ON YOU!!!

  174. shes not even this skinny. she has hips. very photo shopped. not sure why she would allow RALPH to do this too here. they models have to approve pictures

  175. OMG-What on earth are the people over at Ralph Lauren smoking? Have they completely lost their wits? That picture is so distorted it looks comic. It’s a like a pumpkin head on a stick figure. The only body parts that seem to go with the head are conspicuously large boobs which could never exist naturally on that body.
    It’s October and I think she’d make a great scare crow in someone’s corn field.

  176. Wow! Nice going! Keep up the good work! I always appreciate when a person/company does not back down when they are completely correct!
    Are you hiring?

  177. Well, I’ll never ever by your cloths and neither will my daughter.

    I apire to look like a woman not a skeloton.

  178. Awesome – and thanks! Such a stand has prompted me to register with you.

    Also kudos to those who have written comments – some very good insightful thoughts!!!

  179. Good for you Boingboing. We man like real women the way they are. This picture is really an insult – Ralph Lauren you are really cool and we understand you have to keep up with the competitors on this issue and others, but this is really a catastrophe. You are really hurting people putting out images like this. It’s time you take your responsibilities and stop this.

  180. I wouldn’t have clicked on this page if I didn’t read Ralph Lauren’s threat. I sell RL in my store, & I’ve always thought the people who wanted it were as bad as the company. I’m proud of your reply to the company… keep up the good work! ps. If you’re giving out soup and sandwiches, send one my way!!

  181. Well done in your criticism of the ad. Gee, If my daughter buys a pair, will her head be bigger than her waist? What a bunch of BS. Thanks for being a critical voice and taking a stand. Stick it to Mr. Lauren and his marketing people.

  182. Bravo, Bravo! It’s a crying shame that these companies make their models look like the people we often see on the “feed the hungry” commercials to begin with… but then to misuse the law and justice system to save some face… pitiful. So standing ovation boing boing!

  183. Love it! Go get ’em Cory! Glad you’re out there keeping these people in check :)
    Loved the nourishing soup and sandwiches line. lol.

  184. Ralph Lauren needs to learn Americans don’t want to see fake women on ads. It is an embarrassment to himself, his company and models who allow this to happen. Time to step up and make a stand. Thanks Boing Boing for not stepping down to these ridiculous allegations. Shame on you Ralph Lauren! SHAME ON YOU!

  185. I think the person who edited the image should be referred for counseling. They’ve got to have some kind of body dysmorphic disorder. I mean, unless that picture was intended as hyperbole, that is truly mental illness.

  186. Proof once again that this country’s perjury laws are a joke. Eling’s (the lawyer who sent the filing signed it under penalty of perjury) claim was clearly perjurous or most charitabley she did not know the law. Of course, no perjury motion, let alone disbarment, of this either completely incompetent or ethically dubious member of the court will occur. This is why lawyers and the law are a joke.

  187. If I were this model, I would threaten a suit against Ralph Lauren for damaging her image. What they have done makes her look awful! Her head looks enormous…

  188. LOL… you rock! way to stick it to RL and their BS lawsuit threats. How humane of you to offer RL’s models with nourished soup and sandwiches.

  189. Now, please…look closely at her arms and even the way the jeans fit her legs and sharp hip bones. She’s obviously anorexic (I know, I probably spelled that wrong) and in need of the soup and sandwiches that have been offered. The really disgusting thing is that Ralph Lauren (wow, anorexic and his first name is “ralph”) uses models like this in the first place. It’s no wonder that young girls and women have such deluded ideas about feminine beauty. If designers would start creating things for women with desirable figures instead of these walking sticks then perhaps the world would take a step in the right direction.

    Keep the posting up and may this idiot rot in hell for perpetuating this image of what women should look like. Shame on you, Ralph Lauren.

  190. I’m ashamed to say that I use to buy Ralph Lauren products but NO More!! When free speech is attacked and such a distasteful photo is diplayed it begs for commentary. Boycott Ralph Lauren products!!!

  191. Well done! I’m glad to see Ralph’s pasty face rubbed with his own B.S. It’s a shame more editors aren’t willing to put the well-being of our children, who are the ones who take this nonsence seriously, above Ralph Lauren’s ad dollars.

  192. I could have been a customer but with my weight gain NO WAY will I ever fit into any of these clothes!! It is discusting that these ads are what effect our teenagers and to think that they have the right to show the world a photo like this is unbelieveable!! If the fashion industry would only realize that it is us LARGER people that have the money, clearly this girl wanted this outfit SO BAD that she just didn’t for a month to buy it! But DUDE her head IS bigger then her hips!

  193. Kudos to you! The world is long overdue to mock these freakish and unhealthy ideas of “beauty”!

  194. So what? RL retouched a photo big freaking deal! Do people, i.e this site, have nothing better to do that be concerned whether or not an advertisement has been re-touched?

  195. Who do they think they are at Ralph Lauren? They already have a controversial past. I will never buy a Ralph Lauren product again.

  196. Congrates on giving Mr. Lifschitz all the free advertising he could ever hope for. It was all planned and the lambs responded.

  197. Ralph Lauren is not just about style; it’s about a ‘lifestyle’. And if Ralph Lifshitz thinks that the anorexic look is the preferred lifestyle, then he is completely out of touch with REALITY. Rail-thin models are soooo 5 years ago!

  198. Thank you Ralph for leading me to this highly entertaining website… I probably would never have found it or enjoyed a laugh at your expense had you kept your mouth shut! Thank you for the extra laugh in that you set your American dogs on a Canadian company, which makes you look so offended that you can’t think or maybe that you are so simple that mistake didn’t occur to you. Thank you to Boing Boing for your guts to stand up to such a childish reaction to a flagrant mistake. Finally, thank you all for TOTALLY FREE entertainment, I am so enjoying myself!!!!

  199. THANKS…Now please go after the Express clothing store, their models are so ill they have to prop themselves on their male colleagues!

    Gin in NM

  200. Fire ’em up, Boing Boing! It’s great that you are standing up to these elitist snobs and their bombast!

  201. Any company headed by imbeciles who fantasize about concentration camp inmates with boobs and flowing hair is doomed to ride the fail train, and certainly deserve to be made fun of while they travel.

  202. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU for sticking up for our daughters. This is absolutely HORRIBLE and Ralph Lauren should be penalized severely for this abhorent image. Our young girls are fighting so much today to keep a positive self image for being healthy. I think that all women should ban Ralph Lauren and stop buying their products until they remove the ads and apoligize formally on television or a major media vehicle.

  203. You make me want to jump and dance. I find myself looking at photos in magazines daily and feel worse and worse about myself. Celebrities are criticized for hitting 130 lbs. ONE HUNDRED AND THIRTY POUNDS?! Are you kidding me? That’s normal..hell, that’s healthy compared to many people I know. But that photo didn’t spark that thought of weight loss like many photos do… however, it made me sad because I knew some girl, somewhere out there wouldn’t understand that it wasn’t real…I, at one time in my life took drastic measures to be as skinny as I could possibly be…fortunately it didn’t kill me and I was able to recognize what “normal” means. Others won’t. And I blame FAKE photo’s like that for f***ing with minds of impressionable young girls. Don’t back down!

  204. i have never visited this site before. i saw an article linkning this site in drugde this morning. i have now bookmarked this site and will be visiting often. way to stand up for your rights! dont let RL push you around.

  205. calling it a photochop rather than a panoramic-wide-angle-bladi-blah is libel? Ohdontbesilly. Both are forms of image alteration, one in the camera and one afterward. Makes one wonder if the term photorealism has devolved to oxymoronic. . . anyway, mazal tov and continued success, boingboing!

  206. As a professional photographer for over 9 years, I must say that I appreciate what Boing Boing has had to say. When does enough become enough? I must agree with one of my instructors when he said, “Just because you can do it in Photoshop, doesn’t mean you should.” This kind of manipulation not only hurts a youngsters self image, it hurts the industry and a field in which I love. Have some integrity for the work in which you produced and keep it pro…The RL ad is not pro at all! Thanks Boing Boing for pointing this out!

  207. Ralph Lauren needs to get:
    (a) some respect for their customers,
    (b) an awareness-raising cuff about the head,
    (c) some quality time with a few real-world victims of eating disorders, and
    (d) a marketing firm that has some *clue* of how social media works.

    Sorry, Team Ralph, but all the DMCA complaints in the world won’t put this metaphorical cat back in the bag. Abject apologies to women everywhere – and a radical change in corporate culture – would have been more in order.

  208. I’m outraged by the RL ad.
    I’m even more outraged by the RL strong-arm, scare tactics.
    In contrast, I’m PROUD of the courage exhibited by this blog.
    Which blog, by the way, I’d never before heard of and never before visited.
    So I guess RL’s actions have actually HELPED this blog. Ha. Brought traffic to the site and also shed light on this disturbing issue. Ironic.
    Keep fighting the fight, BB!

  209. As a guy myself, does any other guy out there think this is at all attractive?? seriously i feel like i would break this chick if i got the least bit physical.

  210. I’m so glad you posted this!!! This soooooooooo wrong!!!!! How do they think they can get away with this?

  211. Posted on Ralph Lauren site:

    I saw the recent article about your recent PhotoShop manipulation where the model’s hips are smaller than her head. I have two daughters and would be currently ashamed if they were wearing your clothes. I have always thought as RL as being a wholesome company with a real talented staff and quality products. Sure that may have been true but this recent article is blatantly false advertising and brutal for my daughters to see. You ought to be ashamed and brought to account for the lies. What demographic are you trying to capture with this advertising? If you wanted an ugly picture you got it, if you wanted a poor demonstration of your clothes you have it. So it must be the anorexic stick figures you are pursuing? I hope that the backlash of this poor act of judgment will convince your company to do better.

  212. A truely good designer should be able to design a clothing line for all body types and market them accordingly. I no longer buy fashion magazines because the images shown do not represent a true population of people with mixed body types.I used to look at fashion models and say to myself “Wow I wish I looked like that!” Now I say,”I’m glad I’m not her.When was the last time she ate? I f I have to stave myself to death to look great in these cloths I do not want them!”

  213. Read this article on and just had to stop by and say Kudos to you and your ISP. Truly one of the best cases of STFU I’ve ever seen.

  214. brilliant turn of the screws against the arrogant elite empowered by censorious fascisti masquerading as legal eforcers to quash free speech when it does not suit their definition of “acceptable”!

    mirrors reflect what is there and to simply “mirror” their threats reflects their abuse of the “law”–that overblown and corrupted concept which has become so inflated and distorted, abused and affordable only to the privileged plutocrats! let the rest of the world see their “reflection” as well–see their wrinkles and vileness —

    sites such as yours, whether ideological or otherwise, perform a civic duty to reveal the abuse and arrogance of those such as the laurens who believe the media should exist if it benefits their myth creation–


  215. AWESOME! AWESOME! AWESOME! I absolutely love your strength and determination to stand up for what is right. If more companies followed in your shoes this world would be a much better and place. Your comments made me literally laugh out loud and put a huge smile on my face. You made my month! I completely and utterly respect your company and its values! PLEASE KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK!

  216. Thanks for not letting them “scare or threaten” you out of posting this ad. People need to see this. It’s sad that they actually think this is an acceptable body size..ridiculous!! I also feel bad for the model, whom I hope wasn’t already anorexic..

  217. OUTSTANDING! I am SICK of this perverse crap and then the purveyors of this BS to hide behind the law. More power to ya!

  218. Regardless of the retouching, what art editor thought that this was a good representation of their product? It is spooky looking!

  219. Double Duh!?

    You can’t send a DMCA take-down notice to people outside of the United States. The DMCA is a US law. Damn are they dumb or what???

    I guess for the lawyers, its all about billable hours.

    Oh yeah, and that Ad. It’s terrible.

  220. i saw your response to mr. lauren and had to smile. it is pleasing to see people stand up to bullys.

    although the blight of supermodels or their touched up images ranks toward the bottom of the list of issues important to our society (environment, energy, health care, . . . ), being able to say what you believe and being heard IS an important issue.

    thanks again for your inspiring response.

  221. Reply to mr mogoto – I would – she’s atrocious.
    What does she look like before the airbrush?
    Does she have any meat on those bones????

  222. Actually RL decision to have its legal counsel threaten Boing or other fair use is VERY stupid. In my opinion it makes the lawyer at Greenberg Traurig look foolish, and RL look even more foolish. There is such a thing as “fair use” and I suspect GT knows that.

    I have bought Ralph Lauren many times. Not anymore. I am a woman and an attorney. I would urge my friends to boycott Ralph Lauren.

    This ad is right over the top – it’s ludicrous.



    No thank you. I won’t buy anything from Ralph Lauren again.

  223. Wouldn’t it be cool if this represented the flash point of a turning point in a paradigm-shift back away from the post-human, digital death-worship curve we’ve been strapped to for thirty years? Just sayin’.

  224. Ralph Lauren has shown, not only in their Advertisement but also in how they chose to handle it that they are clearly part of the problem. Just putting out an ad like this does not appeal postively to my emotions to buy but rather is telling me that I am a mindless, idiot. As a woman, i have a greater need to feel empowered and want to be able to trust the brand I’m buying. As of today, I’m choosing to ban all of Ralph Lauren products. Also, a note for Ralph Lauren – It would be better for you to relate to the needs of your buyers and the public instead of bullying it because they don’t want to buy into the lie being sold.

  225. Um, her makes barbie look fat! no really, even barbie has huge hips and thighs with some shape! I hope Ralph Lauren changes their ways, I have a daughter and I might have to move to a remote country to keep her healthy if this is what the world is telling her she needs to look like.

  226. Cory Doctorow, good for you. I am a professional retoucher and this is just ridiculous. Not to mention, Ralph Lauren should know better than to file complaints concerning this travesty of an image (not to mention the clothes). Keep up the good work!

  227. Far as I’m concerned.. the model should be the one suing Ralph Lauren. But then.. I suppose she still wants to work.

  228. As was stated, how many people buy RL anyway? Well, it isnt us, its the stores that buy in bulk and sell for a lower price. Tell them you dont want it. Your talking to a crowd whose effect doesnt matter. Make the difference where you voice can be heard. Can you link to this page? Can you make this make a difference?

    Thank the ISP. Look the American one took it down. There is the answer, lets not get involved, lets just do waht they say….

    Make the noise, spread the word, and let those who decide know this is not wanted!

  229. Wow. Poor thing. There are several serious genetic defects going on here. Who in the world thought this looked good? If she was a friend of mine, I’d be panicked trying to get her into some sort of program.

  230. I never had any thoughts about Ralph Lauren before, now I hate the company—not because of the ad (which was indeed a BAD idea what with the body image problems people have)–but because they threatened you with a lawyer. How distastful! just because they have alot of money doesn’t make it right to be a bully! I won’t buy their clothes anymore.

  231. Good for you! You can ad another dedicated reader to your list. If you’re willing to take the heat on this, I’ll visit to read your content!

  232. Cory, I think I love you. You have more cojones than a lot of other people who would have capitulated to Ralph Lauren’s demands.

  233. Uh, I recently bought some RL sunglasses, thinking they’d quench my desire for even-more-expensive Ray-bans. I’m returning them as soon as the receipt, which was buried in soggy kitchen garbage for a week, dries out.

  234. SEE– You at BB were just pointing out to the maybe not so noticeable- to those who are in the 2 digit I.Q. range, And now your company should get a shitload of hits and other press. So, if your a small entity and you are still fighting the good fight- still, KEEP DOING IT- you may not get lucky at first but it sure as hell beats settling. And writing is damn good form of fighting-M.Stone

  235. Thank you!
    I applaud your stand to Ralph Lauren. Their disgusting abuse of airbrushing and the human image in both women’s and men’s respect is appalling. It is an outrage, and their threats will fall hard on them.

    Airbrushing for these ‘advertisements’ should be outlawed. It is unrealistic, and outrageous. The generations of youth have enough trouble around the world as it is, they don’t need corporations and perverted old men to give them such impossible standards.

  236. I’ve never heard of you guys before today but I give you huge kudos for not caving at the receipt of the silly pretentious letter. I wish the other site had the same guts. As far as the pic goes, they can’t really be claiming that photo is unretouched. The public isn’t that stupid Ralph. I will say that I am a healthy size 12 at 5’8″ and it seems I’ll have to shop elsewhere for my clothes. I’m pretty sure that based on that photo, RL’s line is not geared for me. What a shame as there are millions of woman who happen to be the same size as me.

  237. This is absolutely disgusting that RL would portray a model like that. If I was Filippa I would be incredibly upset if my body was photoshopped to look like a brats doll w/ a huge head a tiny body. This is so unrealistic are you kidding me. She is literally like a hour glass.

  238. “I think the lawyer’s personal data could have been deleted…”

    WHY? It is her business information. If she is going to represent a company in this manner (foolishly, in my opinion) then it’s fair game. The firm Greenberg Traurig is a huge law firm, too. I think it makes Greenberg look ridiculous.

    It makes Ralph Lauren look even worse. I already have called Ralph Lauren and stated I would not be purchasing any RL brand again – or not until they withdraw this absurd marketing. I also have told everyone I know and posted it in a forum I frequent.

    This is going to be as bad for Ralph Lauren (or worse) than McDonald’s threat to sue that couple in the UK. McDonald’s got egg all over its face, so to speak. It hurt sales

    The only way we can make a change is to make our thoughts known by our pocketbook, And mine won’t be contributing to this kind of marketing.

    1. Her information hasn’t been removed (yet, anyway.) The reason the link posted earlier in the comments does not work is because it includes a right-paren as part of the link, and this messes it up. Remove that right-paren from the link, and it works fine. (Again, for now…)

  239. Great witty writing. You have me as a new loyal reader. Thanks for having the guts and brains to take on RL! The Company and the ad agency should be sued for deception!

    1. Moderator note;< ?b>

      This wasn’t meant to be an excuse for misogyny. Please stop insulting the model.

  240. Uhm, I do wonder why these models allow these companies and magazines to make them look so deformed via Photoshop that the final output just defies the laws of science :P

  241. This is just gross! I don’t give a crap about a companies legal problems, all I can see is a girl that looks like she needs a hospital! At the same time, I can thank God my eye sight is 20/20. Not everyone can see that this is not what any human being was designed to look like. They should have to put a label on if they are photo shopped or not period. It saves the rest of us from having to see and hear this crap!

  242. Thank heaven for people like you guys! We have 7 beautiful children, our oldest just made 15. I think it’s horrible that the fashion industry continues to falsify the TRUE meaning of beauty when they pull stunts like this. It’s even more TERRIBLE that they try to silence those that are calling them on it!!!! Thank you for standing your ground, and speaking up for all of us “normal”….but beautiful people!

  243. The anorexia freak show continues. I wonder how these people would have treated Marilyn Monroe? She was pretty meaty, but that was what was considered sexy at the time.

    How many young girls does Ralph Lauren have to kill before they finally get it?

    Don’t buy their stuff. Send them a message….

  244. Ralph Lauren, that image infringes on common sense.

    The response of your law firm and marketing dept are fit for ridicule.

    You are now on my list of brands to never buy.

  245. Why is it we only hear about false advertising when it comes to female body image?
    What about all these young insecure boys leafing through Muscle magazines and think they can look like these steroid/human growth hormone taking bodybuilders by downing powdered protein drinks? These guys who model for those products are portrayed as healthy with beautiful girls hanging on their arms. Of course boys are going to get sucked in and buy creatine and anything else they think will get them laid.

  246. Hey the mocking is working. I’m a newbie brought over by a friend’s post on Face Book. This is a great site. Well done! Keep up the good work.

  247. That girl looks deformed. I realize she is not really like that (though close), but why would you want you clothing to look like that???

  248. You have every right to criticise that ad. The model looks like a freak of nature. Saying so WITHOUT the photo attached would be ridiculous.

  249. “b) Publish your spurious legal threat along with copious mockery, so that it becomes highly ranked in search engines where other people you threaten can find it and take heart; ”

    And THAT is EXACTLY how I found this site. You guys are awesome…so is your ISP. :)

  250. That is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. ew.
    She needs to eat the entire menu at any fast food restaurant let alone a sandwich. And hello…editor for Ralph Lauren’s advertising didn’t anyone notice that the body was WAY out of proportion. She would fall over.

  251. Reminded me of the mocking e-mails published by the TPB. Good job and keep doing what you are doing. From the pic, the model looked like an extra large head on a stick. Anyone with eyes and common sense would see it as fake and question if anyone would like to buy from false ads. I would recommend everyone not buy anything from Ralph Lauren and stay away.

  252. I’ve never heard of you and I blew through the entire scenario until I got to the “soup and sandwiches”…that was hysterical! You’re a genuius. You owe Ralph for helping to put you on the radar with cave-dwellers like me!
    You write like I do! visit me at:

    You hiring?

    Bernadette Callaghan

  253. I never read boing boing but I saw this posted up on slashdot. I run a small web design business and have been looking for a new ISP… I now know which ISP I’ll be taking a closer look at and which one I’ll be avoiding.

    As for Ralph Lauren… oddly enough I’ve been looking for a new fragrance as of late… This makes my decision easier… I don’t support companies that employ abusive lawyers, nor do I support ISPs with spines as thin as Ralph Lauren models.

  254. Keep up the good work! You have made a new fan out of me today in reading the Ralph Lauren debacle. Kudos to you and your ISP.

  255. Canada isn’t in the USA, so the DMCA has no effect on the ISP itslef; obviously, customers in the US are subject to the DMCA, but the ISP doesn’t have to act on anything.

  256. Canada’s “fair use” policy is a joke though. America has a strong one, if your ISP is in canada… you’re maybe gonna get a little fuxed on this one. Just saying. Canada, for all its healthcare bluster, doesn’t protect free speech constitutionally. the classic “except where we arbitrarily decide this is not a right, this is a right” doctrine of canadian constitutional law is a real bixch.

  257. Good job. DMCA is yet another cancer on our neoplasm-infested body politic.

    Roll back copyright law to its state in 1900, retroactively.

  258. There was a case in Winnipeg a few years ago. The city was holding a Winnie the Pooh festival to celebrate the hometown of the famous bear. Walt Disney sent a cease and desist. The city politely pointed out that the bear was OURS, and did they REALLY want to fight this in public? Disney recanted, and instead joined the festival.

    Oh, and I love that in the infringement notification, they apparently don’t have the technology to produce a good colour copy, but instead sent a black and white photocopy that looks like it was produced by a gradeschool teacher in 1986. I’m surprised it wasn’t purple mimeo!! Classy, guys. :-D

  259. Yeaaaaa! Stick it to them, man. The copyright law is on your side and they are just big bullies. AND, I am so tired of the fashion media’s destruction of the self image of young women. The TRUTH must come out!

  260. I wouldn’t buy Ralph Lauren clothing for any amount of money after seeing this disgraceful ad. Get a clue, real people like real advertising, not this fake or emaciated projection of women.

  261. found you blog thought the abcnews link, nothing more need to be said,

    just comment here to show my support!


  262. You should also sue them for damages for bad faith use of the notice and takedown process. A judge in California has awarded damages twice now where the plaintiff sent a takedown notice in a clear case of fair use.

  263. You should also sue them for bad faith use of the takedown process. A judge in California has awarded damages to the recipient of a takedown letter in two cases because it was a clear case of fair use and the copyright owner didn’t do a good-faith fair use analysis before sending the letter.

  264. This absolutely made my day, hahaha. I’m happy to be a part of boosting your google ranking by being here :)

  265. Good for you guys! Ralph Lauren should be ashamed of themselves!! Finally, someone has some cahonies to stand up to a bully!! Hurray!

  266. Keep it up, BoingBoing! Whoever allowed that Ralph Lauren photo to be their representation should be ashamed. Stick the model behind a barbed wire fence and she’d be mistaken for a starving refuge.

  267. First BIG thumbs up to your ISP.

    Second, Has anyone contacted XKCD for this clear rip off of by Ralph Lauren

  268. Ralph Lauren is one of those brands with a heavy legal arm due to counterfeits. The type of sites they would usually target are those chinese counterfeit sites. I’m not defending the notice, but it appears that they didn’t even look at the context of the website before sending the notice.

  269. You know what’s truly disturbing about this? Think about it – who REALLY has body proportions where the head is larger than the body? Children do! So Ralph Lauren is either equating women with children, or is sexualizing immature bodies, like child pornographers do. Either way, as a Mom, I’m disgusted by this image and by Ralph Lauren’s actions.

    Fight them, Boing Boing!

  270. It is companies like Ralph Lauren that create disgrace of america…….. I bet when she was little her parents spoiled her and everytime someone made fun of her she ran to her parents to get them in trouble…. Now shes grown up and the best she can do is run to lawyers to act as that parent for her…..

  271. How many women and girls does it take to get hurt as a result of this unrealistic and impossible-to-achieve image before RL realizes what they did is wrong and inhumane? You are absolutely disgusted in my book and I will never buy your products again and will spread the words until you stop this kind of practices.

  272. Boin Boing is way out of line here. The methods the good people at Ralph Lauren choose to advertise their products are their business. Has the model made a statement? Of course not she was paid by Ralph Lauren to use her likeness. You people need to find some other do gooder activity to entertain yourselves, perhaps one that doesn’t harm anothers livelihood.

  273. GREAT job, boingboing!

    She looks like one of those air puppets in front of the carwash.

  274. Considering Ralph’s real last name is Lipschitz, I think he’s rather frail when it comes to criticism.

  275. Thank you and your ISP for not running away from Ralph Lauren’s pathetic threats.
    That picture is disgusting, and whoever approved the advertisement should be ashamed, and this is coming from a very health person who goes to the gym 6 days a week.

  276. I’ve never heard of your site before now.

    Now I’ve bookmarked it. I will read your ads, and maybe buy from your advertisers. I hope you become rich.

    I wish more people, especially in the US where the demonic DMCA originates, would take this kind of principled stand against the tyranny of lawyers and politicians. Well done.

  277. I guess Ralph Lauren and their law firm are really bad at geography. There are countries in the world other than the US!

    Canada is a country the same as the USA is a country. Canada has its own laws. The Digital Millenium Copyright Act, AKA DMCA, is NOT Canadian law, it is a US law. Therefore, the DMCA has no, repeat NO, applicability in Canada.

    Come on Ralph — look at a map.

  278. Y’all can put on righteous airs, but Ralph Lauren will sell a ton more clothes because of this publicity. Americans try to compensate for their overly-fed proportions by buying clothes they think make them look thinner.

  279. Another thought, there are bull-dogs that have heads bigger than their pelvises. The pups have to be delivered by C-section. Perhaps RL is breeding a new line of SuperModelExtrema.

  280. good for you guys. that picture just makes her look crazy. am i supposed to want to look like that? haha!

  281. I hope this reaches the top of every search ingane, i applaud boing boing for refusing to take down this image.

  282. You guys are AWESOME.

    I love it when people stand up to bullies (or egomanical narcissists like our good friend Ralph)!

    I’ve read he’s a total jerk, but this – Censoring the truth??

    The people are behind you.

    And I for one, will never buy anymore of his clothes.
    That’s how serious I hate censorship.

  283. Thanks to the Yahoo page making much of the Lauren “photo” I had to come to your site and say “Bravo!” Very well done and thank you so much for what you do.

  284. Hooray for free speech! I always thought Ralph Lauren clothes were ugly and overpriced, now I have a 3rd reason to not purchase them.

  285. In the past, I could take it or leave it, Polo that is. Now, I will purge my closet of all Polo and Ralph Lauren. Shame on you for the picture and the legal threats. And shame on the model who clearly has so little self respect that she happily cashes her paychecks while Polo distorts her body and the minds of young women everywhere.

  286. It took me ages to scroll down to the comment bit! Just want to say a really BIG mazeltov on a job well done. It’s an absolute disgrace that RL have put this (ugly, distorted) advert out. Respect to you all at boing boing

  287. awesomeness. thanks for a), pointing out the stupidity of photoshopping models to this degree and b) the childish behavior of RL when caught at it.

  288. In addition to all else that’s been discussed above as an author I would be ashamed to claim ownership – copyright or otherwise – of the unappealing photo – and extremely poor photo manipulation. How can they expect to sell clothing using a model that exhibits anorexia AND elephantiasis? Is the market really that weird?

  289. I have always worn RL, especially Mens Polo’s. However, after seeing this and knowing what RL was trying to do (showing what sexy is and making all other women feel fat and insecure), I am boycotting RL. No way would I want my wife to feel she would need to lose weight, eat unhealthy, and buy RL to be in style. Thanks to this site, I probably have avoided some medical and credit card bills…thanks again and keep up the good reporting…

  290. Shame on you Ralph Lauren. Not for the picture but for the DMCA notice.

    I would stop buying your stuff, but to tell the truth I think I never bought anything…

  291. As the mom to two 15 year old daughter I am very concerned about these unreal body images. And for the record, I am a size 16—an enormous size in the fashion world–but I work out, can out last most of my middle aged friends and feel pretty good. Being thin is nice, better for your joints and it’s much easier to get cool thrift clothes but the body in that Ralph Lauren ad doesn’t look like it’s had any fun. I say screw photoshop, let’s just have fun!

  292. What does the MODEL think? Is she happy with this anorexic portrayal? Is she (contractually) silent?

  293. I think Photoshop is an awesome tool, but I cannot comprehend how any marketer can look at this photo and think ‘that looks beautiful’. My first response to this photo was to throw up (and no, there was no pun in there at all) — so I can say that the advertising failed in the biggest way.

  294. Well if that’s what they have, & nothing in sizes “Real” people are, RL might sell maybe 50 jeans.. pretty unproductive ad I might say. the whole controversy is getting Ralph more publicity than that ad could ever do by itself.. Not sure if this is the kind of publicity they’d want though..

  295. Very well done guys.

    Corporations have already taken the governments under their wings. The last hurdle that remains now and which they dearly would love to control is “the interpretation of laws” relating to what is permitted and what is not, based on their corporate interests.

    One sure way of bringing such high-handed companies back to their senses is to totally boycott their products. That will be a definitive way of telling them: they exist for us, we don’t exist for them.

    And yes, don’t forget to feed the model … :)

  296. ” … And there is no “Fair Use” in Canada, there is a somewhat similar but weaker, IMO, “Fair Dealing”. …”

    Fair Dealing [Most Copyright Convention signatory nations] is much stronger than “Fair Use” [USA]: Fair Dealing is a right enshrined in Copyright Law and is equal to the other rights enshrined in law that protect copyright holders.

    Fair Use is a defense by which you may be acquitted for Copyright Violation in court; it is not part of US Copyright Law but instead a legal precedent that the courts must consider if raised by the defense.

    Note that in order to use Fair Use, you must be legally in violation of the Copyright legislation and find yourself in court; not so with Fair Dealing, which is grounds to not lay a charge in the first place.

  297. Love the way you called Ralph Lauren’s bluff. Also, can someone please tell me what “disemvoweled” means under your Policy heading?

    1. Exhibit A: Love the way you called Ralph Lauren’s bluff. Also, can someone please tell me what “disemvoweled” means under your Policy heading?

      Exhibit B: Lv th wy y clld Rlph Lrn’s blff. ls, cn smn pls tll m wht “dsmvwld” mns ndr yr Plcy hdng?

  298. Fair Use is a defense by which you may be acquitted for Copyright Violation in court; it is not part of US Copyright Law but instead a legal precedent that the courts must consider if raised by the defense.

  299. That image is extremely disturbing. Ralph Lauren, admit that you did something pretty fricken nasty, and stop trying to use the DMCA to (illegally) block criticism.

  300. This subject has just reached Brazilian grounds and is being widely ReTweeted and posted forward everywhere, like it’s brand new stuff, actually. Way to go!
    RL would never have planned all of this.

  301. Good on you! Why do non-US ISPs act on DMCA take-down notices anyway? The DMCA is probably the most misused piece of legislation ever thought up, plus most US companies and attorneys can’t seem to grasp the basic fact that US legislation doesn’t apply outside of the US.

    If I worked at your ISP, I’d kindly refer the take-down back to the misguided law company that issued it, and refer them to whichever country I operated in’s own copyright laws and authorities, such as FACT and FAST here in the UK. Only then would I even countenance such a notice, and even then they would have to justify every single part of the notice.

  302. Cool. I didn’t know about this Ralph Lauren thing until I read the headline about RL sending you guys a takedown notice…

    Odd that they still don’t realize how this works by now. Everytime I see a headline saying “X or Y wants Z to remove stuff from their site IMMEDIATELY”, I’m like, “so what is it about then in the first place?”, and go straight to the site to see what the controversy is all about. And often I didn’t know about neither X nor Y nor Z at all.

    Or should that be exactly what they want to achieve?

  303. Here, here! Thank You! Congratulations! Huzzah! Well done! Whatever the approbation or accolade, I salute you for your critique of this outrageous advertisement. Keep it up and know that we support you. Enough already with the lollipops!

  304. I do this kind of work and find the image laughable. It’s something we might pass around the department as a joke. How did this ever get approved? Are even the designers so detached from reality?

  305. WOW! You are right. This ad IS chock full of suck. What is up with her hand and her hip? Were they aiming for a Bratz doll or a poster for Zombieland 2 valley of the dollz? Shame on you RL for mutilating an already aberrant figure and shame twice for trying to stop people complaining about it,

  306. Does the model remind anyone else of Brooke Shields…the face, I mean. At first I thought they put an earlier picture of her face on someone else’s body.

  307. i’m so appauled…how could they. don’t they have daughters, nieces, granddaughters, sisters, mothers?

  308. Great post, and great retort to RL’s attempts at menacing. This distortion of feminine beauty is destructive and must stop. The uber-thin, heroin-addict look is disgusting & always has been, whether “real” or photoshopped. The models? Let them eat cake. The couture-mongers who use this deception? Let them eat s**t. I know 4th-grade girls who hate themselves already because of modern commercial images of “beautiful women”. Enough is enough.

  309. Way to go Boing Boing, an appalling photoshop job, and I can almost hear the AD saying “make the model thinner”! “thinner still!”, someone had to be over that designers shoulders. Keep exposing the ridiculousness of their response. They should have owned up to this and ended it from the start before it went viral, how stupid.

    All jokes aside, this kind of thing is not without danger to a girls self-esteem and it is pretty sick. This has been around for awhile but another example of how surreal a model can look after being completely digitally distorted:

  310. I agree with you guys. Patent laws, copyright and Digital Rights were meant to help creativity, not stifle criticism. Unfortunately, the big boys think they own the laws and the law makers.

  311. Come On Ralph its 2009 Woman dont look like this anymore, Im glad we are not accepting this kind of FAKE’ness Start Using real woman that are not Photoshop rubbed off. There HEALTHY and classy.

  312. That photo is disgusting and I can’t imagine what they thought they were doing when they put it out. What did they think was going to happen? That somehow everyone would ooh and awe at the photo for it’s originality and wonderful artistic statement?

    Um. No. Any originality and artistic statements that could have been garnered by this photo were completely, glaringly and atrociously overshadowed by the horrible photo altering job that was done on it. To the point where there really is no originality or artistic statement to speak of, and if there were it would not make up for this monstrosity.

    I’m glad that there is a site like this, and that others are apparently popping up with similar goals, to combat this trend. I would hate to think that this kind of photo would some day become the normal thing to see.

    I also can’t imagine why they thought it was going to be a good idea to try to stifle criticism based on the fact that they don’t like it. Because, that really is what it was, if you want to get right down to the real heart of the matter, if you ask me.

  313. I HATE her…it’s so unfair…why does she get to have a body like that? How does she do it? And I thought I was doing so well too–all I had yesterday was a coke, a cookie, and a salad. What am I going to do now? I’m trying so hard but I can’t win. She is *perfect*. They are all so perfect. And people tell me that I’m skinny. HA! Who would ever believe that? Why do people want me to stuff even more food down my throat? They make me look like a fat pregnant whale. I’m as big as the Goodyear blimp. I’m so fat — I’m so ugly — I just have to try harder, that’s all. I’m not just let my body turn into a huge sac of blubber. There’s got to be something else I can try — oxygen maybe? That’s it–oxygen! I shall just live on oxygen…

  314. Hilarious, but still not quite as funny as the time Ralph Lauren tried to sue the Hurlingham Polo Club for using a logo of a polo player. wtf??

  315. Well done to boing boing for exposing the photoshopping but more so for standing up to Ralph Laurens legal threats and exposing not only their corrupt advertising ploys but their bully boy attempts to cover their tracks.

    Note to Ralph Lauren – sack the Artwork editor, sack the legal counsel, employ a Manager of business ethics!

  316. Thank you. The fewer images like this one messing with my mind, the easier it is to live my life. I really appreciate it!!

  317. Maybe we could calculate the costs to national healthcare for dealing with anorexia and then, seeing as they are promoting anorexia, send the entire bill to Ralph Lauren as they clearly want to spend lots of money on this.

  318. Thank you boingboing to your action. That people are bad persons, only thinking in money. They are really crazy and want to do the same with us. I hope the law stopp this.

  319. Well done Boing Boing, we do need public attention on such matters to avoid transforming normal healthy young women into nervous and low esteem women.

  320. I don’t think it’s supposed to look like a real pic.. Looks like they were trying to make her look like a doll. I don’t think they’re trying to say models or girls in general should really be that skinny.. It reminds me of the Steve madden ads where the pretty models bodies were shrunk and their heads were oversized.. I think he was just trying to exagerate the models body

  321. This is funny, but also deadly serious. Thank you boingboing for doing this very important work on behalf of internet journalism and copyright. We need more parties like you and your ISP, who will stand up to corporate bullying. Bravo!!!

  322. Dagnammit I love BoingBoing. If Ralph Lauren don’t have a sense of humour about this, then they are not a clothing brand I will ever buy again.

  323. Good work! For sure I will ever associate Ralph Lauren brand to this stupid and bad taste publicity. If Ralph Lauren must be judged by their taste, of course I would never think of them for buying anything else. Did they forget their eyeballs at home? The photo is completely unreal!

  324. Congratulations for standing up to what is right!! Do they really think that that looks attractive? It’s a scarecrow in a pair of jeans and a top. There is no beauty in that! And it would be devastating even if one girl thought that being so skinny is sexy and attractive on the contrary, she literarily looks like one of those poor malnourished people that are used to have us donate money to feeding them. So, I can’t understand RL’s scope; does he want us to buy the clothes or send a contribution to feed the model (if want to call her that). Good work!!

  325. As the father of an anorexic 14 yr old daughter, I find this exceptionally irresponsible and damaging. Please join me in my personal boycott of the RL Brand.

  326. Ralph Lauren’s retouched models…difficult to see while standing behind a Bic pen. Kudos for blasting them.

  327. I’m very impressed by your response to Ralph Lauren’s frivilous threat of a lawsuit. Very often those in power use lawsuits as a weigh to behave like a whiny little child, rather than realize that they may be the ones in the wrong. Bravo to you for standing up to him!

  328. I love how the infringement letter contains a glaring typo…the letter is addressed to the legal department but the second page header is addressed to “legal assistant” at Considering that the letter probably cost Ralph at least $1,000.00, you would think that high priced lawyers would get that right. But considering how frivolous their argument is, not surprising that the letter writing was sloppy at best.

  329. Well done Boing Boing. I’ll start reading your blog now. Any woman that looks like the one in the picture should rush themselves or have a friend rush them to hospital immediately. There are likely garden rakes on the market with more mass than this.

  330. Does Ralph Lauren have access to a color printer? Why the exhibit photo in that document is black and white?

  331. Amen!! Big Companies need to realize that their ACTIONS will be posted on the internet for everyone to see. what’s next are they are going to sue the internet?

  332. It just keeps getting worse for Mr.Ralph Lauren. He is a scum, pointing fingers at everyone but the man who insisted on that image to begin with, himself.

  333. Good work!!! Remember when corporate America couldn’t buy, silence or coerce us? We need people to stand up to things when they obviously WRONG and relay the WRONG social messages. Thank you for doing this. I agree- and will not be buying anything else from Ralph Lauren simply because of this!

    Freedom of the presses used to be for the men who owned the presses. Let’s all thank our lucky stars that the internet changed that. Viva la revolution!

    Keep up the good work!

  334. That is probably the worst “photoshopping” I’ve EVER seen. It looks like an image from a fun house mirror. Is it just me or does anyone else get a feeling that you can’t focus on it? I guess the reason I can’t focus on it is because it is so unreal.

  335. Curious as to why a Canadian ISP would have to respond to a DMCA take down notice in the first place?

    Last time I checked, US law doesn’t apply in Canada.

  336. Well done! Kudos to you guys/gals for exposing this crap. No wonder many girls and women are so confused and depressed about their bodies.

  337. “At my college newspaper we ran an article and pic from a local art show that featured a painting or Bert and Ernie engaged in “adult acts”. The Children’s Television Workshop sent us a threatening letter. Our lawyers politely told them to go pound sand. That was the last we heard of it. Good for you for standing up to this ridiculous attempt at legal strongarmory.”

    -Oh, good for you. Take it to that mean old Children’s Television Workshop. God forbid we allow any innocence to exist.

  338. I personally will never buy another thing with the Ralph Lauren name on it ever again. To say a girl who weighs 120 lb.’s is over wieght is very sickly wrong! todays society is all about being skiny…When the hell is Skiny too much…to kill yourself to get into those so called “Skinny Jeans” that is obserd. Why don’t you try selling cloths in REAL PEOPLE’S SiZE. Not everyone is a size 0 or 1

  339. I am a pretty large/wide man and have a hard time finding clothes in my size. It is a bit ironic then, after seeing these ads, that I tend to buy Ralph Lauren branded clothing because it is one of the few companies that actually offers clothing that I can wear for work in my large size (and it is fairly well made).

    Now I am going to have to reconsider my purchases.

  340. I will never wear Ralph Lauren after seeing this ad and hearing about their threats to stop what is clearly fair use. Ralph Lauren is a really scummy company.

  341. Goodness me this is an awful ad done by Ralph Lauren. What on earth did they think they would gain by doing something like this. I have been a dedicated customer of their clothing line since I moved to the US in 1996 however this will make me think twice about wearing their designs now.
    I am a normal sized woman closer now to 60 than 50 however their clothes have always made me feel very feminine no matter that they were formal or casual. I shall have to consider a new line of clothing from now on

  342. She’s too skinny AND that’s really sad that we’re expected to emulate that size or weight. I won’t be buying any Ralph Lauren anytime soon.

  343. Congratulations to you for being so brave and standing up to people/companies who distorts the image of how women should look like to be considered beautiful or sexy! and to Mr. Ralph Lauren, you lost one loyal customer…(and I am out to influence a lot of my friends not to patronize your products)

  344. TOP WORK BOING BOING!!! Hats off to you for standing your ground and making the ‘artists’ become accountable for such an unbelievably unrealistic portrayal of the female physique. I will never grace their door again….

  345. Jeepers. I’m a size 16. If they consider her fat, I must be a real lard-ass. If they toss her for being a size 4… well, they mustn’t want my money at all then… could be contaminated with donut dust!

  346. Congratulations Boing Boing, for puncturing an overfilled balloon. Ralph Lauren, f/k/a Ralph Reuben Lifshitz, of the Bronx, is a pompous bully. Having commercially piggy backed on the Waspy aura surrounding the sport of polo, he had the nerve actually to sue the U.S. Polo Federation for infringing on “his” image of a polo player, as if he had anything to do with the sport they had promoted for more than a century. No class.

  347. Give that girl a photoshopped sammich!

    Oh, and keep stickin’ it to the man Boing Boing! F*** Ralph Lauren.

  348. Bravo Boing! This picture is down right disgusting! You can clearly see that the image has been distorted, making it look fake and ridiculous! What a joke, on them!

  349. Polo Ralph Lauren,

    I am bigger than a size 4. If your size 4 model is too big to model for you, then I am too big to buy your clothes.
    I encourage everyone over size 4 to boycott Ralph Lauren products immediately, and forever.

    We’re not good enough for Polo Ralph Lauren.

  350. Right on! I just wish there were more organizations and news media who had the guts to stand up to cheating thieving corporate bullies! If there had been, maybe we could have avoided the financial meltdown! RL’s ad and response to you is only one example of how dangerously warped Corporate America has become.

    Keep up the good work!

    PS Ralph Lauren is off my shopping list permanently!

  351. Ralph Lauren’s style had been synonymous with classic, high quality timeless pieces that had appeal for women of all ages. After being shocked at what they now stand for, as demonstrated by their photoshopped disasters, they are now catering to a much narrower audience, one that is unattainable, and one that I will not support by buying any of their line, until they stop this ridiculous portrayal of their idealized woman! What message would I be sending to my very impressionable pre-teen daughters if I supported this brand?

  352. Nicely done! We need more people like you putting out the good word and standing up to the bastards of the world.

  353. What a shame…. and those young women that are being use to represente your company are suppose to be role model for our young ladies… shame on you for letting those little girls think that they are to big to fit in this altered society. I have been a cutomer of yours and planned on bying more, but not anymore. What a shame!

  354. Xeni!!

    Just heard your interview with Hannah Gartner on the Current for CBC.

    I love it when my media worlds collide.

  355. Seriously….do we find this type of ad acceptable?? The girl looks sickly. We wonder how our daughters get such poor images of themselves when this is what company’s find acceptable. They feel they need to photoshop a woman who looks quite healthy to begin with to look frail and malnourished. You Ralph should be ashamed of what you are teaching our youth as acceptable. And then wonder why they have eating disorders and he can’t find models to disdort!!! Dumbass!!

  356. I am really disgusted with Ralph Lauren not just for the school yard bully approach to criticism, but the photoshopped image is really misogynist and I am NOT the kind of woman that is constantly beating that drum, but now skinny is not enough? We need to lose our ribs and internal organs to be attractive? Who ever initiated this threat against your site is a stone cold idiot, I would have never have seen this ad without the controversy they stirred up. I have been a Ralph Lauren customer in the past and was contemplating buying their new perfume, but no more.

  357. Polo Ralph Lauren fires people for no reason at all. Just ask the three “older” women he fired in Greensboro. After hearing Filippa story it seems as though Ralph Lauren continually terminates employees after many dedicated years of service.We will not buy the products RRl, Chaps and American Living.. From The Traveler and the Two Gophers.

  358. Someone needs to contact me because I am experiencing hostile and harassing treatment from Polo Ralph Lauren’s company. The type of harassment I am currently going through should not be swept under the rug. It is a serious issue in today’s job market.

  359. Ralph Lauren has the right to choose the face they want for their advertisements as long as they honor their contracts. I recognize the model Fillipa Hamilton from their ads and I think she is striking, strong, and healthy. Why did they alter the photo? NO ONE thinks this looks good. It looks repulsive and as natural as Japanese anime. Ralph should fire the architects behind the ridiculous photo, who are clearly out of touch, and not the model. The model is gorgeous just as she is.

  360. I am so GLAD that this has gone public!!!!!This is just the TIP of the ICEBERG on the things that Ralph Lauren has done to employees and former employees. With his expensive lawyers he stays just barely under the line of public eye.Contrary to believe his products are NOT made in USA!!!!!!People should think about his company does before buying his product.

  361. I never understand what the attraction is to names like ralph lauren and all the other stupid labels. I dof my hat to Priority Colo, perhaps one day all ISPs will be like that.

    Carlsberg don’t do ISPs…

  362. What they are doing to womens’ minds? Such a stupid advertising should be banned!

    You’re rocks, guys! Let them have it! Congratulations BoingBiong!

  363. Of course this blog’s reproduction of the picture is fair use, and its comments are exactly correct. This is a wicked advertisement that will hurt young girl.

    The subsequent bullying is repulsive and will further tarnish the Ralph Lauren brand.

    And not just Ralph Lauren – I am proud of my profession, but this kind of conduct by its attorneys lowers the prestige of the entire legal profession.

    Oops – I used the word “Ralph Lauren” but it was trademarked! Come after me too if you dare, you bastards!

  364. DMCA was supposed to protect products from being copied for commercial use. But who would want to look like that, even if it were humanly possible? What is this, Auschwitz chic? And parody, comment and criticism are fair use.

  365. The more these sphincters try to clamp down, the more monkeys will fly out of their butts. Keep it coming.

  366. I like your attitude Bong Boingers—you combine a serious, well informed thoughtfulness with a sense of humor. With a bit of kindness mixed in, we have the essence of the best of humanity. Hard to find reasons or ways to be kind to the Ralph Loren ad creators, isn’t it, with their insidious promotion of anorexia and bulimia…

  367. I’m doing a group speech on “Women in the medias eye.” This is perfect. How stupid can you be. To let something like this get out, or evn distorting someone like that. Women are beatiful. So go to and see how we can help our beatiful little girls know that their better than that. Make things postive. Tell a women or little girl walking down the street their pretty. It goes along way. I hate that they made her body look like that. Everyone should know that’s not right

  368. I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this, but zoosk some dating service on facebook (you see the ads on the sidebar all the damn time) does this same type of crap, they edit midsections and stomachs and enhance the breasts on the photos. They are small enough photos that most people won’t catch it, but rather be like, oh hey boobs, win. I find all this a bit disturbing to say the least.

  369. Good for you!! I’d like it very much if this could appear on the top place on the search engines.
    That photoshop looks so incredibly stupid and obvious that I don’t understand how can ANYONE think it could pass for a “natural” image.
    Maybe they were looking for scandal and publicity? Do ricj people prefer fantasy-anorexic-surreal brands?

  370. The Times published the same image and in an article making the same point, did Ralph Lauren take the same action against Murdoch?
    I doubt it!!

  371. Copyright law doesn’t give you the right to threaten your critics for pointing out the problems with your offerings. You should know better. And every time you threaten to sue us over stuff like this, we will..
    memory stick

  372. i just LOOOVE how the print out includes “Golly look at those thick ankles” hahaha awesome!

  373. This comment really doesn’t address the Ralph Lauren issue but it is a big “ATTA-BOY” going out to your ISP. Seldom seen in the world today is a company who doesn’t buckle under to idle threats just to avoid the hassle of standing up for what is fair and correct, as practicing lawyers who make a living pulverizing people’s rights into cold hard cash, step all over people, silencing them with threatening innuendo and incarceration as this approach has an extremely high success rate. What these legal-eagles seem to let slip away from their decision making process is any sense of morality or the realization the main ingredient which is “Justice” no longer plays any part in what they do.

  374. Thank you for standing your ground. It is a sad day when freedom of speech is threatened while you are looking out for the mental & physical health of a very vulnerable population – teenagers. Shame on you Ralph Laurent and good on you BoingBoing.

  375. This is exactly what I’ve been trying to tell people for years about our modeling and advertising industry. They don’t seem to care about the models they promote nor do they care about the image they project to millions of vulnerable and impressionable teens. I may not be what everyone sees as a perfect woman or body type, but I am trying to help promote a healthier image through my modeling. Even girls my size can be beautiful!!! Take a look! The pics may be color corrected and my skin smoothed out some, but I have never been trimmed by Photoshop never will I let anyone do so. I love being more natural!

  376. awesomeness. thanks for a), pointing out the stupidity of photoshopping models to this degree and b) the childish behavior of RL when caught at it.

  377. I forgot BB had posted this and ran into it again by accident when searching for something else (Streisand Effect, nb. this is now on the Wiki entry for it) which makes me think that RL’s marketing and legal are probably still eating their own fists over this epic fail of theirs. What a testament to how brilliant BoingBoing is.

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