On the heels of Beyoncé becoming the current face of H&M, the CEO has vowed to show more diversity and healthier looking models in their ads.
“We have a huge responsibility here,” said H&M CEO Karl-Johan Persson in an interview with The Metro. “We’re a large company, many people see us, and we advertise a lot. We want to show diversity in our advertising and not give people the impression that girls have to look a particular way. By and large, I think we’ve succeeded: we’ve many different kinds of models from different ethnic backgrounds. In our last campaign we had a somewhat more buxom model, and now we’re using Beyoncé, who’s a bit curvier as well. I believe that the models in our advertising should look sound and healthy. There are models who are too thin or obviously underweight, but there are also those who’re just thin, and they’re the ones we should keep working with, as long as they look sound and healthy.”
As of last month, H&M showcased its beachwear collection featuring Jennie Runk, who Persson refers to as “buxom and curvier”.
Persson admitted to making mistakes in the past, but is making an effort to not make them again. “I don’t think we’ve always been good,” he told The Metro.“Some of the models we’ve had have been too skinny. That’s something we think a lot about and are working on. We’re not blind to the issue. But I have to be honest and say that some of our models have been too skinny. That’s not OK.”
Although an H&M spokesperson did not address Persson’s comments, she did address media reports that Beyonce was not pleased with the retouching that was done to her photos. Apparently Beyoncé was not pleased about having her curves photoshopped into a slimmer version.
“Our purpose has always been to portray Beyoncé as the strong and beautiful woman she is,” the spokeswoman said. “It has been a good working process and a close cooperation. Both parties are happy with the pictures.”