Fans are praising ASOS for showing a model's scoliosis scar on site

If there's one thing we've learned in recent years, it's how important representation in the media really is. Remember the viral reaction videos from young girls seeing Halle Bailey as Ariel in The Little Mermaid trailer? And we're still celebrating (long overdue) firsts, like earlier this year when Michelle Yeoh became the first Asian woman *ever* to win the award for Best Actress at the Oscars.

Well in another positive-representation story, Twitter is praising ASOS after customers spotted models with scoliosis featured on the site. The online shopping giant included the models in their e-comm product shots and made sure their spinal fusion surgery scars were fully visible in the photos.

In an industry where images are heavily photoshopped to depict perfect – and unrealistic – body standards, it's not only refreshing to see these women's scars proudly on display but incredibly powerful too.

asos product image showing a model's scoliosis scar
ASOS

If you don't know what scoliosis is, according to the NHS it is the twisting or curving to the side of the spine. It can affect people of any age but is most commonly first seen in children between the ages of 10 to 15. Treatment for scoliosis varies greatly from wearing a back brace to pain relief and occasionally surgery, depending on how severe the curve is.

Both of the ASOS models appear to have had spinal fusion surgery, as they have scars down the lengths of their backs. And rather than hiding them, the retailer has chosen to dress the women in a Vans Flying V bralette and a low-back tea dress with both garments letting them show off large sections of each of their scars.

asos product image showing a model with a visibile scoliosis scar
ASOS

It didn't take long for word to spread on Twitter with customers praising the move and other people with scoliosis sharing their happiness at the representation. One person Tweeted, "How cool is this?! Scoliosis (spinal fusion) surgery scar representation on ASOS" while another wrote, "Amazing @ASOS_UK - a model showing what looks to be her beautiful #scoliosis surgery scar! I’m almost tempted to buy the top just to show off mine too!"

A third added, "Stumbled across an @asos model proudly showing #scoliosis scar and curve. Amazing to see and so important to be showing all kinds of bodies".

I couldn't agree more, especially given I have scoliosis myself. Although the cause of scoliosis is unknown in around eight in every 10 cases, it does sometimes run in families, including mine. My mum has scoliosis so made sure to get mine and my sisters' backs regularly checked at the doctors to monitor our spines.

Luckily, my curve is very mild and hardly noticeable. I only really suffer with occasional back pain (most likely agitated by other factors) and I try to stretch my back regularly to help with this. I also enjoy pilates and yoga for the stretching elements, though it's not clear whether back exercises help improve scoliosis but it certainly has a positive effect on my overall health.

My mum on the other hand has a more acute curve to her spine, and while she hasn't required surgery she has found clothes sometimes don't fit her well. This is a common sign of scoliosis, as people can find they lean to one side, have uneven shoulders, or have their hips or ribs stick out on side of their body. With clothes cut to fit straight, symmetric bodies, close-fitting items may emphasise the appearance of these symptoms.

This is another reason the fashion industry representing all bodies is so important as clothing can used be to hide and highlight. I remember seeing Princess Eugenie proudly show off her scoliosis surgery scar on her wedding day back in 2018. She chose to purposely forgo a veil and designed her dress with a dipped back in a bold move designed to highlight the importance of showing off your scars and challenge society's ideals of beauty. It was the first time I'd seen someone in the spotlight with scoliosis, and I felt quite emotional and, for the first time, proud of my spinal abnormality.

We are here for celebs showing off their scars and here's hoping more brands follow suit in representing every body.

Follow Alexandria on Instagram.


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