Too many flaws in Topshop’s campaign?
University of Northampton
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We asked our students what they thought of Topshop’s campaign:

Dee Dee Cuz that’s not triggering or romanticising self harm at all (note the sarcasm) I understand it’s for Halloween but seriously, that just messes with people’s heads. I know I sound all pompous and self righteous. This is quite the controversial issue, as for anyone who hasn’t dealt with mental illnesses there would seem to be no problem. But for the majority of the population who do or have experience with people who’ve suffered with mental illnesses this is a painful reminder of their current or past issues. I understand that this wasn’t the intention of Topshop but they obviously didn’t think it through enough.

Phil I think the “flaws worth fighting for” tag line is the game changer, having gold scar tattoos to link to a halloween theme isn’t that bad

Mia leading young teens/children to believing that self harm scars are glamorous can also cause a continuous cycle into them actually developing mental health issues, and can trigger or activate any small issue there was in the back ground.

Eva-Maria In my opinion these golden self harm scars label self harm as a lifestyle which it not is. It is an illness but this takes people even further away from understanding it and taking it seriously…

Ruth They don’t look anything like self harm scars, more like surgical wounds and stretch marks.

Matthew What’s the obsession with self harm? Most scars are not from self harm, but from medical procedures or accidents. I think it’s a great idea spreading acceptance of scars, whether that be for Halloween or for people that are self conscious about scars

Andriea What? These looking nothing like self harm scars I know, I have a few. I don’t think there is anything wrong with trying to promote acceptance for scars, it’s finding perfection in imperfection, once again the tabloids have blown it outta proportion. I don’t encourage self harm by any means but I know that a person will do it if they really feel the need. Nowhere does it say these are to mimic “self harm” people have just jumped to that conclusion.

Jess I think the jumping to conclusions comes from the group of four scars that can be seen… You don’t get 4 surgical scars in a row like that (correct me if I’m wrong)

Andriea They look like cat or animal scratches, its a matter of perspective really. After a day gardening and clearing my arms look awful from brambles. I used to work in the kitchens and me and others constantly got straight burns across out arms from putting food in and taking food out of the hot cupboards, we all looked like we self harmed. My point is i think this is just a pack of fake scars in an attempt to “normalize scaring and imperfections” in a world that’s obsessed with looking flawless. How is this any worse from all the Halloween stuff filling the shelves? Self harm is serious but its also important that society learns to accept scarring of any sort so people don’t feel ugly.

Aaron People shouldn’t cry over everything they see

Anon That top shop tattoo scar thing: it’s totally awful. Glamorising mental illnesses is not a good thing especially when you suffer yourself!! Self harm is not something to take lightly like putting on gold scar tattoos!! Fair enough, maybe the idea of them was not to glamorise self harm but just to create harmless tattoo scars that weren’t linked to self harm at all. But seeing this makes me sick… I self harm and have done for 4 years and I would not like to see these in shops. Only time I would buy them would be to maybe use them instead of self harming. Covering myself in tattoos would be much better than actually self harming. Maybe if they specified that it would be okay. But no. I wouldn’t expect to see stuff like this in a well-known shop that a lot of teenagers use. Teenagers are vulnerable to mental health issues through school stress etc, so putting these in a shop and aiming them at teens is not a right decision.

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