women lying down
Women in fashion magazines often have child-like body language, according to one photographer. pexels

A former photographer has spoken out against the fashion industry for depicting female models as corpses.

Jennifer Moss called out photographers and fashion directors for playing into the trend, which sees women appear as lifeless and submissive.

"As a female, as a mother of a daughter and as a consumer, what's most alarming to me is the advertisements where the female is depicted as a dead body," she told BBC News.

In an attempt to further understand the trend, Moss examined magazines closely and identified four different categories.

The first sees women depicted as a frightened victim, the second as ready or positioned for sex, the third as childlike through submissive body language, and lastly the idea that women are "one of many" and similar to a product.

"The message that they're portraying is that that's glamorous. That you should be meek, you should be timid, you should be scared walking down the street," she said.

Moss acknowledged a slight shift away from these tropes, however, and noted the rise of "the empowered woman", a trend that characterises female models as strong and independent by ensuring they face the camera straight on and are shot from below.

While there might be a change in featuring more empowered-seeming women in images, the fashion industry has faced ongoing criticism about its depiction of underweight and potentially unhealthy models. This has long been a cause of concern for its impact on public body image and as an apparent trigger for eating disorders.

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A Gucci campaign last year is one example of this problematic trend. Gucci instagram

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American Apparel has been known for campaigns in which they depict women in compromising positions with sexual implications.
British Vogue's March issue featured popular model Bella Hadid facing the camera directly with unfaltering eye contact.