Emerson and Watt, a Chicago-based advertising agency, is denying responsibility for a spate of near-fatal attempts by teenagers to elongate their torsos.
The company has long been accused of relying on photo-editing programs to drastically change models’ torsos. This practice results in many teenagers having unrealistic expectations about how long their midsections are supposed to be, critics say.
Since July of this year, 22 teenagers have been injured while using homemade torso-elongation devices. Many of these resemble torture devices like “the rack” in which the users are stretched apart using ropes and a crank.
A spokesperson for Emerson and Watt insists the company’s use of photo editing is subtle and is not intended to change the size of models’ torsos, but rather highlight natural muscle definition.
“We are a socially-conscious firm,” said spokesperson Ria Brightman. “And we are committed to the celebration of natural beauty.”