The Target store chain is taking heat for an advertisement that many believe is potentially harmful to teenage girls.
The ad was meant to accentuate what has become an obsession among teen girls: the thigh gap. In this case, the gap was creating by overdone Photoshopping. Young girls have apparently been starving themselves to make sure their thighs don't touch.
"We feel like we have to look like that, which in reality those people don't even look like that," said licensed professional counselor Kristen Verdelli, who has for years been working with girls and young women dealing with self-esteem issues.
She didn't think the ad was appropriate.
Target apologized for the ad and removed it after receiving widespread criticism.
"When I first saw it, I really worried about how this would impact especially the young girls that saw it at such an impressionable age right now," she said.
Verdelli says with such a young model, the ad spoke directly to junior high school girls. It's an age where girls may have a hard time with body image. Attentive parents would be able to pick up on certain cues if that is the case.
"You find them looking in the mirror a little bit more often. They're starting to calorie count. They're watching the foods they're eating or maybe they're exercising to a point that seems a little bit unhealthy to you," Verdelli said.