The ad, which came from a restaurant called Sidhu Golden Fish and Chips in Tyneside, England, features a caricature of a stick-thin Beckham in a bikini with her ribs poking out, wearing a sash that reads “Anorexic Fashion Icon.” It is prominently displayed on the establishment’s delivery van, promoting a pizza that they call “Victoria Beckham Thin Crust” and tout as “only 2 mm thin!!”
“It is highly inappropriate to trivialize such a disorder, and defamatory to be so thoughtless with a person’s reputation in this way, therefore we are seeking legal advice,” a spokesperson for Beckham told Fox News.
— Nathan Lee (@NathanLeeTV) August 8, 2017
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In a statement to iTV, the restaurant’s manager, Soni Sidhu, stated that he is “genuinely horrified if anyone was genuinely offended” by the ad, noting that it was “offered as a fun way to make people smile, and to escape from the daily hustle and bustle of life.”
Sidhu added that he recognizes “how serious eating disorders are and would never make light the seriousness of people with eating disorders,” yet remains hesitant to remove the sign. “If, in 2017 Britain, we are asked to take down this advert it will be a sad day for freedom of expression,” he said.
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Beckham has fought back against criticism of her weight in the past, telling BBC Radio that “there’s a big difference between someone having an eating disorder and someone who is controlled about what they eat.” In 2015, she defended the models in her fashion show, telling The Telegraph: “They’re young, they’re thin, but that doesn’t mean they’re ill.”