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HSG
17th May 2008, 00:25
<br>Discovered with a newspaper <a href="http://www.firstcoastnews.com/news/local/news-article.aspx?storyid=109204" target="_blank">article</a> from Whitney's home state are three post-show images of the model that are remarkably pretty, and provide a refreshing change of pace from the high-fashion inclination of <i>ANTM</I> photography.

First, an utterly adorable picture of Whitney with a novel accessory--<i>felis catus.</I> It is disputable which of the two subjects of this picture is the more bewitchingly . . . feline. Note how the model's <i>inanimate</I> accessories also contribute to the charm of the image, especially due to their vivacious pink hue (complimenting the backdrop). Her ornate earring is at once both youthful and elegant--an externalization of the model's own nature, which is an endearing mix of the girlish and the sophisticated. The lighting makes Whitney's complexion seem ethereally fair, yet her slightly flushed cheeks testify to her well-fed vitality.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/wt/post01.jpg"></center></p>From the gentle sensuality of the above image (which has <i>Seventeen</I> written all over it), the next picture moves into more deliberately alluring territory. And yet, the cute heart pendant adds innocence to the picture, rendering it coy and flirtatious rather than overt.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/wt/post02.jpg"></center></p>The final image is more deliberately fashion-conscious, with a vintage quality that is particularly reinforced by the lacy dress, the veil, and the intriguing hairstyle. (Are those flower petals in her hair?) Note also the opulent ring. But what makes this vintage picture so immediate and captivating is that the model's youth has not been disguised. Her expression is elegant and mature, yet her look is very fresh. This gives the photo an almost dreamlike quality, not unlike that of a girl playing dress-up in the clothing of another time. And yet with Whitney's unmodern beauty, the fashion style suits her perfectly.<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/wt/post03a.jpg"></center></p>It's fascinating to see Whitney presented in this appealing manner. The images also provide fine examples that other plus-size models might wish to emulate, when seeking to create lovely test phots.

Chad
17th May 2008, 02:35
Very, VERY pretty pictures. Soft sensuality - perfect for a plus-size model. One thing I'm sure of is that Whitney will not only have more female fans than any previous ANTM winner, but more male fans as well.

That thought came to mind when I found this little item:

http://tv.hollyscoop.com/americas-next-top-model/whitney-thompson-is-antm_826.aspx

It's short, but I love the last line:

Whitney Thompson Is ANTM

Whitney Thompson made a bit of history by proving that you can still work the runway while enjoying a cheeseburger here and there...

"I do feel good about myself and I want other women in America to feel good about themselves." Thompson continued "I honestly think that girls will look up to me and say, 'I can do that."

Whoever thought curves would be in? Answer: Every straight man...IN THE WORLD!
SO true.

This interview is more ANTM-fan like, but it does contain a very important comment from Whitney, which I'll excerpt below:

http://www.buddytv.com/articles/americas-next-top-model/exclusive-interview-whitney-th-19503.aspx

Interviewer: You expressed several times throughout the season that there are designers who just don't make clothes for girls your size. You're very average, like me and a lot of other people. How do you plan to combat that in life after Top Model?

Whitney: Hopefully I will get a lot of publicity just from being on Top Model, because honestly if I walked into an agency people would be like, "Who are you? No, you're average. That's not that exciting." Of course, even Elite doesn't have a plus size division in New York, so it's a struggle already combating that. However, there are a lot of plus size people, and people that do support it, and designers that are beginning to support it, so hopefully that'll come up and that'll be bigger and bigger. I know even Dolce & Gabbana, you have Jean Paul Gaultier, you have big, high fashion designers that are starting to do the plus size thing. It's just a first step, and you never know, I might be the first girl that they use. But there's no way that I would ever say, "Oh, try to squeeze me into a size 2," or anything like that. I'm not going to change myself. Either the designer changes, or I just don't work with them. That's just the bottom line.
This is SUCH an important statement for her to make. It's an attitude that women in general should embrace - instead of trying to diminish themselves into an unnatrual size to fit some designer's "creation," they should demand that the designers change to fit them. And if the designers won't, then customers should take their money elsewhere, and buy from someone who will.

God willing, we'll never see Whitney betray the cause by appearing on some disgusting weight-loss TV show, but instead, she will retain her pro-plus confidence.

I'm beginning to think that if anyone can budge the fashion industry, she can.

M. Lopez
17th May 2008, 05:39
I really like these new pictures. They're so gentle, so feminine - especially the first, which is contemporary in its colours, but has a storybook quality to it that's very appealing.

Whitney also had an extended discussion with an L.A.Times blogger. I don't really care for the interviewer's tone sometimes, but Whitney is as poised as ever, and she answers the questions deftly and substantively.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/showtracker/2008/05/americas-next-4.html

It's worth quoting at length:


Are you happy with how you turned out on the show? Do you feel like we saw the real you?

...I'm going to tell you straight up, that's me, that's my personality. It was edited pretty appropriately. That's just the truth. In real life, I'm a real person. You have ups and downs and sometimes you're nice and sometimes you're not and that's just me.


I wasn't sure if you had to gain weight for Top Model or anything like that.

Oh, no. I went on the show, and I'm the one who said "I'm a plus-size model." Which is so funny because when I was when I was there, all the other girls there that were my size were like "Oh, you know, I'm a size ... 10." And I was like "Pfft. I'm a size 10! Yeah!" I think that's why they took me out to L.A. I didn't expect to make it that far. People always told me, "You should be on that show!" And I was like, "Please, I would never get on that show." And look at me now! Never say never.


Did you have to adjust your mindset to the fact that in real life you're just a beautiful woman but on the show you're kind of a special case?

I think the fact that I didn't adjust my mindset is what took me further. Instead of being like "Oh no, I'm big!" I was like, "Yeah, I'm making pancakes for breakfast!" I think that really did help because you have to keep your hopes high and your mentality going. At the end of the day, you don't have anyone but yourself. All the quote-unquote friends you have are still your competitors, which is really really difficult for anyone. There were times that I locked myself in the bathroom and cried. It got rough, but I think what made me go further than any other plus-size model, especially on this season, was the fact that I didn't just come in and go, "Hey, I'm not skinny, but I'm really pretty." It was more like "OK, almost the majority of all 9-year-old girls have been on a diet, and why isn't anyone changing that?" I'm not supporting that, and I'm not supporting being emaciated and starving yourself, and I will go further.


Did the girls ever give you crap about being full-figured?

You saw when Stacy Ann was like "Whatever, you're f**." And I was like "Uh, perhaps you meant P-H-A-T," which is totally my personality. There were a few times. I think the girls were a little jealous that they had to diet and they had to do this work to be super skinny, and I was like "Well, I don't, and my pictures still came out better than yours." I think it was difficult for them because the plus-size models usually lose their confidence within the first week or two. I think they were like "What? Well you're big!"

Even though there are disadvantages to being bigger, in the long run the best thing that's happened to me is that even before everyone knew that I won, I got e-mails from girls and boys from all over the world saying "I've dealt with an eating disorder and you've had me seek help and I see your confidence and how you do it," people who were really looking up to me just for my ideas on the show, not even knowing I had won. I think that's really the best reward I could possibly have.


Being plus-size didn't seem to affect you too much on the show, except maybe on the go-sees. Was it an issue other times?

It was an issue a lot because the clothes didn't fit me ever, which they don't show on camera because I didn't make it an issue, like, "What, why don't the clothes fit?" I anticipated the worst at every challenge and photo shoot, like when they handed me a size 2 skirt and said "Put this on" and the stylist was cutting it and sewing it on. It's embarrassing. What girl wants to be told "You're too f** so we're going to glue you into the skirt." That is difficult, but I anticipated the worst. I was prepared mentally for that. Thank God, because that could really drag you down.


Was that an issue at the Versace show?

Do you know how many dresses I tried on to find two that fit? They were like, "OK, stop breathing." All the girls there are very small, and and I'm not. The guys were so funny, though. Donatella's head henchmen were like "Oh, it's so good that you're here. Those girls were so skinny." It was good to hear from them that "Eew, these models are grross."


[I]I thought it was nice that Paulina Porizkova said that while Anya might be the one you buy the dress from, you're the one men want in the bedroom.

Yeah, but at the same time, why would a girl rather buy a dress from a stick figure? The designers are the ones that make that popular. When I see a skeleton walking down the runway, I don't go, "Ooh, wow, I want to look like her." It's like, "Um, where'd she go?"


Tyra's made body image an issue on her talk show. Do you think she favored you at all because you represented something she had been a proponent of?

I wish. I think that in the beginning Tyra felt that I would fall flat like everyone else. I don't know because she hasn't told me, but when I watch the show, I see what she says about me when I'm not there. She's like, "Well, Whitney's not that great," and then toward the end then he starts thinking, "Well maybe she is." But the truth is, Tyra is not the panel. There are five people there, so even if Tyra did want me to win, which I don't think she did in the beginning but hopefully she did in the end, it wouldn't matter if nobody else wanted me to. Plus, the show's been on for five years, if she really wanted a plus-size girl to win ... come on.


What kind of work do you see yourself doing further down the road?

I'm not saying that I won't do anything because I really want my name and my face out there and I want people who don't watch the show as well to to see me and go, "Hey, that girl is twice the size of the girl on the cover next to her, and she's still a model and that is beautiful." No one from the generation behind me has anyone to look up to. Truly all of their role models are in rehab or have eating disorders, and I feel like it might be a lost generation because of that. I'm not saying no to anything. I really want to work and work and work and just get everything I want to out there.


So you see yourself aspiring to work as much for Versace as you do for Marina Rinaldi?

I want to throw it all out there, but definitely the high fashion ones are more difficult. They are the ones that do the skinny models. Some people are starting to change a little. Vogue had a plus-size model in a couple issues ago, which is a big deal. She was my size. She wasn't a 16 or anything, but that's a start. This is just one step. But it's a big step. I think it's going to go well, and I'll go far.

Another myth is that being a plus-size model means you're f**. Guess what: it doesn't. It means that you're normal, which is considered plus-size. Why in the world are we saying are we saying that's fine, designers? Yeah, let's tell my 9-year-old daughter that a size 6 is too f**.

Things that I find especially imporant:
-I like the fact that she embraces her personality as presented on the show. I LOVE her personality, and I'd have been so disappointed if she were any less exciting and viviacious and brilliant and self-assured in real life. She has exactly the character that I've always hoped a plus-size winner would have

-as she said, instead of being meek and embarrassed about her size, she embraced it. Not only was it the key to her success, but it is THE message, the BEST message, to send to young women: love yourself BECAUSE you're full-figured

-at this forum, we all talked about how many challenges she faced on the show, but it turns out it was even harder than we thought! The clothes were usually not made for her. But unlike past ANTM competitors, she didn't whine about it, but toughed it out - and WON

-I LOVED hearing that even the Versace reps find the usual models grossly emaciated. For God's sake, they ARE! No wonder they loved Whitney. What a refreshing change she must have been for them

-again, she explodes the myth that women want to buy what they see on skeletal models. No way! They want to see clothes on women with actual figures. She's so right about that

-her point about the lack of solid role models for girls and teens growing up today is so sadly true. Think about it: they're known only for being anorexic and for their raunchy behavior, which is appalling. Her thoughts about that problem are particularly insightful and timely

-I like that although she is regrettably slim for a plus-size model, she is not against larger plus-size models; in fact, she seems just as hopeful to see a size-16 in Vogue as we are, but from a practical point of view she recognizes that it will take incremental steps to get there

-and above all, she's not afraid of calling out designers for their central role in fostering and perpetuating fashion's anorexic standard, which has ruined the lives of so many young women

Extraordinary model with a powerful, powerful message.

Emily
17th May 2008, 19:33
The one thing I worried about when Whitney won was that she would wimp out, silence herself about fashion-industry criticism, and just become part of the establishment, the way Sophie Dahl did. But she hasn't. If anything, she's become even more revolutionary.

Whitney is being charming and charismatic in her interviews, but she is also giving a voice to those who has previously had no voice -- by calling the fashion industry out for its promotion of life-threatening emaciation. In the most appealing way possible, she is expressing the mute frustration, the anger that the millions of young women -- and the millions of mothers of daughters who have struggled with body image -- have felt towards an industry that has effectively ruined their lives.

She is not selling out, she is not giving in just to please the fashion establishment -- and hopefully, she never will. With the same courage that she displayed in the show, she is standing up to the powers that be, and maybe, just maybe, she can help budge the creeping rate of change forward a little faster.

HSG
17th May 2008, 23:34
<br>Some big news for Whitney fans: she will also be making an appearance <strong>at the Indianapolis 500</strong> in a week or so--which is <i>definitely</i> something that no other plus-size model has ever accomplished!

We do not yet know what her role will be, but it is confirmed that she will be there.

And that fact alone will make this the most eagerly-anticipated car race of the year . . .

Whitney's forthcoming <i>Seventeen</i> cover (July 2008):<p><center><img src="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/wt/seventeen01.jpg"></center>

Kaitlynn
18th May 2008, 18:32
I adore those new pictures. The one with the kitten is my favorite- it's like the photographer captured Whitney's true personality, sweet and adorable but seductive too. And I LOVE the flower petals in her hair in the third picture. That was a stroke of genius.

Here's a new Whitney interview:

http://www.topmodelgossip.com/antm-interview-with-whitney-thompson/

These quotations really stood out to me. She really is doing it for a reason- an important one. Her ideas are every bit as important as her beauty is- the one without the other would be inadequate, but put the two together, her looks and her philosophy, and she is a true force for change.


Tell us about how you got involved with Americas Next Top Model.

I originally got involved when my 13-year-old cousin and I were at the beach. She turned to me and said Oh my god, Im so f**! I said No, youre not. You look great, and I wondered why would she say such a thing. I started to look at statistics about kids and weight. Almost half of 9-year-old girls have been on the diet. What is up with that? One of my favorite quotes is You must be the change you wish to see in the world. I didnt want my cousin to grow up without a role model and I thought that some should change that.


How are you going to use your win to get your message out there?

All my prizes help me do that. Its just getting the word out there that Im a girl and Im a size 10 and Ive heard it all. If I only lost 50 pounds Id be beautiful. To that, I say, No! Im going to be my size and I am beautfiul and Im not going to change. You are. I want everyone to see me and go Hey, shes the size of a normal person and shes gorgeous and shes a model. Hopefully theyll look up to that.


What advice do you have to future contestants?

I went to my audition in Orlando with about 1000 girls. You go around and say your name and age and height and weight. Other girls seemed really embarrassed to share the fact that they were a size 6 or 8. So I went last and when it was my turn, I went Im 5′10 and Im a size 10 and I LOVE IT!, I was like, my body rocks and you guys cannot bring me down. Go in confident. If youre not confident they arent going to believe in you. I wanted to come out and say hey, Im plus size and I look good and Im proud of that.


What would you like to say to your fans who supported you?

...Im glad for those who supported me and wanted me to win. Thats the greatest thing. Its not easy to stand up to the fashion industry. I cant do it alone.
That last statement really is the key, I think. She's not beholden to the fashion industry- she's standing up to the fashion industry. That's where many plus-size models lose their way, and either physically submit to the industry by becoming emaciated (Sophie Dahl), or philosophically submit to it, by defending its reprehensible use of anorexic models.

But Whitney is standing apart, and if she can continue pointing out that there's no reason why fashion needs to be using starving models, but can and should use models with womanly figures instead, she truly could shift the media in the right direction.

Graham
19th May 2008, 16:13
This is definitely one of the best news stories yet about Whitney:

http://abcnews.go.com/print?id=4873965

Compliments to the reporter for an excellent write-up. Here's the relevant text:

Skinny Models Out, Plus-Size In?

Whitney Thompson's 'Top Model' Win Could Usher in a New Era

By SHEILA MARIKAR
May 19, 2008

Could stick-thin models be on their way off the runway?

That's what some are wondering after Whitney Thompson became the first plus-size model to win "America's Next Top Model" last week...

"I've stood there in the middle of an agency with everyone pointing at me and saying 'four more inches off the hips would be great,'" Thompson said. "I don't recommend any girl putting herself through that, but I did and I stand here unchanged, physically.

"Right before I left to do the first episode in L.A., I was with one of my best friends and she said, 'You're f**. You are not going to make it in this competition,'" she continued. "So every week that I made it, I was like, 'Ha!' Obviously, we're not friends anymore."

Thompson is the latest plus-size woman to make waves in the modeling industry. Earlier this year, Chloe Marshall became the first plus-size woman to make the finals of the Miss England competition.

"I know I will stand out from them, but in a good way," the 5-foot-10-inch tall 16-year-old said in March. "I want to bring plus sizes back, and I want to show teenagers that you can be beautiful whatever size you are."...

But big's not a bad thing. Tyra Banks, former catwalk queen and host of "America's Next Top Model," made it her mission to stamp out the "flesh equals failure" mentality after tabloids dubbed her "America's Next Top Waddle" and "Tyra Pork Chop."

In an industry struggling with impossible standards for skinniness, it may be time to get over heroin-chic and welcome back the Rubenesque. Starting in September, the British Fashion Council will require models to present a medical certificate of good health. And in 2006, Spain banned models with a body mass index of less than 18 from its catwalks.

"I personally would welcome more flesh on models," said Simon Doonan, creative director of Barney's and author of "Eccentric Glamour."

"I think that the cadaverously thin models on the runways right now are unattractive, not alluring; they're starting to look old. It's starting to become tired. And fashion is intrinsically cyclical. It makes sense that there should be a shift toward a fuller figure. They couldn't get any thinner than they are now.

"At runway shows, I cringe at how thin the girls are," he added. "And the funny thing is, they don't look alluring. They don't look interesting. They just look incredibly young and incredibly hungry. They don't have a magnetic allure to them the way Linda Evangelista or Naomi Campbell did in the '90s. That disappears when someone gets under a healthy weight."

Thompson beat out 13 other contestants to win the 10th cycle of "America's Next Top Model." Thanks to her win, she's now a Cover Girl for CoverGirl cosmetics and is represented by Elite Model Management. She will also have a cover and six-page spread in the July issue of Seventeen and a billboard in Times Square.

Ken Mok, the executive producer of "America's Top Model," predicts Thompson could be the most successful of all the show's past winners. For her sake, and the sake of the modeling industry, he hopes she ends up being a household name.

"It's a happy breakthrough for us, in the sense of hoping that we can have an effect on the industry that embraces the skinny white girl," he said. "People in the industry poo-poo the idea of a plus-size model. But there's room for tons of different types of people in the world to model. It's ridiculous. It's discrimination, it's biased, it's people stuck in the old way of thinking. That's why it's so important that Whitney not only won but that she does well so that these people shut up."
It's thrilling to hear these remarks, and particularly encouraging to hear them echoed by Simon Doonan, a fashion insider. It's also encouraging to see a major news organization reporting on this.

Let's hope Whitney continues her crusade.

HSG
19th May 2008, 18:46
<br>Excellent comments by Whitney, as always, and also by Mr. Mok. As the executive producer of <i>ANTM,</I> he is as much responsible for this extraordinary move as anyone else. Bravo to him for throwing down a gauntlet to the fashion industry. He couldn't have found a better champion than Whitney.

Long-time readers of this site will remember Simon Doohan for his admirable pro-curvy comments in the 2001 <i>Curve</I> <a href="http://www.judgmentofparis.com/curve.htm" target="_blank">documentary</a> about plus-size models, and for his on-the-mark criticisms of the fashion industry. How regrettable to think that there has really been no improvement in the fashion world from that time to this--if anything, things have gotten worse, not better, with models more malnourished than ever (dying, in fact), and eating disorders rising steadily. Let us hope that Whitney will help finally shatter the toxic "skinny=perfect" myth that the fashion world foists on society, and ruins so many young women's lives.

Fans should tune in to <i>The Big Idea</I> tonight, hosted by Donny Deutsch, on CNBC at 10:00 P.M. Whitney will be one of the guests.

- <a href="http://www.covergirl.com/antm/cycle10/winner.jsp" target="_blank">Congratulations page at CoverGirl.com</a>

Madeline
19th May 2008, 22:09
It's a shame the Covergirl site doesn't have new photos of Whitney.

I really appreciate Anya Kop's comments here (http://www.realitytvworld.com/news/anya-kop-whitney-thompson-winning-top-model-was-totally-on-point-7124.php). For the 1st runner up, she's a much more gracious loser than the other contestants.

"I think being with Whitney as the final contestant, she had just as good of a chance of winning as I did. It was either or. Me and her represented two parts of the modeling industry. She was more curvy, and I was in a different part in the modeling industry," she explained. "I love her with all my heart and I know she's going to go so far in her career because she has a different side of the modeling industry that needs to be brought out further."

Madeline
25th May 2008, 20:38
Whitney at the Indy 500 parade.

http://img267.imageshack.us/img267/8017/devin0157um3.jpg

Madeline
6th June 2008, 00:59
More Whitney:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v84/vesperat/antm/81232691.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v84/vesperat/antm/81227517.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v84/vesperat/antm/81272159.jpg