2008 has been the year of Whitney Thompson.
From February to May, fans watched with mounting astonishment and excitement as she survived week after week of gruelling challenges to take the crown of America's Next Top Model.
In so doing, she achieved what no one thought a full-figured model ever could, overcoming 13 determined underweight rivals, and--more significantly--the institutionalized anti-plus bias of the fashion industry, to become the first plus-size winner in the show's history.
Her subsequent modelling successes and media attention have further thrilled plus-size aficionados, particularly the young girls who are her most ardent supporters, and to whom she is a role model for positive body image.
We were therefore delighted to be given the opportunity to speak with Whitney about her experiences, and to ask her a host of questions on behalf of her many fans.
This interview was conducted on July 25, 2008, two months after Miss Thompson's win, and just prior to the shooting of her celebrated CoverGirl commercials. It is the longest and most detailed interview with Whitney to date, and we are grateful to her for giving us so much time, so that we could gain some insight into the industry's one-and-only plus-size Top Model.
Miss Thompson is famous as much for her soft, girlish voice (the prettiest voice of any model currently working in the industry) as for her extraordinary beauty, so no textual transcript can convey the feminine charm of her utterances. Consequently, beside the standard accompanying images, we have also included ten audio clips, which you can hear by clicking on the word "audio" whenever it appears on the page.
Besides discussing important issues relating to body image and the media, Whitney offers numerous juicy details about events that took place during her cycle but never aired in the actual program. She paints a clear picture of what it was really like to be on the show--and to win.
Have you wondered: Will Whitney betray the cause, as so many of her peers have done?
Will she diminish her size? Will she become a shill for diet profiteers?
Read, and find out.
Tear sheet from Supermodels Unlimited
magazine, Sept/Oct 2008:
- Click here to read interview