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Old 11th October 2010   #1
Senior Member
Join Date: January 2010
Posts: 188
Default New Whitney Thompson interview

I have to say, this is by far the most powerful interview that Whitney Thompson has given ever since her Judgment of Paris interview:

She says the sorts of things that we wish people in the industry would say, but few do.

Case in point:

The reason I went on [Top Model] though, is because I wanted to change the fashion industry. Because it obviously affects people and they way that they view themselves. I mean, when the majority of all 9-year-old girls have been on a diet, we're doing something wrong.

Her actions since the show have definitely proven this point, particularly her work for the National Eating Disorder Association.

She offers solid advice as to what the public can do to fight the fashion industry and its promotion of emaciation:

There are companies that I don't agree with like Victoria's Secret and I tell people to boycott them and I tell people to write them letters and express their emotions. The thing is that we let the fashion industry define what beauty is and then we're putting our money into their pockets, and so we are fueling this
there need to be people out there who say I'm not going to wear your clothes anymore because every model I see in your ads looks sick and I don't support that. People just need to be more verbal. It's quite easy to just write a letter. There's no excuse to not make your voice heard.

But where I find Whitney particularly brave is in the fact that she isn't afraid to slam the industry, and its so-called "important" figureheads, and its pathetic tokenism toward full-figured women, and its continued exclusion of curvy bodies:

Karl Lagerfeld two years ago was saying the only people who care about plus size are the f** mummies sitting on their couches eating crisps. Now he's shooting the plus issue for V, are you kidding? Really V, you forgot about that? I mean, it was a huge issue. And he has a Chanel line for plus girls and Crystal Renn's in it and it's so fake, it's so phony and people just jump on the bandwagon.

Bravo! Finally someone says this. Most people seem to be too cowed to point this out.

So many people ooh and aah about tiny faux-plus models (nowhere near actually plus-size) getting a few token editorials or runway shows, as if this is a huge gift by the industry to us -- when the truth is that it's just a little tiny insignificant crumb, a joke really, while the rest of the industry continues to exclude and discriminate.

Whitney herself talks about how pathetic the situation is:

....everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, but as plus-size girls we've been ignored for so long that it's like you know they throw us a cookie and we're thrilled about it. We are thrilled and we have to be thrilled cause we've never had anything, but at the same time I think we have to be smart about it: Great, I applaud Vogue for having a shape issue, but screw Vogue for not having shapes in every issue. It's B.S. It's frustrating. It's infuriating because we have to be excited, we have to be thrilled that there's one issue that has girls who eat. Great! But it should be in every issue. So I think we have to keep fighting... we have to do more.

THIS is what full-figured women should be saying: not, "Oh, bless you, Vogue, for giving a few images here and there to a size-10 model," but "screw Vogue." Seriously. Too many full-figured women resign themselves to diminished expectations, and act as if seeing a size-8 model walking a Parisian catwalk is the Second Coming. Whitney shows how pathetic it is to resign oneself to second-class status that way.

Whitney also speaks extensively, and more openly than anyone I have ever heard before, about the absolute horrors that the straight-size girls have to go through:

...once they hit puberty, 16 and 17, they have to do drugs, they're doing cocaine, they're smoking cigarettes all day every day...because if they don't then they get shipped back to wherever they came from, and that's just how the industry works.

A lot of girls get depressed, some girls commit suicide, some girls starve to death, literally, and we kind of just don't pay attention to it in the industry. We don't really talk about it, but it's very common.

It's a truly monstrous situation -- but plus-size models scarcely have it better, especially when agencies try to keep the sizes down to ridiculously small faux-plus standards, which are still starvation levels for many girls.

Whitney describes an insidious agency practice that is used to make straight-size or plus-size girls starve:

Agencies feed you a lot of whatever you want to hear: "Oh yeah, I know you're really hungry but Dolce and Gabbana called today and they're looking at your pictures, so make sure you don't get those hips up."

It's sickening. All models should reject such manipulation.

Whitney's concluding line is especially strong. It indicates how one can either be a sell-out, or stand on principle. Whitney stands on principle:

you might be a little thin, but you are by far the most outspoken and involved plus size model. And I'd rather be outspoken than the Chanel girl

YES. Exactly so. I do wish, earnestly, that Whitney were fuller-figured, but although I do NOT support any other faux-plus model, I support her, because she speaks out against the thin-supremacist fashion industry, against the industry's promotion of eating disorders, and in favour of size celebration, better than any other model.

And it is her words -- and not the Sophie Dahls or any other models who stave themselves down to a size that's "acceptable" to the mainstream fashion industry, and become "plus" in name only -- that will truly change the world.
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