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Old 26th December 2010   #4
Join Date: July 2005
Posts: 1,784
Default Re: New Whitney Thompson interview

Every Whitney Thompson fan wishes that she were a tad fuller-figured, but with this interview she reaffirms her position as one of the most important plus-size models in the industry, thanks to her uncompromising nature and her resolutely pro-curvy mantra.

This site has never championed any America's Next Top Model contestant as much as we championed Miss Thompson right from her first episode, even when the idea of a plus-size girl winning the competition seemed utterly impossible. But from the very beginning, Whitney was different. She was beautiful, yes, but more importantly, she was on a mission. She believed in size celebration with every fibre of her being, and wasn't afraid of denouncing the fashion industry for its pro-anorexia agenda. This HuffPo interview demonstrates that far from being co-opted by the fashion world, she has become even more outraged by the industry's abuses the more she has seen of them.

Everything that she says in the excepts that Meredith posted is absolutely true, and should make readers angrier than ever at the systematic abuses of the fashion world. One of Miss Thompson's most significant points is that the full-figured public in particular needs to do more to combat thin-supremacism:

Originally Posted by Meredith
Too many full-figured women resign themselves to diminished expectations...Whitney states how pathetic it is to resign oneself to second-class status that way.

Exactly. "Anything" is not better than nothing, as a faux-plus presentation can do more harm than good. As we suggested in a recent post, the full-figured public has a tendency to internalize its own oppression to the point where it meekly accepts a size-8 model as some kind of quasi-"representation," just because she isn't a size 2. But that size-8 model is filling the space that should go to a genuinely full-figured goddess (size 16 or better). And rewarding the fashion industry for such tokenism is merely abetting its oppressive practices, and undermining the subversiveness of the plus-size industry by signalling that other full-figured models should similarly starve themselves to approach minus-size standards.

Whitney's words also provide a springboard for criticism of the current state of the plus-size fashion industry:

Originally Posted by Meredith
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.

Given the present condition of the industry, where full-figured models have predominately been whittled down to nearly straight-size proportions, becoming a plus-size model is not always a cure-all. For many models, being a mere size 16 or 18 (let alone a faux-plus size 12) is almost as unnatural and painful as being a size 2. Many women still have to deprive themselves terribly to maintain a size 16. It's simply not enough for them, not enough food, and their bodies naturally desire more. Only when they reach sizes in the 20s do they find that they can comfortably eat as much as they want, and feel good physically, and be happy and satisfied. Models over a size 20 should definitely be a part of the industry, so long as they are gorgeous and photogenic enough to show the public that authentically curvy girls can be beautiful. And in particular, a model who blossoms into a size 20+ from a smaller size should be applauded for growing curvier, just as figure-diminishment should be condemned.

On the issue of principle, Miss Thompson frames the situation perfectly when she says that

I'd rather be outspoken than the Chanel girl.

This concisely lays out the choice that not only plus-size models face, but anyone who works in fashion, especially at the plus-size level, from agents to editors to bloggers. Everyone who is involved in the industry can either sell out to win the approval of the powers that be (and thus end up aiding and abetting the curve-o-phobes in oppressing full-figured women, spreading eating disorders, and poisoning the culture), or stand firm in their principles and effect much-needed change in favour of larger women.

One should extend Whitney's comments to include all of these categories:

I'd rather be outspoken than the Chanel editor.
I'd rather be outspoken than the Chanel agent.
I'd rather be outspoken than the Chanel blogger.

And so forth.

As Renata observes, promoting clothing is far less important that promoting the restoration of timeless beauty, which should always be the ultimate goal of any model, editor, photograph, blogger, etc. in plus-size fashion.

Whitney has taken many fine photographs over the years, but perhaps our favourite expressions of her beauty remain her unforgettable CoverGirl commercials, with their lyrical settings and positive themes. Here are two of the best:

- Our own Whitney Thompson interview

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