The industry has been trying to force it down our throats for a while now that plus-size models are in, but that’s hard to believe when a majority of the girls on the top high-fashion runways look like a size negative something. Plus-size former America’s Next Top Model contestant Whitney Thompson, who has grown up to be a quite articulate 23-year-old, doesn’t believe that plus-size girls are truly “in” because they land in a few major magazines a year. Thompson, who quit straight-size modeling as a teenager because she couldn’t meet the impossible weight demands and couldn’t stomach the bad treatment, told the Huffington Post:
Karl Lagerfeld two years ago was saying the only people who care about plus size are the fat 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. So I think it’s important to do research and be smart about the companies that you do support.
Yeah, everyone is jumping on the bandwagon, but as plus 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 celebrate and pat ourselves on the back for what we’ve done, but we have to do more.
She also decried how models are treated, generally:
Oh yeah, models get treated like crap. Worse than anyone. We get fed last, we don’t sleep, they treat you like nothing. When you think about it, everyone thinks modeling is so glamorous, but you don’t get to say what you wear, you don’t get to say how you look, what your hair color is, what length it is, where you live, what you do — you have no voice at all. And the bookers — because I was a straight-size model growing up in high school, and my hips were always one inch too big — and, yeah, you have 45-year-old men saying, “You’re too fat.” You’re a teenage girl. It’s really disgusting. It’s an awful industry and, yeah, there is no soul in modeling.
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.
I lived in a model apartment with all straight [size] models. One of the girls was on the lemonade cleanse for, I think, three weeks and her skin broke out all over in boils. But she was working in Paris every weekend and that’s all that mattered to her. And does the agency say anything? They’re not worried she’s too skinny, they’re worried she looks nasty because she has boils.