A month after Gigi Hadid took on her body-shamers in an Instagram post, model Blanca Padilla, a Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show alum, opened up about the pressure women in her industry face about their bodies. In a recent interview with Risto Mejide on the Spanish show Al Rincón, Padilla said that after growing up with a “complex for being too thin” and trying to keep weight on all her life, it was “a huge personal shock” when she went to a casting call and was told she was too fat. “I’ve been told I’m fat to my face,” she said (translation via the Fashion Spot).
Padilla said she knows many healthy models, but couldn’t deny that some maintain their looks through dangerous behavior. “I’ve heard a girl I used to live with puking in the toilet, or once I was eating some peanuts and offered some to a girl who hadn’t eaten anything all day and she was like ‘alright, these will be my dinner’ and she had like four.”
She said she maintains her weight through healthy eating, but she’s still accused of having an eating disorder:
Sometimes people don’t understand that it’s as offensive to criticize someone for being underweight as it is for being overweight, especially when your job revolves around your image. I always think that one of the most important things you have to learn in this society is to accept yourself, and that’s very hard. Normal people have a lot of issues with this, and it’s the same for models because we actually work with our body and physical appearance. That’s added pressure, because this job isn’t about liking yourself, it’s about being like your clients want. People at home probably think I’m being dramatic, but the only way to truly understand this is if you work in the industry.
So is she on board with Hadid’s recent stand against the industry’s beauty standards? Yes, but she has a few quibbles:
I agree with what [Hadid] said but on the other hand I want equality for everyone. She doesn’t mention her name or situation at all. I don’t have a problem with the fact that you’re a curvy girl on the runway, I support that. But if it was me with your same measurements going to a casting they would send me home to lose weight. Most of us have to conform to extreme measurements because otherwise we won’t book any jobs while others have the privilege to say that designers love them despite their curves. Well then, why do they love you? Maybe your millions of followers on Instagram might have something to do with it as well.
Padilla added that she feels social media’s influence on modeling is “too crazy now,” since a model’s online following can actually influence how many jobs she books. “Everything is quite perplexing now, not fair for everyone, and definitely not equal for everyone,” she said.