“You’re still a person and you can be as beautiful as you want and it doesn’t come down to centimeters, it’s how you are and how you portray yourself, ” As I read the words spoken by ousted Top Model, Ananda Marchildon, my internal dialogue was whooping and cheering you go girl!
But, the more I thought about it, my mental celebration was rather short lived. While I am pleased with the ruling and I think this gorgeous, strong woman was treated horribly, I feel it was somewhat of a shallow victory. Elite got a $98,500 slap on the wrist for unrealistically glorifying and perpetually idealizing a woman’s body.
Elite felt they “were in the right” by their actions. Actions like sending e-mails in an attempt to encourage her to get from the 98 centimeters (38.6 inches) she had become, back to the 92 centimeters (36.2 inches) that she was at the time she won.
“We agreed that you would come by us every two weeks for an evaluation, how it’s going with your diet and exercise and losing weight. We’re going to keep measuring you.”
“Today, March 23 2010, we measured your hips at 98 centimeters. This is a reminder! The goal is that you have a hip circumference of no more than 90 centimeters at the end of June.”
Yet, at the time she won, Marchildon was at 92 centimeters. Elite wanted her smaller. Marchildon heavily dieted and starved herself, but was unable to get below 92 centimeters, leaving a spokesperson from Elite Models to allegedly tell her that due to her “fat ass,” she was unfit for modeling.
The more I learned, the madder I got. Because this woman, with a 6-foot frame and 36-inch hips, has been written off as “too fat”‘ by the fashion industry.
Sure, we all know the fashion industry has unrealistic, waif-like expectations, but where does it stop? The influence doesn’t end there. Society’s expectations are molded by crap like this.
If she is “too fat” to model the clothes on a runway that are the prototypes of clothes that end up in the department stores where you and I shop, where does that leave normal sized women? Women like me, 5’4″ with 41-inch hips? Crying in a fitting room? Wondering why pants ride up in weird places? And why shirts are too short and the fits are altogether wrong for a body type that is not stick-like and Amazonian? Yeah, pretty much that.
If she has a “fat ass,” to what lengths will a 14-year-old girl with a similar build go to change that?
image courtesy The Daily Beast