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Old 14-10-2009, 07:31 PM   #1
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Model fired for being "too fat"

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If you asked people at random to describe Filippa Hamilton in a word, you’d hear a lot of synonyms for “gorgeous.” What you wouldn’t hear is “fat.”

And yet the model says that is essentially why she was fired by Ralph Lauren after eight years with the fashion designer.

“They said I couldn’t fit in their clothes anymore,” the stunner told TODAY’s Ann Curry Wednesday in New York. Hamilton said that Lauren wrote a letter to her agent saying, “We’re terminating your services because you don’t fit into the sample clothes that you need to wear.”
Ralph Lauren denied that she was fired for being too large.

“We consider her an important part of our imaging and branding,” the designer said in a statement to the media. “We regret that our relationship has ended as a result of her inability to meet the obligations under her contract with us.” (Read the company's full statement here.)

Hamilton denied not meeting her obligations to a company that she called her second family.

“I did everything that I could. I was very loyal to them. I was on time every time,” Hamilton told Curry.

Photoshopping controversy
The 23-year-old Swedish-French model, who had been working for Lauren since she was 15, told Curry that Ralph Lauren fired her in April through her agency. She said she had no intention of going public with her complaint, but changed her mind when a Photoshopped image of her in a mall in Japan showed up on the Internet site BoingBoing.com.


TODAY
Ralph Lauren admitted that the digitally manipulated image of Hamilton 'resulted in a very distorted image of a woman's body.'
The advertising image, emblazoned with the Ralph Lauren name, showed a painfully emaciated woman. Bloggers were quick to point out that in the image Hamilton’s head was bigger than her hips.

“They Photoshopped her in a way that for me is grotesque and makes her look like a cartoon,” Geoffrey Menin, Hamilton’s attorney, told NBC News. “The trouble is that it’s damaging to her. Who wants to hire somebody that looks like that?”

Ralph Lauren quickly removed the ad and moved legally to demand that the images be taken off the Web. “We have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body,” the company said in a statement.

Despite the disclaimer, Hamilton said the distorted image moved her to speak out.

“It’s not a good example when you see this picture, every young woman is going to look at it and think that it is normal to look like that. It’s not,” she told Curry. “I saw my face on this super-extremely skinny girl, which is not me. It makes me sad. It makes me think that Ralph Lauren wants to have this kind of image. It’s an American brand ... and it’s not healthy, and it’s not right.”

She said being let go was an emotional blow. “I was very sad. I’ve been working with them since I was 15 years old. For me, they were my second family, so I was very hurt by this,” Hamilton said.

Fashion’s ‘vicious circle’
The thought that she is too fat to model is also devastating. Others in the industry agree.

TODAY
Hamilton has modeled for the designer since she was 15.

Leslie Goldman, a body image expert, told NBC News: “The thought of this model being too fat is laughable. When you see her, she’s extremely tall and extremely thin. She has a perfect model’s body, but apparently not perfect enough.”

Kate White, the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, joined Hamilton and Curry and agreed with Goldman. White said that the problem is something of a vicious circle.

“It really starts with the sample clothes. They’ve downsized. In some degree it relates to the Kate era,” she said, referring to Kate Moss, the super-thin supermodel whose career began in 1988 at the age of 14. “Before then, supermodels like Cindy Crawford and Christie Brinkley — they were really curvy. But they got skinnier and skinnier. The clothes got smaller. So it creates this cycle where you have to fit in the clothes to get the job, and then the models get smaller and that’s who we have to use in the fashion stories.”

White said that despite some recent efforts to show normal women in fashion magazines, women have to force the industry to change.

“I think women have to protest, and back it up, because sometimes women say they want real girls in stories, but often those stories don’t rate as well, and if you put a heavy celebrity on the cover, it may not sell as well,” White said. “Women have to complain and then back it up with their actions — with their pocketbooks.”
What do you guys think of that?

Personally, I think it's disgusting and really is just setting a horrible example to young girls. There isn't anything wrong with that model at all, she looks good the way she is. Discuss?


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Old 14-10-2009, 07:33 PM   #2
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Shes underweight, that's ridiculous!


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Old 14-10-2009, 07:38 PM   #3
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That's what I thought when I read it! Size 4 is tiny. eople say I'm tiny, and I don't even wear her size. I think this is sending a horrible example to young girls of this whole "perfect body is stick thin" idea. I really think these magazines need to start taking responsibility, and I am so glad they had that photo shopped picture of her taken off the internet..it's so unhealthy.


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Old 14-10-2009, 07:45 PM   #4
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Which is still tiny!

But meh it's the fashion industry, they do what they like and are just completely removed from real life.


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Old 14-10-2009, 07:46 PM   #5
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The fashion industry disgusts me. Anyone who makes an eating disorder seem desirable (or worse, necessary) to look good, or be accepted, disgusts me.

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Old 14-10-2009, 07:49 PM   #6
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Models are supposed to be hangers. A number of them look unhealthy - which is when it's a problem, but models aren't supposed to look like real people, they are supposed to be a model for the clothes.

Eh.

I think what's far, far more worrying (as I've said before) are the people on TV and those celebrities who are just celebrities, who are all desperately underweight. Those are the people that young girls aspire to, and - more importantly - can relate to, so they need to portray a healthier image more than the hangers wearing clothes that nobody could ever afford to buy :P

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Old 14-10-2009, 08:00 PM   #7
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But fashion, especially catwalk/high-end fashion where 'size-zero' seems to be the biggest problem, is essentially art. It's expressionism, it's creating things, it's not wearable to 99% of the public. It's just about, idk? creating trends and seasons.

If New Look, for example, were to do a fashion show using 'size-zero' models, it just wouldn't work; their clothes just aren't small enough and wouldn't fit and would look awful :P

But Versace, for example, unless you're horrifically wealthy, you wouldn't be able to buy what was on the catwalk. What is in their shops, yes, and couture if you're very lucky - but they're set up and created for real people. The catwalk is almost for showing your stimulus and what you can do if you are allowed to go wild :P

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Old 14-10-2009, 08:01 PM   #8
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I really think it's disgusting, and it makes me sad that it'll probably be this way for awhile. I personally have body image issues, and when I hear that girls wearing sizes smaller than me are "too fat" it doesn't make me feel good at all, it just encourages the fact I want to be thinner. It doesn't matter whether it's models or celebrities on TV or in movies, I think they have too big of an impact on girls' and boys' self-esteem and idea of perfection.










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Old 14-10-2009, 08:20 PM   #9
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She's not fat at all. It's ridiculous. I don't see how having someone who is slightly bigger going to make the clothes look worse. This is what I hate about fashion.


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Old 14-10-2009, 08:27 PM   #10
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it makes me sad. and angry



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Old 14-10-2009, 08:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreaming. View Post
But fashion, especially catwalk/high-end fashion where 'size-zero' seems to be the biggest problem, is essentially art. It's expressionism, it's creating things, it's not wearable to 99% of the public. It's just about, idk? creating trends and seasons.
Yeah but she was fired from Ralph Lauren. Their clothes are not couture, they're meant to be worn and they're not prohibitively expensive for the middle/upper-middle classes and above. So I don't think that argument really applies to this case.



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Old 14-10-2009, 08:41 PM   #12
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I for the most part agree with Jo (dreaming) about catwalk models/high end fashionestas but as it's Ralph Lauren we are talking about and not versace I don't think that applies as Ralph Lauren in America is like River Island to us.

I think it's bad she got fired
But it doesn't suprise me.
I'm just glad I'm not a model.


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Old 14-10-2009, 08:49 PM   #13
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Im 5'11' and the same size as her. I used to be a catwalk model and was let go for the same reason. Its totally unfair. I agree with what everybody has already said. Things need to change!






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Old 14-10-2009, 09:25 PM   #14
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Yeah but she was fired from Ralph Lauren. Their clothes are not couture, they're meant to be worn and they're not prohibitively expensive for the middle/upper-middle classes and above. So I don't think that argument really applies to this case.
I hear what you're saying. I'm kind-of talking more so for the whole 'omfg catwalk models should be fatter!' type-argument rather than this specific situation per-ce, and I certainly don't think that she's 'fat' or deserved to be fired (and on that note, it's also true to say that we don't know the real circumstances of this situation, merely what a fired model is telling us) - but I don't think that making models, who people already view as unrealistic for 90% of the population, larger will necessarily change anything, and I think by doing so you would lose a lot in terms of catwalk fashion.

Please don't misunderstand me; I fully believe that models should be healthy and that some models are now too extremely thin, at the point where they clearly aren't healthy - and that's something that needs to be addressed. However, there are some people who are healthily very tall and very slim, and fantastic for modelling clothes. That's essentially it, for me - that the models are just that, models upon which the clothes are being modelled, as I've mentioned before, coathangers. But that's just what I believe, anyway.

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Originally Posted by Irene
It doesn't have to be that though.

At the high end it has been allowed to develop far away from good design, not because of the shapes of the super-wealthy, but to flog perfumes to ordinary people.

Couture runs at a loss, and ready-to-wear just about makes a profit. It's all about getting us to buy into the brand image by making us think that if we can look like that if we do.
But again - it's a model. People look at this and they see a model, they don't see somebody who you want to be or share your life with. It's perhaps not totally healthy, but I don't think it's the biggest issue we currently have either, in terms of body-image - but it seems that too much focus is being put on models and the fashion industry 'proper', rather than the high-street fashion industry.


Don't get me wrong - I do think that something needs to change somewhere down the line, and that - especially high-street - fashion needs to be friendlier to people who aren't six-foot-nothing and 100lb (topshop is a prime example of this), but I just also think that too much attention is being focussed on making models fatter, and we're somehow completely missing those awful gossip magazines that focus solely on weight, and how much people have gained and lost, and how they're too fat! then too skinny! - this is real life, people with whom you can relate to (if you follow them particularly), and real, harsh criticism about the fact that they've gained sixlb. I really don't think that many attitudes will change towards food and appearance, especially in young people who don't really have the same contact with catwalks and the real fashion industry as they do with these magazines, while this is still going on, and while there isn't anybody young on Corrie or Eastenders who weighs over 120lb.

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Old 14-10-2009, 09:40 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dreaming. View Post
and we're somehow completely missing those awful gossip magazines that focus solely on weight, and how much people have gained and lost, and how they're too fat! then too skinny! - this is real life, people with whom you can relate to (if you follow them particularly), and real, harsh criticism about the fact that they've gained sixlb. I really don't think that many attitudes will change towards food and appearance, especially in young people who don't really have the same contact with catwalks and the real fashion industry as they do with these magazines, while this is still going on, and while there isn't anybody young on Corrie or Eastenders who weighs over 120lb.
God I could not agree more with this!!!!

It is certianly unfair that this woman lost her job. There is no way she could be considered fat and it seems a shame that Ralph Lauren felt they could not get clothes to fit her or at least move her into a different department?! I mean, underwear still like to use "fuller" women.
There is probably something she can do about unfair dismissal, maybe.

But yet again all the focus is on a fashion industry that very few women really pay that much attention to. I have no idea who this woman is. I have no idea when fashion week is or who the "now" models are. And I don't know anyone else who is into this either...

I do, however, know a lot of people who compare themselves to the latest singer or actress, who want to do the ridiculous diets that these trashy gossip magazines actually print, who won't get into a bikini until they are stick thin!
As Jo said, these magazines actually pick on those who have gained a few lbs then instantly criticize them for losing any weight.
There are those dreadful "circle of shame" pages where every little sweat patch, fat bulge, cellulite or stretch mark is zoomed in on and circled in big red 'pen'! It's disgusting and they get away with it every single week!

One fashion designer makes a negative decision and there is all this uproar! No one would have had clue about this woman if she hadn't have gone to the press (I suspect this is why she did it...) but everyone knows if Cheryl Cole has gained a couple of pounds or if Brittany Spears forgot to put on make up and for all the nit picking and criticism nothing gets done about these magazine editors!!



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Old 15-10-2009, 01:36 PM   #16
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It's wrong that she was fired for that reason. Models need more encouragement to be a healthy weight.

I think magazines that slate a celebrity because they're eating chips (or anything, most of the time) or because they have put on weight and then praise them for losing weight are a huge part of the problem. They encourage people to think that eating is wrong and that the only way to look good and be accepted in the world is to lose weight and be ultra thin. I also think that magazines aimed at the younger generation need more empasis on healthy weights, diets and really need to show that curves aren't bad.

There is so much empahsis at the moment on obesity and people being over-weight and very little (from what I've seen, so correct me if I'm wrong) on people who are severly underweight. Kinda seems like that will only make the problem worse?

Sorry if that makes no sense at all.


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Old 15-10-2009, 01:55 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ScreamSongsOfGlory View Post
She's not fat at all. It's ridiculous. I don't see how having someone who is slightly bigger going to make the clothes look worse. This is what I hate about fashion.

I never bought into the idea that fashion people like the girls to have their breasts and hips starved off them just so the clothes look better. A lot of the designers don't even find girls attractive. I think the more girls bodies resemble teen boys the more the designers themselves like them. You don't see many guy models starved ultra think so they are "just hangers for the clothes", and you cant say its more feminine when half the feminine features are starved away.


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Old 19-10-2009, 08:45 AM   #18
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Disgusting on so many levels.

The twig thin body imagine that's getting promoted is getting on my nerves. It makes me angry to hear about this.

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