By Tracey Lomrantz, Glamour magazine
It's hardly news around here that plus size models are starting to gain serious spotlight in the fashion world--look to the Paris runways, the mainstream success of girls like Crystal Renn, or the pages of our magazine each month for proof--but plus size model and America's Next Top Model winner Whitney Thompson is wary that it may be a passing fad.
In a new interview with the Huffington Post, Thompson talks about the modeling industry in general ("There is no soul in modeling," she says) and the plus size phenomenon specifically. She's a former straight-size model who quit modeling because she was so hungry, then decided she didn't have to starve herself and became a plus-size model instead.
She went on to become the first plus-size winner of ANTM, but her relationship with the modeling industry hasn't always been a bed of roses. In the interview, she says, "I'd love to introduce myself to people as a model, [but] if I do that, they look me up and down and go Really? And so I have to say I'm a plus size model. But, truthfully, size six is considered plus size and some size fours are too fat to be models. My BMI is where it's supposed to be and I workout and I eat right -- I mean most of the time. It's all about balance."
She's also fearful that not everyone in the fashion industry is genuine in their championing of plus-size models: "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."
Read the full interview with Whitney here, then tell us what you think about her comments. Do you agree that people are "jumping on the bandwagon" to include plus size models in their ad campaigns, editorial pages, and fashion shows? Or do you think any representation of fuller figure is an improvement, no matter the motivation? Discuss!
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