PUBLISHER’S CORNER: Real Talk

13 Oct

Chenese Lewis (top left) & Whitney Thompson (bottom right) pose for the Love Your Body Day (Oct 23, 2010) ad

I had a lot of things I wanted to cover today in my weekly rant on whatever’s on my brain at the time, but to be honest with you I don’t have the energy.  It’s been a tough ride these past few weeks…I suppose I’ll just leave it at that.  But I did find an amazing interview with Whitney Thompson by Sunny Gold via the Huffington Post.  I only snagged a few bits of the article (you’ll find the link below to read the interview in its entirety) and I must say the points Whitney made about the plus industry are exactly where my own frustrations lie. 

Excerpts from First Plus-Size ‘America’s Next Top Model’ Winner Speaks Out About Body Image by Sonny Gold

Q: Sometimes with advocates for any kind of change, there’s a lot of venom. They sort of say, “Everyone is evil, look at what they’re doing!” rather educating. Where do you fall?

WT: Well, I definitely try to offer solutions. There are companies that I don’t agree with like Victoria’s Secret and I tell people to boycott them and I tell people to write them letters and express their emotions. The thing is that we let the fashion industry define what beauty is and then we’re putting our money into their pockets, and so we are fueling this. It’s not all their fault, we are equally as responsible.

So I think it’s important that you make it known. If you don’t like girls who are size two with breast implants being waved around in front of your daughter and being told to them that that’s what’s beautiful, then don’t support it. Cancel the magazines. Write them letters and say I don’t want these girls in the magazine. Tell them if you’re not going to put a size six, if you’re not going to put a size eight, forget it.

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.

Q: Plus modeling seems to be having a real moment.

WT: 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 More]

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