ANTM‘s Whitney Thompson: There’s No Soul In Modeling
Two years ago, Whitney Thompson won America’s Next Top Model. While this would be a very cool accomplishment for anyone, it was especially awesome that Thompson won while being branded “plus size,” making her the first plus size model to take the ANTM crown.
Thompson still does the modeling thing, but she spends most of her time touring the country as a spokesperson for the National Eating Disorders Association. Despite having never suffered from an eating disorder herself, she says she feels a duty as the fashion industry is “[obviously] affecting people and it does make women feel bad about themselves, or worse.” We love Thompson’s real talk, so we excerpted some of her interview with Sunny Gold over at the Huffington Post.
As much as we love Karl, we have to say we felt the same way about his V Magazine spread:
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.
On “naturally skinny” models:
The majority of girls who do runway shows are 16 and under. Agencies and designers look for girls who haven’t hit puberty yet and so we ship these girls in from Russia and Brazil and they’re 14 and they don’t speak English and these are the girls that I go to castings with. That’s fine, they’re all great and young and “naturally skinny,” when they’re 14 — most people are. But then once they hit puberty, 16 and 17, they have to do drugs, they’re doing cocaine, they’re smoking cigarettes all day every day, they’re doing the lemonade cleanse because if they don’t then they get shipped back to wherever they came from, and that’s just how the industry works.
A lot of girls get depressed, some girls commit suicide, some girls starve to death, literally, and we kind of just don’t pay attention to it in the industry. We don’t really talk about it, but it’s very common.
The samples are tiny to save money. Because when you make a sample, say there’s a Versace gown and it’s hand-beaded and it costs Donatella $40,000 to do. And she makes it for a size six, OK a model’s going wear it on the runway and it probably will never get worn again. Well, wouldn’t it be smarter for her to make it in a double 0? Because she’s saving all this fabric, which means she’s saving beading, she’s saving work on the dress and it’s cheaper. She’s saving a lot of money by doing it at that size. And that’s I think where it started and basically where it stayed. It goes back to models having no rights or say in the industry and instead of fitting the dress to the model, they fit the model to the dress.
Even though Thompson continues to model, she despises the industry:
Oh yeah, models get treated like crap. Worse than anyone. We get fed last, we don’t sleep, they treat you like nothing. When you think about it, everyone thinks modeling is so glamorous, but you don’t get to say what you wear, you don’t get to say how you look, what your hair color is, what length it is, where you live, what you do — you have no voice at all. And the bookers — because I was a straight-size model growing up in high school, and my hips were always one inch too big — and, yeah, you have 45-year-old men saying, “You’re too fat.” You’re a teenage girl. It’s really disgusting. It’s an awful industry and, yeah, there is no soul in modeling.