Wednesday, October 14, 2009

According to Ralph Lauren, even unhealthily thin is still 'too fat.'

Twenty-three year old Filippa Hamilton has spoken out about the decision by Ralph Lauren to not renew her contract because she is 'too large.'

NEW YORK - A former Ralph Lauren model whose image in a roundly criticized advertisement was digitally slenderized said Wednesday that the apparel maker did not renew her contract because she was “too large.”

Polo Ralph Lauren Corp. is contending that it dismissed Filippa Hamilton because of a contract dispute and that the photo was mistakenly released.

“They fired me because they said I was overweight and I couldn't fit in their clothes anymore,” 23-year-old Filippa Hamilton, who worked for the company since she was 15, told the Daily News. She said she considered Polo Ralph Lauren her second family.


Now HERE COMES THE STUNNER:

The photo's emaciated depiction of her, with hips about as narrow as her head, could make young women “think that it's normal to look like that — and it's not,” the 5-foot-10, 120-pound model told NBC's “Today” show.

“I saw my face on this super-extremely skinny girl, which is not me; it's not healthy, it's not right,” she said.

Polo Ralph Lauren claimed she “was too large,” she added, saying that she's a size 4 and that her weight has remained constant during eight years as a model for the iconic American brand, which has dressed U.S. Olympic teams.


Now, looking at tables available from health check systems,

a 5'10" woman with a small frame (let's give them the benefit of the doubt and assume that she is naturally slender) should weigh between 132 and 145 pounds.

This means that Hamilton is already nearly 10% below the minimum weight for her height that would be considered 'healthy,' even in women who are naturally slender.

Except according to Ralph Lauren, even unhealthily skinny is now 'too fat.'

This bothers me because I have a total of seven daughters and granddaughters and I want them to have a healthy and positive self-image without actually trying to starve themselves. It has been said that America is the only country where people starve to death in a house full of food, and thanks to anorexia, bulimia and a whole host of other disorders linked to a media- and fashion-driven desire to 'be thin,' we now have millions of healthy women (and a disturbingly rapidly increasing number of men) literally destroying their bodies so they can look 'thin.'

I'm not a 'burn Barbie' type of extremist about this but I do believe that given the continuing irresponsible behavior of the fashion industry in the face of years of publicity and objections raised about this behavior, it may be time to legislate minimum weights for models, similar to what has been done in Spain.

1 comment:

sandyh said...

I find fashion designers odd ducks. They design clothes for non-existent customers. You'd think they could figure out that they would sell more it they were more realistic.

I guess that's why they consider themselves artists instead of business people?

It never fails that whenever a major clothing manufacturer commissions designs that flatter the "real" woman's figure, they cash in big time. The recent trend toward empire waists in one example. Every woman is shaped to fit into that design and it also makes them look good.

Small waists are based on a hormonal abnormality that exists for just the first few years of puberty and soon disappears with the consumption of fast food.

We eat too much in American culture. But it still doesn't matter. Once a woman has a baby, her figure will never be the same as a virgin. Throw in menopause for older women, and the transformation around the midsection is permanent.