Katie Green has a spectacular rack. Everyone agrees. At least enough people voted her – and her 30F’s (no that’s not a typo – can you imagine?) – to be the winner of Wonderbra’s “Real Women” campaign. At first Green was “completely bowled over” by the news that she had been picked by her British countrymen (and women?) despite her “curvy size 12” frame (that’s a size 8 US). But it didn’t take long for reality to sink in. No, not the reality of posing in her skivvies on thousands of billboards and in international print ads. But the reality of her “weight problem.”
Despite being picked for her, ahem, size, Green was quickly informed by her modelling agency – the one recommended by Wonderbra – that she need to lose “two stone” (28 pounds) because the average size for models was a UK size 8-10 (a US size 4-6). The agency justified their stance by saying, “We advised Katie that commercial and lingerie models need to be an average size 10 as is requested by the market sector she wanted to model for. This is a healthy size that can be achieved through exercise and good nutrition.”
I’m assuming the agency meant for her to lose the weight from places other than her moneymakers – a feat not easily accomplished unless said goody bags are filled with silicone.
Green, showing a rare display of pragmatism in an insane business, opted to quit rather than pull a Beoynce and drop 20 pounds in 2 weeks. And for that I want to celebrate her. Green said she has aspirations to be a cop – and not of the naughty variety. I wish her all success in her endeavor. Although I have a feeling there are going to be a LOT of young males swerving around her precinct with missing headlights. (Could that sentence have come out sounding any dirtier? You know what I meant.)
A Drop In The Undersized Model Bucket
In a similar and equally tragic-turned-fist-pumping-awesome incident, Kim Brittingham reported via The Weighting Game about her travails with the PR firm for Avenue clothing, a plus size brand. Brittingham, a noted and gutsy size acceptance activist, was invited by the firm to a meeting to discuss her potential endorsement of the brand. Once she arrived however, she was told that the woman who arranged the meeting, Kellie Brown of 5W public relations, had seen Brittingham walk in and immediately cancelled the meeting declaring her as too fat to represent Avenue. Despite the fact that Brittingham routinely wears Avenue clothing. Despite the fact that Ms. Brown is significantly plus-sized herself.
So who should sell large-sized bras to big-busted women and plus-sized clothing to plus-sized women if not big-busted and plus-sized models? Apparently the industry only wants “undersized models” – a term aptly coined by Brittingham – to represent average-sized and larger women. In an industry where, as Leslie Goldman points out, Mariska Hargitay calls herself “full-figured” in Self magazine, Eva Longoria Parker is “fat” at a size 0, and Whitney Thompson is a plus-sized model at a US size 6, these examples are the norm and not the exception.
In the past women have been subjugated by groups (men, religions, governments) but now we are doing it to ourselves. And all in the name of fashion.