Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Whitney Thompson


Last Tuesday, I attended the red carpet of Samsung's 8th Annual Four Seasons of Hope Gala to interview Whitney Thompson (the first plus size winner of America's Next Top Model). Let me just get this out of the way and say what everyone's thinking: this girl is nowhere near plus size---I'm guessing she's a size 8, at most.



I almost felt weird asking her questions regarding her size, because the truth is, no matter what I asked, her answers would in no way relate to the experiences of true plus size women in America. Nevertheless, I was invited there to ask her a few questions, so I did my duty. Red carpet "interviews" are approximately 45 seconds anyway; I was just happy I got to stand within three feet of John Legend (big crush) and Kelis (bigger crush).



(I'm excusing Kelis for this fug outfit because she's 8 months pregnant)

Anyway, back to Whitney. She was wearing a cute bodycon dress, her makeup was flawless, and she was super sweet.

YFF: What has been your experience in the plus size modeling industry so far?
WT: Um, yeah, everything has been really great since I won the show. I've gotten a lot of support and it's a wonderful show because it's in 140 countries, which I think a lot of people don't realize. And a lot of people associate Americans with being overweight, which is just ridiculous because people deal with these issues all the time all over the world...so I get fan mail from people in Hong Kong and Australia and New Zealand and it's just really cool because I feel like I'm making an impact.

YFF: Cool. So what have you been doing since the show ended?
WT: I've been busy! I'm writing a memoir and I'm shooting a pilot for my cooking show, and I'm just doing a lot of stuff. I'm also signed with Wilhelmina now as well...so yeah, life is good.

YFF: Sounds great! Who inspires your fashion and style?
WT: You know, I'm pretty bad at styling anything. I'm really bad at hair and makeup and dressing myself... I depend on a lot of people. But, I've always looked up to, you know, the old classic icons, Tyra Banks, Cindy Crawford, and just people who were leaders in the fashion industry but aren't necessarily uh...

YFF: Fashionistas?
WT: Yeah, yeah, not the Kate Mosses, you know? I'm not walking around in my mini shorts and crop tops.

YFF: Got it! Well, thank you so much for your time, it was great meeting you.
WT: Thank you, nice meeting you too.

I don't know how I feel about Whit. She's obviously a total sweetheart, but I can't help but be a little off put that she's touted as ANTM's first plus size winner, as if she somehow proves that the modeling industry is okay with bigger girls. I guess in theory I should be happy that someone above a size 4 finally won ANTM, but I can't say I'm impressed. I hope Tyra and the gang eventually choose a winner above a size 10.

32 comments:

  1. She seems pretty lame, and she has no fashion mind of her own? Try again Whit.

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  2. I don't speak a very good English, but it seems that she doesn't know anything about plus size modeling and even not about any kind of style or anything in the fashion industry!!!

    oooh aw John Legend :-D

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  3. i think its a little unfair for you to write Whitney off when the real blame should be put on the industry not the girl. she's too "big" to be a model but she's too skinny to be considered worth "young, fat and fabulous"'s time? poor form ladies. as a size ten myself i find this very disconcerting.

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  4. I agree with meg. I wear a size 8 and sometimes a 6. While that's not plus size, it's not "skinny" either. I'm in no way, shape, or form model material because I'm not skinny enough AND I'm not fat. NOT FAIR for people like me. Everyone's standing up for the thin people and the fat people. But NO ONE ever notices the people in the middle anymore.

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  5. @meg, I don't place any blame on Whitney! Again, I'm bitter that the INDUSTRY touts her as this plus size model to look up to, when in reality she is not plus size at all.

    The only reason I was a little put off by Whit herself is because she seemed very nervous and not comfortable in her own skin. She was a total sweetheart though, and super cute.

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  6. @meg, @mb12

    I want to add some more before this blows up! I really hope you guys don't think i'm trying to "bash" thinner women; I was simply expressing my frustrations that models who are supposed to represent plus sizes are NOT plus sized themselves. This is obviously not the models' fault, but I hope you can see why that may be disappointing for those of us who are plus size.

    It's not that Whitney is not "worth" YFF's time, and I apologize if that's how it came off. It's that in many ways, her experience is not directly related to YFF's content (which is targeted at FAT fashion).

    I understand that women all over the size spectrum have their frustrations; being a size 6 and 8 may be tough because you feel forgotten, but THIS specific blog was created to talk about plus size (14+) fashion. I hope that there are other blogs/forums that do cater to women who feel stuck in between, because know that has its own set of issues that need to be addressed. (That is obviously not to say that you aren't welcome here!!! I love all my readers!)

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  7. @meg, I understand your point that the industry is to blame for the skewed perceptions of body image. However, I think what Gabi was trying to imply was exactly that! It isn't Whitney's fault. The problem is that the INDUSTRY perceives a size 8 to be plus sized. While a size 8 (reference photo of whitney here: http://www.usmagazine.com/files/whitney-thompson-g.jpg) is not rail thin as you point out, I find it a bit disconcerting that they find it to be plus-sized. I find it to be average, or as MB12 points out, in the middle. Then again, many people have different opinions of what constitutes as plus-sized, so there's that too. This IS a blog to talk about plus-sized fashion, as Gabi points out, 14+. So I see no problem with Gabi's statement that she doesn't think Thompson can really give an accurate perspective from a plus-size gal's point of view. Back to what MB12 says, she's more in the middle I'd say.
    Anyhow, the only issue I have with Whitney is this: I don't think she should be considered a style icon of any sort. Which is fine. I don't mind that either; I'm not asking for her to be. I'm just not sure if she has a grasp on fashion, as she cites Tyra Banks and Cindy Crawford as her "icons." But whatever, I don't really care about that too much. I think she looks cute. But I definitely don't think she should be considered "plus-sized" or that her experiences are one of a plus-sized woman.

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  8. She's writing a memoir? Isn't she a little young and not nearly famous enough to write a memoir? Also, why does she get a cooking show? Because she's "fat?"

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  9. That's so crazy because Cheryl Tiegs was a supermodel and she was a size 8/10 for most of her career. She weighed a healthy 120 rather than the fomula she gave in her book 100 lbs for the first 5 feet and 3 lbs per inch after that. She said she "should" weigh 130 but went 10 lbs lighter because of the camera. That's acceptable. I should weigh 106. I don't think I will ever see that.

    Now she probably wouldn't make it.

    What the hell is going on?

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  10. Gabi, I love your blog and I come here every day hoping for an update! I love Whitney because she's one of the few girls that looks like me in fashion (I'm a 6, sometimes 8, so neither the zeroes nor the actual plus-size models look anything like me!) To call her plus-size is a LIE, and I don't know why people are upset with you for pointing that out!

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  11. All who blog write a memoir of sorts. Cheers to us. :)

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  12. In case you don't know who she is, here is a page on Cheryl Tiegs

    http://www.askmen.com/celebs/women/models_100/139_cheryl_tiegs.html

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  13. Yea, yea, who cares about her. I'm all about Johnny! Oh and what did you end up wearing?

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  14. I would feel odd about asking her about plus sized modeling as well. lol. She looks beautiful whatever the label.

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  15. Um, SavvyD - respectfully, I must point out -

    I have no idea where you got the information that Cheryl Tiegs was a size 8-10. That doesn't make any sense to me.

    Also, that little formula about how much one "should" weigh doesn't have anything to do with any sort of accepted "healthy weight range" I've ever read about, so I don't know what that's about...

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  16. Hmmm I dont know about some of her answers...they seemed a little vague and off topic at best lol but hey its a start

    Oh and what did you wear?

    xoxo

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  17. I wonder if her dress was by Boxing Kitten. It looks like some african print fabric which i kinda like

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  18. i dunno. i'm not impressed with what she had to say. size 8 is not plus size in my opinion. but as previous commenters have said, blame the industry, not the model. as far as i'm concerned, the best "plus size" model is crystal renn, hands down. as well as toccara jones? remember her on antm? she is amazing. <3

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  19. i've never been thrilled with her being touted as "plus size", as a working plus size model she doesn't really fit into the correct size measurements- most women are at least a size 10. Also, around the time she won weren't there a bunch of pictures released where she was around a size 4? And a lot of speculation that she gained the weight to be on ANTM? She is beautiful, but I'd rather have Fluvia or Velvet or Crystal Renn representing the plus size woman because they have genuine style and confidence.

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  20. I don't really understand how you could possibly be bothered with Whitney Thomsnore when JOHN LEGEND was standing IN YOUR SIGHTS. JOHN LEGEND??? JOHN LEGEND. Sweet lord, had I been there, he would have required a heady restraining order. Aaand possibly a blowtorch. And mace. And a bodyguard named Tiny.

    Also, what did you wear?? I'm sure you looked fab!

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  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  22. hmmm... plus sized... i don't think so but whatever Tyra is whack anyway.

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  23. those are the worst extensions EVER.

    i really have nothing to add to the comments that hasn't already been stated.

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  24. @coulditbesatan

    I have to agree, worst extensions ever. And I've had a dodge extension set done once or twice in my life!

    Guess ANTM budget didn't extend to getting her hair done right.

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  25. I agree with you Gabi, it was certainly weird to ask her where she shops when she can actually shop everywhere !
    Size acceptance needs time but we're on the way !
    Keep doing the great job you do !
    xxx

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  26. Gabi, I think your analysis was spot-on. Whitney is very attractive -- and thin.

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  27. I thought Whitney was a 10/12. I know on the Elite website it has her waist measurement as a 32''. I do think she's gorgeous though and looks great as both a blonde and brunette.

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  28. I recently met Whitney, she looks nothing like this anymore. She has lost alot of weight and it in no way larger than a size 6. She was probably one of the most petite girls at the party.

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  29. She's a size 12 and her measurements are 36-32-43 (US) or 91-81-108 (EU)according to Fashion Model Directory. And she said herself she's 165 lbs (75 kg.

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  30. I remember at the end of that cycle of ANTM (when Whitney won) that Tyra said Whitney is not a PLUS SIZED model, but a FULL FIGURED model. And she told people not to get it twisted. But everyone calls her a plus sized model anyway.

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  31. Crystal Renn is a size 12 - how is that plus-sized?

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