Whitney Thompson was the first-ever plus-sized model to win America’s Next Top Model in cycle 10. Unlike most of the Top Model winners we see crowned with the title, a magazine spread, and a contract with a prominent modeling agency who go off into the model world almost never to be seen or heard from from again (with the exception of Adrianne Curry who turned her win and her love life into another reality show which kept her in the limelight just a little while longer), Whitney has proven to have staying power. Perhaps that’s something the producers of ANTM should look at when deciding that one or two plus-size women every other cycle makes a fair and balanced cast. Since winning cycle 10 of America’s Next Top Model, Whitney takes jobs that perhaps other Top Models wouldn’t touch, such as posting for Torrid and Faith 21, but as some would chalk up her modeling career to working with anyone who will have her, she is actually quite choosy, vowing to only work with companies and brands that she believes in. She has also created a lifestyle brand, Shop Supermodel, a line of jewelry and soy massage candles meant to make women live, look and feel like a supermodel.
Whitney was recently interviewed by Sunny Gold, magazine editor and founder of HealthyGirl.org. Whitney’s interview gives a deeper look inside the modeling world where the models are not sizes 0 through 6. We also learn why Whitney went on America’s Next Top Model and the reason for that is simple–she wants to change the fashion industry.
While she is a spokesperson for the National Eating Disorders Association, she has not been personally afflicted by an eating disorder in her life. That does not mean that she doesn’t know why people develop eating disorders or what certain parts of a person’s life can contribute to that compulsion. It’s very easy to see how the media affects people, primarily young girls when it comes to how they see themselves when they are being told what they should look like every time they look at a magazine cover or see shows just like America’s Next Top Model and see the young women who are primarily one body type.
Whitney said in the interview…
“The reason I went on [Top Model] though, is because I wanted to change the fashion industry. Because it obviously affects people and the way that they view themselves. I mean, when the majority of all 9-year-old girls have been on a diet, we’re doing something wrong. And so, even though I haven’t been personally affected, it’s obvious that the industry is affecting people and it does make women feel bad about themselves, or worse.”
In a daring move made by a working model, Whitney came right out and said exactly what she believes the modeling world is missing–a soul. Having worked with a whole lot of model bookers since she was a young teenager (and quit because she was treated so badly until she competed on America’s Next Top Model), she voiced her experiences with model bookers and how models are treated.
“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.”
Daring or not, Whitney doesn’t seem to be bothered by saying the wrong thing regardless of who she is talking to, saying that she would “rather be outspoken than the Chanel girl.”
You can read the full interview here.