Ralph Lauren Fired PhotoShopped Model for Being Too Fat

Last Updated Oct 14, 2009 1:06 PM EDT

The Ralph Lauren PhotoShop disaster gets worse: The Daily News reports that the label fired model Fillipa Hamilton in April because she was "overweight." (She weighs 120 pounds.) Hamilton said:
They fired me because they said I was overweight and I couldn't fit in their clothes anymore.
Lauren said:
Filippa is a "beautiful and healthy" woman but their relationship ended "as a result of her inability to meet the obligations under her contract with us."
No details were given on what those "obligations" might have been, but modelling contracts often contain weight restrictions. A Lauren ad featuring an image of Hamilton distorted to look unfeasibly thin became an internet laughing stock last week.

The episode clearly illustrates that the fashion world has a bizarre obsession with super-thin women; it's a world in which 120 lbs is too fat and needs to be PhotoShopped down.

Here's a theory, for which I know I'll get flak: Compared to other industries, the fashion world is disproportionately staffed by women and gay men. Neither of those demographics are famous for their realistic ideas about women's bodies, or what straight men find attractive about them. Perhaps if the industry became a little more diverse -- and had more straight guys as creative directors -- then we'd see more meat on the bones of models in clothing ads.

Below: What Hamilton looks like when she's relatively unretouched.

And finally: An appearance by the author on ABC's Nightline discussing the Lauren fiasco.

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