The Center for Eating Disorders Blog

A Perfect 10.

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(Photo from NYMag.com)

Just look at her. Whitney Thompson is stunning, she’s poised, she’s a size 10…. and she’s the winner of America’s Next Top Model. Although this shouldn’t be shocking, with the recent onslaught of extremely thin fashion models in the media, it is unusual for a size 10 model to come out of ANTM. Whitney Thompson is already making strides in the modeling industry and is proving that an emaciated body isn’t the necessary ingredient for a great photograph.

Already, Whitney has received letters from boys and girls, claiming that she has motivated them to seek help for eating disorders and body image issues. She is working to further debunk the wildly popular belief that a young woman’s body should be altered to fit the clothes, rather than the clothes altered to fit the woman.

We’re glad ANTM has selected a woman who is more representative of the typical American woman. But positioning Whitney as plus size is simply inaccurate. Size 10 is not plus-size! While we applaud Whitney for being comfortable in her own skin, we would urge her to distance herself from the plus-size label she has received and seems to accept. As she states in the interview linked above: “It’s about being healthy. Being obese is no better than being emaciated, and I have to keep telling people that. I don’t sit around and eat donuts all day. I still wear bikinis and look good in them. It’s just about being the best you can be, and you can’t do anything other than that. Another myth is that being a plus-sized model means you’re fat. Guess what: it doesn’t. It means that you’re normal…”

It’s clear that Whitney plans to knock down barriers within the fashion industry, but we’d like to see her start by first breaking herself out of the plus-size label. When clothing size dictates beauty and defines a person, it undermines individuality and uniqueness. Why must Whitney be referred to as a “plus size” model and not just a model?

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