Mar 29, 2010
Filippa Hamilton is the former Ralph Lauren model featured here who was fired from Ralph Lauren for "being unable to fulfill her contract"
Filippa Hamilton is the former Ralph Lauren model featured here who was fired from Ralph Lauren for "being unable to fulfill her contract" Hamilton says, she was told that at 5'10 and 120 pounds she was too big to fit their clothes so they "let her go." The following picture is a Ralph Lauren ad of Hamilton that ran. It is obviously incredibly photoshopped as seeen in the proportion of her hips to her head, yet the advertisement ran. You can read more about the story here.
While I was thinking of something to blog about today, I was thinking of what was currently going on around me; Halloween is coming up, I live near a high school and teens are walking to school and I guess I'm just pondering all the pressure there is out there to be a teenager today.
Then I thought of this story we discussed a few weeks ago at The Victorian. My boss Michele Lob brought it up and the whole staff gathered around the computer and looked at the photoshopped image of Hamilton. Considering that we are a group of dieticians, therapist, counselors and women in recovery from our own eating disorders we were of course appaulled. But, I wonder about the teenage girl who sees this ad and hasn't walked in our shoes.
Does she see this ad and think this is normal? Does she see this ad and think thats what she should look like? I mean Ralph Lauren has a line of clothng for every gender and age. From babies to grandmas you can see that little polo player on anyone. So if a teen or even an adult woman or man sees a Ralph Lauren ad of a woman as emaciated as this one looks does that become their standard of dressing, style and beauty?
It's hard to be a teenager right now. You can't even celebrate Halloween without being expected to dress provacatively with a garter belt, fish nets and 4 inch skirt. I'm not gonna lie, I've done it in the past. But, when I think about why I did it I can honestly say because "everyone else was doing it." If everyone brings a sandwich for lunch in their brown paper bag I'm not gonna want my mom to pack me lasagna and if everyone is dressing like a revealing nurse for Halloween I'll want to dress that way too and I'll probably also want to look like the Ralph Lauren ad because, well isn't it normal too?
I have enough recovery from an Eating Disorder and knowledge about myself to know that what other people consider "normal" doesn't exactly make me happy or even a very nice person. If I was trying to become that Ralph Lauren model today I would probably do a liquid diet of coffee and soups and skip meals which equals "not happy." Then when I ran into my friends who were having lunch together and just enjoying the California sunshine I would probably be jealous that they got to eat food and I couldn't and I'd probably act passive aggressive with them and bitchy which equals "not nice." My point is I've had enough trial and error in my life to know that the "worlds normal" my "families normal" and "my normal" are all very different things.
Today I don't live by a magazines expectation of "looking good in jeans" or my anorexic friends idea of "a meal" today I live by whats going to make me a happy, healthy woman who can help other people recover from their eating disorders. Whatever that looks like is what I consider "normal." I challenge you to consider what the norms are in your life. Are you being true to yourself? Or are you living by someone elses expectations. It's an interesting thought.