It goes without saying that occupations in the modeling industry these days come hand in hand with some unrealistically stringent standards, so much so that it’s hard to believe that the runways used to be the territory of fully-grown, reasonably-figured women. In this weird generation, it’s all about the youngest, the tallest, and most importantly, the very thinnest — today’s top models look less like adult women and more like fine-featured science class skeletons. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, sure, with the world’s finest of finery draping from their bones, but the repercussions this ideal has on society are hideous and tragic.
Ananda Marchildon was named Holland’s Next Top Model in 2008. The contest promised her a three-year contract with €75,000 (close to $100,000) in arranged assignments — but then they fired her. Illustrious modeling agency Elite, the international group responsible for such showstoppers as Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Alessandra Ambrosio, and Cara Delevingne, dropped Ananda from their roster under the premise that she had “a nice face but a fat ass,” due to her hip circumference being two centimeters wider than the 90 cm they allow. They deemed that, because of those two centimeters, she wouldn’t look good on runways and wouldn’t even fit in the sample-size clothes … so they attempted to pay her off with only €10,000 (about $13,000), €65,000 short of what she had been contracted.
Unsurprisingly, Ananda launched a lawsuit against Elite, and today she emerged victorious. The Amsterdam District Court ruled that Ananda was entitled to the main prize she was originally guaranteed, awarding her €65,000 ($85,000) in damages along with interest and legal fees. On Monday, before the verdict was reached, Marchildon posed in a series of images for Dutch underwear manufacturer Sloggi in an effort to reinforce her lawsuit. This was the perfect opportunity for both Sloggi, who calls itself the “butt experts,” and Marchildon to really bare it all and show that she has nothing to hide. What I gathered from the photos is that Ananda is, in fact, diametrically different from the vast majority of runway models. Why? She looks beautiful and healthy, not at all like a rag doll that’s been hung up to dry. Surely no designer would want that on their runway. [The Daily Beast, Huffington Post]