Plus-size model Whitney Thompson - "people call me a fat cow and it hurts"

Plus-Size Model Whitney Thompson – A Fat Cow!?

Plus-size model Whitney Thompson - "people call me a fat cow and it hurts"
Plus-size model Whitney Thompson posing in underwear for Panache campaign

Whitney Thompson was the first ever plus-size model to win America’s Next Top Model and has been pretty busy since then launching a plus-size dating website and modelling for lots of big campaigns.

The plus-size model has also worked with Rihanna in a CoverGirl commercial and commented: “She was really nice actually, her posse was really kind of rude but she was one of the first celebrities I worked with and she was telling me I was beautiful. Wow”

Whitney has also worked with TOWIE star Gemma Collins, and said of the experience: “Gemma didn’t know who I was but she kept telling me I should be an impersonator for Anna Nicole Smith, she’s hilarious.

‘She has some pretty maxi dresses in her plus-size range. She’s a great spokesperson and has undoubtedly grown up a plus-size girl and didn’t have a lot of options.”

Whitney Thompson ANTM Winner
Whitney Thompson ANTM Winner

The 26-year-old also just launched a new plus-size SLiNK magazine and denim brand Beauty In Curves’ pop-up boutique this week.  Whitney seems very proud to be representing this new boutique for curvy women and told the MailOnline:

“Rivkie, who curated the store, travels to New York and searches the markets for good quality pieces that are worth the money, instead of polyester crap that many designers sell.”

‘In London, there aren’t that many plus-size options or designers. The UK is behind in identifying with the plus-size consumer. I’m not sure that America has embraced it necessarily but they have got the products.’

As a champion for other plus-size women, Whitney even shared some of her top fashion tips: “Wear clothes that fit you,” she said. ‘That’s the number one issue. Women try and cover themselves up so they wear clothes that are too big but it makes them look frumpy. I cut the sizes out of everything – you don’t need to know.

“There will never be one perfect size. Kate Upton is a size 8 and some people say she’s too fat and she looks like a cow.

‘We are never going to be a size that is generally accepted by everyone so you have to get over it. Especially with airbrushing, we are trying to look like an image that literally doesn’t exist.

“Plus-size starts at a size 6 (UK size 10) in the U.S. but the average woman is a size 10 (UK size 14) so we are telling people that even if you’re half the size of the average woman, you’re too fat. Why? Probably because it sells; it makes women feel bad about themselves and they buy more products.

“If men were only attracted to women who looked like Victoria Beckham, then we would all look like her. But they’re not and that’s why we are all different shapes and sizes.”

Whitney is also an ambassador for the National Eating Disorder Association and she travels worldwide to support the cause and spread the message:

“After winning the show I knew I wanted to be involved in philanthropy and as the only plus-size model in the history of the show I knew I needed to do something in touch with that; it felt like a good fit for me.

“University age is when you’re deciding who you’re going to be for the rest of your life so I love that I’m impacting on people.”

And it seems like her hard work is paying off. She was recently named one of the most influential women in the world, beating off stiff competition from the likes of Hilary Clinton and Michelle Obama.

Whitney Thompson modelling for Panache
Whitney Thompson modelling for Panache

One thing Whitney refuses to do is bow to pressure to eat less or exercise more in the name of her figure.

“I travel all the time, I haven’t been home in over a year because I am literally on a plane every other day

“When I can and I have the energy, I run because it’s the easiest thing to do but I don’t ever do anything I don’t want to do.

“I’ll eat what I want to and I think that’s the problem – people stop listening to their bodies and start listening to the media.

“We have a multi-million pound diet industry that wants us to think we are fat so they succeed, they get our favourite celebrities on board and the problem is that no one is listening to themselves.

“If I want a steak and chips, I am going to eat it and when I feel like going on a run, I will.

“But I’m never going to force myself to do that. Life is too short; I could walk outside and get hit by a bus so I may as well eat what I want to eat,’ she said.

“I think what is hard about the plus-size industry is that you’re never the right size. I’ve had people telling me to lose weight as well as gain weight.

“At the end of the day, you have to look in the mirror and say: “This is it, this is the only body I’ve got.”

“I’ve definitely been criticised for marching to the beat of my own drum but I take pride in that. You can’t listen to anyone.

“It hurts. I’ll get called a fat cow or that I am huge. People are harsh. The show is in over one hundred countries so I get hate mail from lots of people but the fan mail is worth so much more than that.

“I get letters saying “my daughter had bulimia for two years and because of you she has sought treatment”, and just that one fan letter is worth more than all the hate letter in the world.

“It’s so much more motivational than one saying “you’re fat”.”

The team here at Talent Management think it’s great that Whitney is speaking out about the modelling industry and trying to help other plus-size women and hopeful young models. Go Whitney!