Seriously Addicted to ANTM

March 25, 2008 at 11:18 pm | Posted in Acceptance, ANTM, Cute, Eating Disorders, Extended Plus Size, Fashion, Fat, Fat Acceptance, Fat Hatred, Kristin Bell, Project Runway | 5 Comments

me with my ANTM-inspired make-up

Okay, you may wonder where I have been hiding. I’m sort of stymied for topics to write about right now and I have become addicted to America’s Next Top Model via YouTube uploads. Right now I am on Cycle 8. For me, watching ANTM is a complicated issue. Why? Because of the whole fat thing of course. How can I willingly spend my time wrapped up in something, really a whole industry, that has nothing but contempt for someone like me? If there ever was an industry out there that was anti-fat and anti-anything-but-rich, it is the fashion industry. There literally is no place for someone of my size in the entire industry. Right now there are people just fighting to be “plus-size” models at size 12. They have a hard enough time getting the fashion industry to take them seriously. What I think it really boils down to is complete elitism and rampant discrimination against people who are not stick thin and against people who don’t have money. The fashion industry has been able to get away with this elitist behavior and attitude for a long time, because it is basically the same rich, thin people and all of their underlings towing the line and perpetually reinforcing the same bad attitudes. The fact is, they could do fat couture if they had the skills or desire, but they choose not to.

I remember watching Project Runway and in almost every season they have a competition where they have to make an outfit for someone who is more “normal” in their proportions…meaning, they have some meat on their bones and are fatter than a waif model. The contempt that most (not all) of the designers show for having to dress a regular woman is unbelievable, but what it really proves to me is how untalented the designers are who cannot create a simple garment for someone above size zero! They sit there and bitch and complain and pretty much only come up with sack dresses, because they are completely inept.

So, for me, this kind of leaks out the real truth about the fashion industry and why top designers refuse to make clothes for real women–they don’t know how to do it. Quite frankly, if I were a fashion designer, I would be designing clothes for fat people, because it is a bigger challenge to try to make something beautiful and exciting for someone who has a lumpy, non-hanger body!

And really, what would it mean to have an entire industry turn on its ear and start developing lines for people who are larger? What would it mean if magazines had photo shoots of fat people too? It would mean that we would have to re-envision our ideas of beauty. THAT would be MAJOR!!!

Gah, there is so much I want to say about this issue that I’m not putting into words correctly! And I want to say why I still love watching ANTM and Project Runway and other fashion-oriented things. Heck, I remember when my parents bought me a subscription to YM magazine when I was a teenager and I just LOVED looking at all the cool outfits the girls would wear in those fashion pages. There is something about it all that is creative and exciting and expressive and theatrical and I love it all. I love the transformations that are created with make-up, hair, clothes, light, and even one expressive glance of the eyes! I guess there is just something about me that makes me want to play dress-up and wear exciting, fun clothes just like other people. Maybe it is my inner drag queen, but I want to look fabulous and fierce just like everybody else!!! I love clothes and putting together outfits, despite the fact, or maybe because my size has been an obstacle to cute fashion my whole life. How many times have I felt terrible for not being able to fit into a smaller size? A million? Billion perhaps.

And, it isn’t only fat that holds me back. It is the money too. I guess I could design and have my own clothes made to order if I was rich enough. What I wouldn’t give to be able to just go to a discount store or thrift store and stock up on simple items too, but I can’t.

So, damn, the industry hates me. I can barely find clothes that are even big enough to fit me! If I gain any more weight I will be out of the clothing realm all together!! I am rejected from an entire industry, but I still look from the sidelines. I don’t know why really. I know it is silly, but there is something glamorous and fun that I just love about fashion!

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5 Comments »

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  1. Hi Kristen

    Enjoyed your rant and rave, and completely completely agree with you… I am a size 22 here in new zealand, but have been a size 40… the stares the comments, the people talking about you when you are right there, as if fat makes you deaf or retarded or somethings, or feelingless .. doesn’t matter if people are being blatantly rude,,, you’re fat so you should just take this shit…U are one of my mentors,,, keep speaking out about being a larger lady and keep being you!! You are beautiful on the inside and the outside… xxxx Joanna …

  2. Thank you so much for your wonderful comment Joanna! Hugs to you! :) kristin

  3. I like fashion, too, Kristin, I just don’t like the fashion industry. I also watch ANTM and unlike before, where it was just another reason to bash myself, I now don’t bother looking at the models—I look at the clothes on the model, since that’s what interests me the most.

    Absolutely, the fashion industry only caters to certain sizes and certain classes. My fave stores are Banana Republic and Club Monaco and they don’t have anything over size 6. When I was my most disordered I dropped down to a 5 and the immense joy I felt from now being able to walk into these stores and squeeze into an outfit was ridiculous! What rained on my parade, however, was that even if I could fit into it, I was too poor to afford the clothes. A tank top alone could be up to $60!

    These days, I just hide in my scrubs. You can’t see my exact size and you can’t see any curves. All that people see is that I’m a healthcare employee. There’s a sense of pride in that and I greatly preferred to be viewed like as such instead of labeled as “too chubby/too big/not skinny” etc.

    I wish some day I can afford to buy clothes that are my style and that I look good in. It seems simple, but it would really be good for myself self-esteem.

    Love,

    Li

  4. I am a model and I still feel the same way! The industry is constantly trying to put me on diets and photoshop me into submissive “perfection” I hope you realize that your words are far more than a rant and may be very meaningful to other women later on!

  5. Thank you Allison! :)


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