Natalia Vodianova set off an internet shit storm this week when she was quoted as saying “C’mon guys, you know it’s better to be skinny than to be fat” at the British Vogue Festival.
A lot of people were outraged. Outraged!
It’s quite long and rambly, so here’s the gist: Vodianova starts off by explaining how her background, growing up as an impoverished youth in Russia where she “sometimes had to skip meals so there would be food for [her] little disabled sister,” has given her a different perspective than most on this issue. Fair enough.
Vodionova then goes to to point her finger at the “world economy” for promoting unhealthy eating and rampant consumerism–it’s not the fashion industry’s fault, she says:
“I felt angry actually now I think about it. Our industry is scrutinised for giving false image and criteria of beauty and provoking eating disorders however there are other industries that might be even more to blame like food industry that constantly reinventing ways of pushing food on us. Makes people stuff fridges with food, buying pills, millions of books on diets, shopping for the right clothes to hide those extra few pounds, beauty products. I guess some would say that’s what makes our economy go around. Yes, I choose to do more and eat less. Sorry world economy, I am a bad client!
She goes on to say that her comments were “taken out of context by the tabloid media,” and that “taking into consideration that the format of the event was not a speech by me but [an] interaction with the audience it is clearly been blown out of proportion by some journalist/s to create a scandal.”
“If I was giving a speech I would have chosen my words more carefully,” she added.
We’re not exactly shocked that her comments were exaggerated and sensationalized (that is what tabloids and the Internet do, hello), however we understand how the supermodel could find it unfair, considering the whole thing was probably more of a casual conversation, rather than a blanket statement.
But then she concludes her
rant Facebook post with this puzzling statement:
Back on the topic of discussion I wish I did say at the time, that I assume there is very little Anorexia or Bulimia issues in countries like Africa, China and Russia today!”
We’re not exactly sure what she’s saying here. Is it that people in these countries (and a whole continent) don’t struggle with eating disorders, because many impoverished people in these places are struggling to eat at all–just as she did growing up? It seems a little out of place to drag Africa, China and Russia into a conversation on body image and particularly in defense of her comment that “skinny is better.” But we suppose the supermodel is trying to convey a more global view of the issue. And that’s not a bad thing.
Regardless, we’re liking this trend of models speaking out. What do you think about Vodionova’s rant?