Alexa Chung on Body Image: 'Just Because I Exist in this Shape Doesn't Mean I'm Advocating It'

Last night we made our way over to Hotel Americano for a Parisian-meets-British-meets-New-York soiree that only Maje and campaign star Alexa Chung could pull off. In between munching on hors d'oeuvres, and grooving to the live tunes of Wild Belle, we managed to grab a few moments with the women of the hour: Maje creative director Judith Milgrom (more on that later) and Alexa Chung. Read on to hear what Chung had to say on people copying her personal style, the new line she's working on, and her struggles with body image.
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Hayley Phelan
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Last night we made our way over to Hotel Americano for a Parisian-meets-British-meets-New-York soiree that only Maje and campaign star Alexa Chung could pull off. In between munching on hors d'oeuvres, and grooving to the live tunes of Wild Belle, we managed to grab a few moments with the women of the hour: Maje creative director Judith Milgrom (more on that later) and Alexa Chung. Read on to hear what Chung had to say on people copying her personal style, the new line she's working on, and her struggles with body image.
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Last night we made our way over to Hotel Americano for a Parisian-meets-British-meets-New-York soiree that only Maje and

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Speaking of attention, sometimes it's not always so good. A little while ago there was some drama over your instagram being 'thinspiration.' How did you feel about that? Yeah I think it really sucks. I think it's about time people stopped judging women on their appearance and more on their intellect. Like you can appreciate my style without having to appreciate my weight. It's not actually mutually inclusive. I just get frustrated because, just because I exist in this shape, doesn't mean that I'm like advocating it and being like, 'I look great.' How do you know I'm not looking in the mirror and going 'I wish I could gain ten pounds?' Which is actually quite often the case. But if you say that you sound like you're bragging that you're naturally thin, and you're not allowed to do that because even though it's not the ideal weight, it kind of is as well. So it's really fucked up. And how people that are bigger can be on the front covers of magazines being like 'I'm really happy with my shape.' But if I was to do that, I'd be completely criticized and ridiculed. But why can't I be happy with how I look?

Right. It's unfair for people to judge. It's not like I'm starving myself, I'm not. This is just how this [gesturing to her body] is. At this point in time and like maybe it will change when I get older but due to stress factors and all that, this is my natural body shape. I don't sit around and judge other people and flick through magazines and be like 'fuckin' hell she's gained ten.' Like who cares? Why don't you start being like 'wow, I really like that women's show.' Like Lena Dunham's really intelligent [and people seem to be able to focus on that, rather than how she looks.]

Right, and she has no problem telling critics to fuck off when they say anything about her weight. Well she's allowed to say it whereas I'll sound like a whining bitch in that bit. But I'm just a bit sick of it. I just think that whole culture of hatred, and also feeling like it's your right to judge people when you don't know them is really fucked up. So I'm pleased I experienced that side of it, so I can learn to be a better person on the other side of it. I'm sure in the past I've been judgemental too. And it's difficult because sometimes people do have eating disorders, and whatever but you never know what's going on in someone's life so I'd say don't be quick to think you know.

It sounds like you've gotten to a pretty good place body-image wise. Do you have any advice for how other people can feel good about themselves, even in spite of public body hate? I mean, there's definitely days where I'm like, I look disgusting. But that's being a human being. I don't think anyone on the planet can look at themselves in the mirror every day and be like fuck, I'm fucking great. Maybe like Halle Berry or Beyonce. Or someone generally banging. But I don't know. Self esteem, that's something you got to work on yourself. I know for me it's different day to day. So like, just because you're in magazines, doesn't mean you think you're excellent.