T Magazine’s summer travel issue has elicited more controversy than anyone probably expected. What to us looked like a pretty run-of-the-mill fashion photo of model Julia Nobis has inspired anger from New York Times readers, who complained about Nobis’s thin frame and youth.
T EIC Deborah Needleman responded to the complaints, saying Nobis was particularly thin after a long fashion week, and that she had considered photoshopping Nobis to look bigger, but decided not to since it’s her real body. Needleman’s comments didn’t exactly put the controversy to rest.
The whole scenario raised questions about models, retouching in magazines and our standards of beauty, so it was recently discussed during a segment of online news show The Young Turks.
Hosts Cenk Uygur and Ana Kasparian had a pretty reasonable discussion about it until Uygur went a little too far, declaring that “[Nobis is] obviously anorexic or has some sort of issue” and that “she looks disgusting,” and like she “just came out of a camp” and that “as a red-blooded American man, that is not desirable.”
His comments are uncomfortable to hear and a reminder that it’s not just a magazine cover that’s being criticized; it’s also a person–Julia Nobis.
The video elicited a slew of comments–most of them directed negatively towards Uygur. One commenter in particular was exceptionally angered: Nobis’s dad.
In the course of about five comments, Eddy Nobis makes several valid points, like that Nobis, who is 20, is modeling to put herself through college, is genetically thin, that Uygur knows nothing about Julia, that he has no idea what fashion week is like for a working model (and that it’s actually four fashion weeks), and that his derogatory comments distract from a legitimate discussion about the issue.
“I hope that one day,” Nobis writes, “If you ever have a daughter, and she is a 20 year old med student putting herself through uni, that you can be as proud of her as I am of my daughter each and every day. And I hope that if she happens to be a couple of pounds overweight (your genes can do that, Cenk, just like my genes made Julia a couple of pounds underweight) then she doesn’t get bullied online by some uninformed populist knuckle dragger like you.”
Watch the video and read all of Eddy Nobis’s comments below.