back to article Ralph Lauren stick insect sacked for being 'too fat'

The model featured in the Ralph Lauren Photoshop stick insect outrage - in which she was Photoshopped to within an inch of her life - claims she was sacked by the company for being "too fat". Filippa Hamilton in the Ralph Lauren ad Filippa Hamilton suffered such an extreme digital makeover in an ad for the fashion company …


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  1. Alfonso Vespucci

    Poor girl

    She was so hungry she gnawed off her left hand.

  2. jake Silver badge

    Viv l'difference, and to hell with the fashion industry!

    Jesthar: You go, woman!

    No other comment ... None needed, really :-)

  3. nichomach

    "We accept that we're responsible...

    ...but she's the one who's going to get ditched." RL, you are a bunch of wankers.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    her dismissal was "as a result of her inability to meet the obligations under her contract with us"

    Or translated from markety-legal double speak "we fired her fat arse because we told her to stay skinny and she ate some celery"

    You'd have thought that with the amount of money clothing companies save by off shoring production to Sri Lanka, India or China so they can stomp all over their workers' rights and pay children less salary & no benefits they'd be able to buy some extra material to tailor clothes to their models.

    I'd love to see how quick she gets her job offered back to her and a REAL apology if Murdoch for example plastered this thick over the front page of The Sun etc.

  5. Mike Bird 1

    Body Mass Index .. she's too fat ???

    "The model, who is 120lb and 5ft 10in tall, "

    According to that the model has a BMI of 17.2.

    According to most checks that value means the person is Underweight, but not "seriously so" (Normal would be 18.5 to 24.9)

    The fashion industry people and the advertising & magazine agencies who feed on them need to be taken to a Krispy Kreme outlet and made to eat there without fail for a year.

  6. dunncha

    Looks a some of the pictures I have seen of Kiera Knightley

    Another Bobble headed freak

    Funny I used to get teased at school for being a Bobble Headed Freak. Wish I was a teen now as i would obviously be at the cutting edge of fashion. Just imagine all the chip butties I could buy if I was at the cutting edge of fashion.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    May I be the first ...

    To tell our "photoshopped alien looking model" pushing fashion overlords that the woman pictured doesn't look sexy, cool or human.


  8. Anonymous Coward

    Trying to make the abnormal the norm

    Why do people let such a minority define the ideals for the masses? It seems most designers idea of a perfect body is that of a 10-12 year old boy. Maybe adolecent kid models would appeal less to the public, but that's no excuse for letting these people try to mold young women to fit their twisted ideals.

  9. Jamie Kitson


    That's 8 1/2 stone or 54.4 kg for the rest of the world.

  10. benito darder oliver

    They did it again...

    Today at photoshopdisasters:

  11. Anonymous Coward


    Why can't (some) Americans spell names correctly?

    Why can't fashion companies acknowledge the harm they are inflicting on vulnerable, suggestible people when they indulge in "size 0" facism? There is a limit to the amount people can be forgiven for being deluded by such amoral manipulation - after all, it is not a crime to be born stupid - but these organizations cannot avoid all responsibility.

    Before I despair completey, I'll revert to apathy with the counter argument that, by the same token, no-one likes looking at lardy biffas.

    The world: complicated, huh?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    What terms in a contract, look pretty, look demure, look good in clothes? How can you fail in things like that. It had to then be something like, strip, sleep with boss, lose weight on demand, look like prepubescent boy. Maybe these clauses she failed on.

    Perhaps they (RL) might start recruiting from the under nourished sweat shop employees that make their stuff, they would find the stick thin framed girl they obviously want.

    I hate americans for suppotring this monstrous size '0'. 8.5 stone isn't healthy in a 5.10 inch woman, making her thinner should be illegal.

  13. Paul 4

    What realy gets to me...

    Is when employment contracts are totaly confidential. Any employee should be able to freely discuss there own contract if they so wish. I can see why people woulden't want companys discussing them, but I never understood why employers stop employees discussing them, other than when they have somthing to hide (Like this).

  14. david wilson

    @AC 09:48

    >>"It seems most designers idea of a perfect body is that of a 10-12 year old boy."

    Not only that, but they seem to think that 'sulk' is the most attractive human expression.

    Is there some reverse psychology going on?

    Could it be that actually having models which looked like women, rather than a slightly feminised version of a pederast's daydream would make customers *more* likely to compare themselves unfavourably with the model, rather than looking at them and laughing or feeling pity.

    Or is it that having normal people wearing yet another pair of jeans would make people realise how desperately unspecial and overpriced the 'designer' jeans really were.

  15. Daniel Wilkie

    @Jamie Kitson

    Damn, beaten to it.

    I'm 5'11 and 11st, and I don't consider myself fat or overweight, clearly I'm wrong :(

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Can we have a Ralph Lauren photoshop?

    There must be photos around of Ralph Lauren himself. It would be nice if there was a set of shots of Ralph in similar Photoshop treatment to that of his adverts.

    I'd also wonder how the advertising standards authority permit products to be advertised that are different from the product itself. Those clothes are not ultra skinny, or make you look ultra skinny. If a car was photoshopped so that the people inside it were ultra tiny, giving the false impression of the car being bigger than it is, then that advert would be banned.

    Ralph Lauren's clothes do not make models look skinny, Photoshop does that, so I reckon his adverts are also deceptive.

  17. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    re: It seems most designers idea of a perfect body is that of a 10-12 year old boy

    Probably because they are unable to create items for a proper person as it is too difficult

  18. Jason Togneri

    @ Mike Bird 1

    Erm, measuring fatness by BMI has long been debunked as inaccurate and basically utter bollocks, there being hundreds of factors it doesn't take into account and whatnot.

    Try this, for example:

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Not really a surprise

    A fashion industry run by gay men prefers their women to look like adolescent boys. What a surprise. The real shock is women fall for this.

  20. Jerome 0
    Thumb Down

    Alternative headline

    "Sacked Model Rides Coattails of Net-Wide Nerd Rage to Free Publicity"

    It's lucky that no-one could possibly fall for such a blatant ploy.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    that does it, no more RL clothes for me!

    ... oh wait, i work in IT and have not bought a 'designer' anything since i was 12 and caught up in the Nike Air Jordan con

    ... well con in that it made me realise they were just trainers, not some lost mythical magic possession that would change my life forever.

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Jerome 0

    Well, that's the trade she's in. No publicity, no job, so you can hardly blame her, although I fail to see how apprearing in a Reg story will gain her anything lol

    @AC above that, very very sad, but true.

  23. Anonymous Coward

    Does any body actually find these models attractive?

    Seriously - do they?

    Who finds a woman who looks like an awkward, gangley, 12 year old boy attractive? It just looks unatural and unhealthy.

    The media portraying this as 'normal' does put a massive pressure on to girls and women to look like these so called fashion icons. I have seen what an eating disorder can do a young girl and although she has recovered from that now she is stull suffering medical problems 5 years later.

  24. MnM
    Thumb Up


    The world: complicated, huh?

    I hear ya buddy. Hadn't noticed until today that the firefox logo actually has a fox in it.

  25. Claus P. Nielsen

    Bratz taking over from Barbie

    Obviously this is the effect of fashion designers playing too much with dolls when they (the fashion designers) were boys.

    In the past this was Barbie dolls leading to a distorted idea of how a woman's foot, waist and bust is shaped.

    The new generation of designers are playing more with Bratz dolls, resulting in an idea that the ideal female head is several sizes larger than her pelvis.

    See also:

    Trolls fortunately seem to be mostly influential in relation to hair-style - not ear, foot or facial proportions

  26. Yorkshirepudding

    the solution

    if she spent 1 weekend with me she'd be a much more natural shape, i diet of fine beers and ethnic meat dining will allow her to gain a full shape

    worth a punt too

  27. Cameron Colley

    What I find more puzzling.

    Is that some morons think they look "cool" or "flash" or "special" because they wear overpriced tat from companies like this.

    There are obviously people out there who see these cancer-victim-like models who are photochopped to look like aliens and think "yeah, I think I'll buy some clothes from that shop".

  28. Anonymous Coward

    Repeat after me ...


    F*cked up, or what?

  29. Andy Enderby 1

    jebus !

    That build is not actually acheivable for an adult without gaining malnutrition and/or death.....

    Models looking like this are attractive how ?

    Enough with the photoshop.

  30. Bill Fresher
    Thumb Down


    I'm a perfectly healthy weight but it so happens that I have a big head which is larger than my pelvis.. this makes me look very thin. I'm fed up of people complaining about us big heads, telling us to put on weight and that we're unhealthy and that curvy is better and all that stuff. Everyone's different and if some fashion house photoshops an image to appeal to me and people like me then what's the big deal?

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Tard 10:14

    Why can't (some) Americans spell names correctly?


    She's not American. She's a French/Swedish and also a Countess. And she's still working as a 'plus' sized model, which shows how nuts the high fashion world is. They typically want catwalk models to be size 0-2, which is seriously scrawny and underweight. Swimwear & Lingerie use more 'plus' size models because they, well, just look healthier. Still, looks like another magazine's breaking ranks and going for using real women, possibly NSFW-

  32. William Towle

    Re: @ Mike Bird 1

    Jason Togneri> "

    Erm, measuring fatness by BMI has long been debunked as inaccurate and basically utter bollocks, there being hundreds of factors it doesn't take into account and whatnot.

    Try this, for example:


    This article hardly does a good job of debunking BMI: it quotes someone who says there are flaws and then fails to list them! What it *does* claim is there may be better measurements (which is a fair comment). It also says "[BMI] measurement usually works well because BMI does give the right answer when averaged across many people" - which is to be expected: rather than failing to take "hundreds of factors into account", average values are assumed (factored into the range of BMI values bounding the various "fatness" categories).

    The other problem is that to claim one is better at measuring the same thing is to compare apples and oranges. Waist-to-hip ratio is just that - a ratio; dimensionless. BMI is in kg/m^2: if (as I think I read here before) we assume weight is proportional to volume, and height to shoulder width, the result of the calculation is proportional to *your* waist radius (the smaller or the larger of the two, as appropriate). If you've ever patted your belly to see how bloated you are - and I'm very good at knowing my weight from that these days :( - it's not that unintuitive a measure at all ... if you've analysed what it's trying to achieve.

  33. Disco-Legend-Zeke

    so sad

    When women buy a new dress, they generally take the hangar off the rack and then look at the dress. As a result, except for the really good stuff, clothes are designed to look good on a hanger.

    To make the stuff look good on a model, they choose a model built like a coat hanger.

    Then real, actual, women look at their sexy, curvy, boinkable, bodies and either:

    1. Diet till they are too thin to enjoy any part of their life.


    2. Become depressed and binge-feed till they balloon to near-bear size.


  34. Anonymous Coward

    Photoshop Challenge

    Prize for best Bobble Head Bratz lookalike PS job of RL Model..

    Oh RL already won.

  35. Robert Halloran

    not the only case

    The "inability to meet" probably works out to her complaining about being turned into a stick puppet and all the bad press the company's taken for it.

    And as for their comment about this being an isolated incident, google for "ralph lauren photoshopdisasters" and see that even with the bad press, they're still at it...

  36. Stoneshop Silver badge


    "Why can't (some) Americans spell names correctly?"

    So, when your name is Filippa (Hamilton-Palmstierna), some 'tard considers it wrong to actually spell it Filippa?

    A question for you, 'tard, in return. Why can't some (actually, a lot) of people grok that the world is a wee bit bigger than just the United States of America? Where, as evidence tends to suggest, people spell their names any way that pleases them anyway?

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ralph Lauren issued a further statement....

    'on Tuesday which claimed Hamilton was a "beautiful and healthy" woman'

    ...which is true...

    '...and that her dismissal was "as a result of her inability to meet the obligations under her contract with us".'

    ...also true; the obligations under her contract were to NOT be a beautiful and healthy woman!

  38. Owen Williams



  39. Anonymous Coward

    Ralph Lauren wants you to be unhealthy

    Let's follow the logic:

    1. Ralph Lauren says she was fired because she couldn't fulfil the terms of her contract.

    2. It would be logical to assume her contract as a model requires her to wear their clothes.

    3. The woman says she was fired because she couldn't fit into their clothes.

    4. Therefore their explanation is consistent with her claims; she probably was fired because she couldn't fit.

    5. Ralph Lauren says she is a "beautiful and healthy" woman.

    6. But she can't fit into their clothes.

    7. Therefore, their clothes cannot be intended for "beautiful and healthy" people.

    Doesn't sound like the sort of thing I would want to wear.

  40. Anonymous Coward

    @ AC and Stoneshop

    "She's not American. She's a French/Swedish and also a Countess."

    Thanks for pointing that out. I think my question should have been:

    Why can't the parents of French/Swedish aristocrats, as well as (some) Americans, spell their children's names correctly?


    In English, the correct spelling is Philippa. I wrongly assumed the model in question was from US where, as I think you pointed out, they have a tendency to mis-spell English names. You might think that tendency makes the world a vibrant and interesting place. I, OTOH, think it makes them look like ignorant chavs - à chacun le sien.

  41. Cynrh

    @ Tard

    Americans might spell names differently than Brits? Whoddathunk a whole country of immigrants of every nationality might thumb their noses at the King's English? Did it ever dawn on you that "Philip" and "Philippa" aren't even English in origin?

    We also spell it 'fascist', sparky.

  42. david wilson


    I thought that deliberate spelling-in-order-to-be-different was fairly common *this* side of the pond as well, both among the socially disadvantaged, and those wanting to be fashion models or pose in lad's mags.

    As far as models are concerned, I'm not sure if the idea is to make copyright/trademarking easier if someone actually makes it, or whether it's just to add an air of exoticism to the modelling (or maybe a hint of up-for-it skankiness for the 'glamour' work), but presumably there must be some logic behind it.

  43. Anonymous Coward

    She could work for me

    I have several positions.


    I already know what you're thinking.

    I would love to see HER version of the contract since RL thinks it's so bloody secret.

    I do have the feeling that she was fired for being close to a "normal" body size and not the size of the creature in that picture. She just didn't match the RL stick-insect body image.

  44. kain preacher


    "In English, the correct spelling is Philippa" Um no Because its not an English name.

    Oh why is it Filipinos, not Philipinos . But Hey I bet you are one those people that have a fit when Americans spell color with no "U" in it . Get over the Fact that America English is a dialect and subject to different spelling.

  45. rc

    There may be some good in this.

    Ladies take heart. I've read lots of comments on this and it appears that men actually prefer women that don't look like stick figures. I used to wonder what people found attractive about these models. Now I know I'm not alone, they don't. Curves and bumps are soft and inviting, hard straight edges are not. So go ahead and eat something and maintain a shape that is healthy for your body type. Women; If you think you are 15 lbs too heavy, we probably think you're 'just right'. No, you don't look fat in those jeans and we love your curves. Pay no attention to the stick figure in the store display.

  46. Stoneshop Silver badge


    "In English, the correct spelling is Philippa."

    So? I can't say I like that attitude you're showing here one bit.

  47. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @AC 10:34

    "A fashion industry run by gay men prefers their women to look like adolescent boys. What a surprise."

    Ah, so all gay men are into adolescent boys?

    Please try to remember that "we" are not like "you"; you might be into adolescent girls, but it's best not to project too much.

  48. Jack the Bat
    Thumb Up

    Metric, non-metric, Brit vs American spelling, NOT the point

    We can re-calcuate and remove/insert vowels, but let's go with 5'10" and 120 pounds...I'm a tall straight male, I like tall women and this is thin verging on TOO-thin. If the fashionistas didn't live in some fantasyland they would realize that the body-images they think are "normal" are quite simply not.

    IMHO it's not healthy for women to be bombarded with these body-images simply because designers (who have been reported to refer to models as "clothes-hangers") think it ought to be so. A tall woman with a large frame will NEVER weigh 120 pounds, nor should they.

    And they ought to be able to buy clothes that fit! As for Photoshopping, it has its uses, but making a person's head look bigger than their pelvis isn't one of them.

    Thumbs-up for tall women who enjoy a good meal and other sensual pleasures.

  49. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @John Dee

    Presumably it was kind of a compromise. It obviously wouldn't go over well with the hetero crowd if they used women who looked like adult men.

  50. jake Silver badge

    @John Dee

    "Ah, so all gay men are into adolescent boys?"

    No, John. Every gay adult guy I know is completely infatuated with his adult boyfriend, and vice-versa (or married partner, for the few that made it in under the wire here in California ... Prop 8 needs to go away, IMO) ... Likewise for the gay adult women. Likewise, the bi and het folks in my circle all have adult partners ... and the various <18 y/o kids I'm aware of who are "non-traditional" with their sexuality almost universally think that adults are a gross indecency that needs to go away.

    But it appears that the gay guys running the fashion industry have serious issues.

    I'll probably get flamed for this, but I'm calling it as I see it.

  51. Jesthar

    @Andy Enderby 1

    That look isn't achievable without Pelvic Reduction Surgery - or a RL photoshop 'expert', of course...

    And in case anyone missed their latest one (as posted by benito darder oliver - ta!):

    Just as bad, if not worse!

    I just can't figure out why anyone making clothes would want to give the public the idea that they design things for impossible body shapes...

    @ jake - ta, mate!

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