When I write about the fashion industry, it’s usually because a model has been airbrushed within an inch of her life or fired for not being rail-thin, so this story was a refreshing change of pace. The fashion e-commerce site Revolve has promised model Allie Crandell that they’ll hire her again if she gains weight. Crandell appeared on The City and sparked what Jezebel blogger Irin Carmon called a “commenter revolt” with every item she modeled for Revolve.
Responding in the comments section, someone from the Revolve staff wrote:
“REVOLVE Team, Los Angeles, CA (Straight/Short)
Hi everyone,Thank you for your concern. We are absolutely aware of the feedback and responses to our model’s weight and it has concerned us as well. We are working closely with both the model and her agent to get her to a healthier size. She won’t be appearing in any of our new product batches or in any of our fashion editorial photos moving forward until the issue is adequately addressed. We appreciate and respect input from our customers and visitors and hope that you find our responses satisfying. We have been attempting to respect the privacy of the model in question while dealing with the issue on our end. We hope you understand. Sincerely,The REVOLVE Team.”
On the one hand, I think this is a hopeful move – the customers spoke out about wanting models who aren’t frighteningly thin, and the website responded. On the other hand, this does, as Irin points out, turn Crandell’s body into something of a public project, which is quite invasive, especially since we don’t know whether her thinness is the product of an eating disorder or particular lifestyle choices or any of a multitude of factors. And of course it raises the question that if sites like Revolve shouldn’t be able to fire models for refusing to lose weight, should they be allowed to force models to gain weight?
Photo from Flickr.