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An Open Letter To Ralph Lauren: Women Are Not Bratz Dolls

Ralph-lauren-anorexic-pic Dear Ralph Lauren:

There has been a great deal of press surrounding your ex-employee Fillipa Hamilton, the model who was photoshopped to a ridiculous degree and then summarily fired for being too fat. I have to wonder aloud why someone who is 5'10 and 120 pounds can ever be considered overweight, as a BMI of 17, which Ms. Hamilton has, is actually considered underweight. By a lot. But that's not the world of modeling, right? Of course not. I should just go about my business and let you fire women who dare to have even a modicum of realism to their figures. 


Women are not dolls, Mr. Lauren, and your company made Fillipa Hamilton look like a Bratz figurine. Her HEAD was bigger than her PELVIS. And you just...DID that, like it was no big deal. And then you fired her. Why, was the Photoshopping too pricey? I hate to disappoint you, but the only way you're going to find models whose heads are bigger than their pelvises is to breed them like Malti-Poos. Not that I'd put that past you, but I think the government might frown on a Supermodel DNA strand. Cloning is illegal, Mr. Lauren.

But that's not going to stop girls and women from trying to look like your computer generated famine victims. No, they're going to starve themselves and purge till their throats bleed. They're going to work out for hours on end until they collapse. All to look like Fillipa Hamilton. The problem is that your version of Fillipa Hamilton only exists in altered photographs. The image you have of women isn't REAL. And it has to stop.

Are you just going to fire all the models who aren't painfully emaciated? I shudder to think of what your opinions on "plus size" models are, and I put that in quotation marks because "plus size models" might more accurately be called "models who look like they've had a carbohydrate in the last five years." or "models whose ribs cannot be accurately counted through their clothes" or "models who resemble real people." 

I could throw some statistics at you, stats about eating disorders, and the incredibly high number of women who die from those disorders every year. But you're not a numbers kind of guy, unless those numbers are double digits on a scale. You're more about pictures. So in closing, I leave you with a photograph of a real woman, a beautiful woman, A WOMAN WHO HAS HUMAN PROPORTIONS.


This is Crystal Renn, and she almost died from anorexia before becoming one of the most successful plus-sized models working the runway. She's beautiful, and she could probably kick your scrawny ass. I'd pay real green money to see that, Mr. Lauren. I hope Fillipa Hamilton has a long and successful career much like Ms. Renn, and that people remember this story when they are considering purchasing your product, you DOUCHE.

No Regards Whatsoever,

Miss Banshee


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Miss Lis


I worked at the Polo store in Chicago as a cashier for about a year and a half (desperate times/desperate measures) I think I had perhaps 4 female co-workers who didn't have eating disorders, but what KILLED me, what made me go to my manager and tell her not to put me in the ladies department any more, or I WOULD KILL PEOPLE was when a (perfectly proportioned not fat at all) customer asked for a piece in a size 12 and this bitch salesgirl snottily replied "oh we don't carry plus sizes". I never knew a size 0 existed before I worked there, and I never imagined I'd meet the girl who needed to have a size ZERO taken IN, but there she was.

Also? Those $500 cashmere sweaters? they pill the third time you wear them.

fuck Ralph Lauren.


Nobody likes a bone but a dog.


That photo is disgusting.


awesome job! i can remember absolutely HATING myself for not being "perfect" when i was growing up. it's only recently that i started to give myself a break and appreciate what i've got naturally. i fear for the young girls who are subjected to this shit even MORE SO now (im looking at you LiLo) than i was when i was growing up. when my little sister was 10 she stopped eating anything with sugar and started waking up at 5 so she could excersize before school. i mean, wtf? she is a beautiful kid who felt ugly just bc she didn't fit into this mold of perfection.

let's celebrate the imperfections, the scars and the asymmetry! beauty is so much more than looking just like everyone else.

ps - crystal renn is fierce. her beauty lies in both her body and her overwhelming confidence. love it!


Um, I don't mean this as a slam against Miss Banshee or any of the mamapop authors, and I may be wrong here, but has there lately been an onslaught of material posted on this site that is nearly verbatim from Jezebel.com? This post stood out to me with the choice of the word "Bratz" as a description, seeing as how it was used in this Jezebel post: http://jezebel.com/5381844/yet-another-ralph-lauren-photoshop-of-horrors

I really enjoy mamapop, and I'd hate to see it lose its edge by defaulting to a rehash of Jez content.

Adam P. Knave

She's PLUS SIZED? By what scale?


Miss Banshee, I think I want to be you when I grow up.


Wow. That's plus-sized, in the fashion world? Dude. I had no idea I was plus-sized, but I must be, because that woman looks fit and WOMANLY (that is to say, not built like a boy) to me.



That both posts reference Bratz dolls hardly constitutes plagarism. Jezebel's post was merely a blurb, compared to this lengthy post. That kind of accusation is inflammatory and offensive, and has no basis in reality. Understand that plagarism involves *word for word reproduction of content*, not referencing something similarly. Were that the case almost every pop culture/gossip blog would be guilty. You are, simply put, wrong.

So really, unless you can back up such a mortifying accusation with an example in which a writer here, word-for-word, reproduced something on another site -- not merely referenced "Bratz Dolls" when another blog did, please refrain from slandering our writers. Thanks.


I don't see the "plagerism" either. Jezebel's article isn't even talking about the firing & apology revolving around Fillipa Hamilton. It merley points out yet another disgusting rendition in this rediculous marketing campaign by Ralph Lauren.


At 5'10" and 120lbs she isn't thin enough? They had to photoshop her to make her thinner? Please!
(In college I was 5'9" and 117 pounds... I'll never see those days again and that's fine with me... well, maybe I could stand to get a little closer... say within 50 pounds of that. *sigh*)


I wish someone would photoshop Ralph Lauren's head onto a stick figure and then require him to start working towards his "goal" weight!


Amen, amen, amen.

And yes, I will think twice before buying or wearing anything from Ralph Lauren (not that I could fit into the majority of his clothes, anyway, because you know, I'm "plus size.")

p.s. Renn is gorgeous, and should be the model women strive to look like.

Fawn Amber

Bravo. And I will never buy Polo again. Specifically because I read where Lauren tried to defend himself and basically said he was right anyway. Jackass...


I just wanted to return to apologize to Miss Banshee and the other Mamapop authors for a poorly written comment. I am not accusing you of plagiarism or trying to slander your name, Miss Banshee, and I definitely misrepresented my point when I chose the word "verbatim." I think that this is well written article, and I did not mean to suggest that you lifted its content, and I'm sorry.


my 12 yr old daughter wears am XL from Aero. because we don't condone pre-pubescents wearing skin-tight tshirts made from kleenex material. and she feels bad about herself because she knows if she grows much more she can't shop where "everybody" shops. The XS and S at stores like Aero, Hollister etc. are insanely small considering they are "teen" stores. They are sized for toddlers.


I'm pretty sure the only numbers Mr. Lauren understands are the ones with $ in front of them.

Of course, it's hard to vote with our dollars (and debatable how well it even works) when so many clothing manufacturers and designers participate in this and other stupid shit!

Would that I had time to make my own clothes. :) Thrift store ahoy!


I agree totally! As the mother of a 16 year old girl I see all the time what the pressure to be "perfect" can do to girls at this age. Heck, we all see how that pressure affects all women regardless of age.


Miss Lis, in a fit of celebrating a milestone I shelled out $400 for a RL cashmere sweater, the most expensive article of clothing I've ever owned. It was a pilly nightmare within two weeks. I took it back and all the manager would do was tell me to go to Sharper Image and buy a sweater shaver. I will never darken their door again. Never mind the sweater, the customer service was the pits.

You know, and this ridiculousness as well. Clothing ads only ever 'work' on me if they help me imagine how the stuff would look on me, so these are (at best) entirely useless.

ms martyr

I can't remember where I read this, but what I found even more offensive was that the covers of magazines such as Shape are photoshopped. So you can diet and exercise all you want and still never achieve what they portray.


This is what they send you when you comment on their website:

We appreciate your recent inquiry.

For over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality, integrity and a wholesome American lifestyle. Filippa Hamilton is a beautiful and healthy woman that we have worked closely with for over 6 years and we consider her an important part of our imaging and branding. We regret that our relationship has ended as a result of her inability to meet the obligations under her contract with us.

The image in question was mistakenly released and used in a department store in Japan and was not the approved image which ran in the U.S. We take full responsibility for allowing this image to run as this is completely inconsistent with our creative standards and brand values. This error has absolutely no connection to our relationship with Filippa Hamilton.

Spin it how you like, Ralphie.


I've always been a fan of plus-size models! There's a great site with many images of Crystal and other plus-size models here:


They're all gorgeous.

The site's forum also has thought-provoking discussions about body image and the media.


My beautiful 8 year old is 4'9 and weighs 85 pounds.She has a tummy but takes Songahm Taekwondo 3 times a week and is always on the move but believes she isnt as pretty because all the moviestars she sees are size 0,blondhaired and blue eyed and asshole like ole Ralph Lifschitz(yep,he changed his name just like he changed what the model looked like)just makes it that much harder for girls growing up now to not feel like shit.His style isnt what I would wear as im not inot the preppy look and he can go suck it.I am going to show my little girl the picture of the beautiful Ms Renn and tell her that is a beautiful model.


I loved this article. And I also looked at the link posted by Lois. And I have a question. Why does it seem like the response to unrealistic models is always the curvy goddess. Where does that leave women who are neither? I see little difference in the curvy and extremely boobalicious, yet sleek and perfectly proportioned "plus-sized" ladies and the super-skinny models. Both are examples of things that are unattainable for many normal women. It's heartening to see messages that you don't have to be ultra-thin, but less heartening when the alternative is that you need long hair, banging curves and an amazing rack instead. What's wrong with the middle ground? What's wrong with destroying the standard instead of erecting a new one?


Ralph Lauren is a pig. I can cross off his crap as one less thing I need to by. Even my old Barbies would think the photoshpped images look like a Tim Burton stick figure.

Speaking of photoshop, it makes me sad. There is no longer a reason to strive for picture perfection. If you can't take the picture you just fake it. People use photoshop to enhance pics of their kids... creepy. I like my kid just the way he is, thankyouverymuch.


Katya, I think that is the typical response since the curvy goddess shape is much closer to normal and healthy than the size zero/size two look. It shows an image of beauty that is actually attainable instead of one that almost always requires completely unhealthy lifestyles.


I agree with that, but surely it's more productive to stop insisting on any single standard? The message is still that you can never be good enough unless you can be THIS. It doesn't matter what THIS is. Using curvy as a standard might be alienating to fewer women, but it doesn't address the underlying problem.

Or should those of us without huge tits just accept once and for all that we are not allowed to be beautiful no matter what the standard?

Colleen Brown

You’re right friend, I saw this…I so need to comment on this. I definitely have an opinion. RL sucks rotten eggs for many reasons and this is just a perfect example of the inhuman way the corp. treats people. I want to see his empire crumble. I want to do a story! Where can I blog?

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