An interview with Whitney Thompson (size 44 EU/14 US) by PEEPERS Denmark on Miss Cherrylipz. She was the first plus size model to win the ANTM and she has been working hard as a model ever since. I think this shows that beauty has no size! And showing some size diversity in programs like this is absolutely great!
What is your best feature/what do like most about your body?
My nose. People always ask if I’ve had plastic surgery because I have such a small nose, but I got it from my Mom!
How did you become a model? And have you always wanted to be a model?
I started modeling when I was a teenager but I was always told to lose weight, so I quit. I went to University and was planning on becoming a doctor but I was “discovered” by America’s Next Top Model when I was on holiday. They told me I would be considered plus size and with all of my struggles as a straight sized model, I felt that I had something to say, a message.
What did you learn from ANTM?
How to be independent. I was used to being able to call my family 24/7 and they take that away from you. I had no one and I had to cope.
Do you ever feel insecure about your body while working in the fashion industry?
Not anymore! I used to hate working with straight size models because it feels like they’re judging you for being bigger, but I’ve done really well in this industry and I feel that I have proved myself as a worthy model, regardless of size.
What do you feel about the standard “regular” model is being the mostly used model on the runways?
I think that it’s unrealistic and setting false expectations. The average runway model is under the age of 16. It’s no wonder she’s so skinny, she hasn’t hit puberty yet!
What is your own role models?
My mother, Tyra Banks, I look to strong women with big personalities. I’ve never wanted to just be another pretty face.
Do you see yourself as a role model?
I do. I mean, i have to because of the fan mail that I get. People write to me saying that their daughters finally sought help for an eating disorder because of me or that they wore a bikini to the beach for the first time because of me. I realized early on that people were watching what I did and that means something to me. I try to be someone that young girls and boys can look up to.
What has been the greatest experience in your career so far?
I think shooting for Italian Vogue in Milan has to be up there because it was just such an honor to be working with Vogue and I honestly never expected to get something like that as a plus size model and as someone associated with America’s next Top Model.
What is your best advice for all the danish girls and women?
Turn what society has deemed a “flaw” into a positive. We don’t all look the same and that’s a good thing! Instead of hating your thighs or your nose, realise that those features that set you apart keep you from being boring. They are part of your history and make you unique, so quit trying to change them! Once you stop worrying about “fixing” yourself, you’ll be amazed at how much easier life can be.
What is your best beauty tips?
Drink lots and lots of water! Nothing ages you faster than alcohol and cigarettes, so stay away from that. Make time to literally stop and smell the roses. There is beauty in every day. Don’t hesitate to pause on your way to work and admire how beautiful the clouds are, or get a dessert at lunch and really savor the flavors. Life is too short to rush through it.
If you should define your style, what would it be?
Casual. Haha I used to have really great style, but I work every day and someone else is always dressing me, so when I finally have time off (which usually means I’m flying to a new job) I just want to be comfortable. Tat being said, I alway want to look good. You won’t EVER catch me in sweatpants. I love long maxi dresses and I wear a lot of back. It’s just easier to pack my suitcase when everything matches.
What is your favorite clothing brand?
Do I have to pick just one? I wear my black organic cotton leggings from AlliStyle almost every day, but I really love Ella Moss and Diane Von Furstenberg when it comes to date night. Adrianna Papell is my go-to for red carpet events.
Do You think that you winning ANTM cycle 10 has made a change in the fashion industry?
Definetely. I didn’t think it would have the impact that it did, but the show is in 114 countries and all of a sudden, plus-size became a very mainstream thing. Chanel has now done a plus line. Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, everyone is doing plus and I’m not saying that it wouldn’t have eventually happened, but I think ANTM made consumers speak out. I am very grateful for my career and even though we have much more to do, pleased with what has already come to fruition.