Update: Model Wins Lawsuit After Being Fired For Being ”Too Fat”

A Dutch court has ruled in favor of Ananda Marchildon, a former model who was fired by the Elite modeling agency because her hips were three quarters of an inch too wide (or as one Elite official put it, “she has a fat ass.”)


Interview with Ananda Marchildon, the winner of… by tvnportal

The judgement, which required Elite to pay her the remainders of her contract plus accrued interest, did not suggest that Marchildon was entitled to a job regardless of industry standards, but rather than the contract with Elite was part of her reward for winning the Holland’s Next Top Model competition.

March 26, 2012:

A Dutch court will rule tomorrow on whether Ananda Marchildon was wrongfully deprived of a $100,000 (75,000 euro) modeling assignment, promised to her as the winner of 2008′s Holland’s Next Top Model. According to the Elite modeling agency, she was ineligible because she was “too fat”: specifically, her hips were three quarters of an inch too wide for the designer clothing she needed to model, and therefore she could not fulfill the assignment.

Now obviously, in the real world, Marchildon is not “too fat,” any more than a 225-pound man is “too skinny” — unless he’s seeking employment as a sumo wrestler.

Yes, we’re talking about ridiculous standards, and Marchildon has a lot of media support: but this is the field she chose to enter. We’ve seen a number of cases similar to this one, and without exception the models were perfectly happy with the profession’s requirements as long as they — largely by the fortune of good genes — were pretty enough, tall enough, and thin enough to meet them.

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© 2012 by Bill Bickel unless otherwise noted.

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12 Responses to Update: Model Wins Lawsuit After Being Fired For Being ”Too Fat”

  1. Kilby Kilby says:

    If the agency had offered the position as a job to applicants, and made certain measurements a requirement, then there would be no problem. However, they staged it as an open contest, and retroactively changed the conditions to disqualify the winner. They may be entitled to give this contract to someone else with smaller hips, but they sure as heck are obligated to award the winner of their contest an alternate contract of equal value.

  2. Derek Derek says:

    I agree with Kilby. She won the contest because she met all the necessary criteria. Had she not done, she would have been disqualified at an earlier stage. Having won, she is then told she is ineligible due to her hip measurements, so unless they changed since she won the contest, I would have to say the dismissal is unfair.

  3. I agree with Kilby.

    Additionally, part of the the reason actors, actresses, and models always look so perfect is because every item of clothing is tailored to fit them.

    3/4″ should not be an insurmountable obstacle to a tailor.

  4. George P George P says:

    There’s not really enough information provided. We don’t know that her size when she was dismissed was the same as it was when she won the contest.

    It’s possible that she gained enough weight (by drinking water or something) to make the difference. It’s also possible that the clothes were tailored to her before her size changed.

  5. Winter Wallaby Winter Wallaby says:

    +1 to those who say that there’s not enough information. She’s presumably claiming some contractual obligation, not some abstract moral right, and we can’t possibly assess the strength of that claim without knowing more facts about what actually was “promised to her as the winner of 2008′s Holland’s Next Top Model,” explicitly or implicitly. Actually, even if the post had more facts, I don’t see how we could assess her claim without some knowledge of Dutch contract law (which I, at least, do not have).

  6. billbickel Bill Bickel says:

    Good point that we don’t know the state of her hips when she won the contest in the first place: with all news coverage leaning toward her side, some questions are obviously not being addressed. I suspect we’ll know more when the court rules tomorrow.

    As is often the case, I really couldn’t care less about Ananda Marchildon herself: what’s interesting to me is the larger picture, whether people who make a living based on their physical appearance have a right to call their industries unfairly superficial when they no longer meet those standards.

    • ShadZ ShadZ says:

      I don’t see that as the larger picture in this case. I see this case primarily about what’s owed to contest winners. The Elite modeling agency provided a modeling contact as a prize to the TV show, presumably in return for publicity. They must have know there would be a chance that the woman who won the prize wouldn’t be a typical high fashion model, and they should have been prepared to write off the contract if that happened.

  7. Charlene Charlene says:

    The fact that the measurement requirements were mentioned only after the competition was won (and yes, that is the case here) makes me wonder if they ever intended to extend a contract to the winner.

    Perhaps their intent was to find some plausible excuse to justify disqualifying whoever won – find the measurements of the winner and write your requirements so that she is deliberately excluded – so that they could get the publicity without having to spend any money.

    • James Pollock James Pollock says:

      Well, Dutch contract law may have more wriggle room, but in common-law contract, a unilateral attempt to impose additional terms onto a contract after it is made will have no effect. Statutory contract (American) for sale of goods is a little different, but wouldn’t apply.

  8. And I just want to go on record as saying that if *that* is a fat ass, I wish I had a fat ass, too!

  9. padraig padraig says:

    I’m just glad this crisis is over and my life can finally go on.

  10. LovelyMusic LovelyMusic says:

    Honestly I think that, that is a stupid reason, I got kicked off my cheerleading squad for being a size 6 2 years ago. They should be ashamed of themselves.

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