Stockholm: A Swedish model has slammed the fashion industry’s “absurd” standards after claiming she stopped receiving offers of work because she was considered “too big”.
Agnes Hedengård was a runner up in Sweden’s Next Top Model, but says she is repeatedly rejected during casting calls.
In a video posted on YouTube and Facebook, the 19-year-old said clients are initially keen to work with her but quickly back out once they receive her measurements. Hedengård has a body mass index of 17.5, which is considered underweight by medical experts. However, she says she needs to be even thinner in order to meet the fashion industry’s standards.
Standing in front of a mirror in her underwear for the video, she pointed to parts of her body that were apparently highlighted for being too big. “They think my butt is too big and they think my hips are too wide,” she said. “According to the modelling industry, you cannot look like this, you need to be thinner.
“They are like ‘no, she’s too big, she needs to get into better shape, we won’t work with her’. My purpose of this video is to show everyone that a big part of the modelling industry thinks this is too big. It’s absurd and I hate it, and I just want other people to see this.”
And in July, the influential fashion retailer TopShop was forced to stop ordering a range of mannequins branded ridiculous by shoppers for being unrealistically skinny.
Hedengård’s video has struck a chord with people across the world, who praised her courage for speaking out against the industry’s damaging obsession with weight and size.
“Your body is much more beautiful to see on magazines than the thinner ones,” wrote one user on Facebook. “I’m sure your intervention will be useful and would convince some industrials to work with you and to choose your face as their public image.”
“You are too good for them,” wrote another. “Create your thing. Sell it. Be you. Without them. Much respect and blessings.”