Model who refuses to drop 3 sizes just for the fashion industry

The size 12 star of TV show who’s ‘too fat’ for top model agency

Jen Hunter is 5ft 11 and a size 12. She won the hearts of the British public and put size-zero models to shame with her modest curves.

But despite becoming the star of the television series Make Me A Supermodel, Jen Hunter, 24, has been forced out of her modelling contract – for being too large. The size 12 blonde was booked by a fashion agency after impressing voters for refusing to diet when judges in the Channel Five series said she was fat.

Cape London Model Management helped secure Miss Hunter work as the face of mobile phone giant Nokia and cosmetics company Avon. But she has faced repeated knock-backs at catwalk castings. Yesterday, the mother-of-one from Wigan, Lancs., said she was quitting the agency to join one for larger-sized women – despite being below average size.

The headline and first few paragraphs of the story seem to imply that the mainstream agency that did take Hunter on has forced her away, yet at the end of the article Hunter says that the agency were supportive and secured her some great contracts but kept on sending her to castings where all the other girls were tiny, so she’s moved to an agency which specialises in plus-size models (presumably because they know where the plus-size friendly castings are, and the mainstream agency did not). So not a case of the mainstream agency dumping her, just a case of them not knowing what best to do with her.

Of course, because the story is in the Mail on Sunday, there’s other stuff to grind teeth over: they have to tell us she’s a “mother of one” and there’s rather too much relish in recycling the details of some of the criticism of her from judges on the TV show as well as demonstrating that they are unable to resist some sideswiping of the model who did win the show as a “walking skeleton”. I certainly have my own criticisms of an industry that coerces women who work within it to be unhealthily underweight, but those women are still human beings, Mail journalists!

Still, loving Jen Hunter for being in that hothouse atmosphere, knowing she was going to be broadcast all over the UK, and saying this:

although she was urged to lose weight, Miss Hunter refused, saying she would not “hang her head in shame” and drop three sizes just for the fashion industry.

As said in the opening of the article, Hunter is nearly 6 feet tall and is a British size 12 (UK sizes are smaller than Australian sizes, for those who’ve never shopped there). That’s very slim proportions for a woman of that height, and even for her height she is still smaller than the average:

In contrast, the average size of the UK woman is between 14 to 16.

Although models have always been thinner than average, 25 years ago the size difference was eight per cent.

It is now 23 per cent.

Anyone got the figures for a weight/size distribution curve for UK women? I’m curious as to how many standard deviations from the average that 23% difference represents, and what it actually means: weight? measurements? mode/mean/median?



Categories: arts & entertainment

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11 replies

  1. She’s beautiful; can’t see what on earth the judges didn’t like about her.
    I wonder when the fashion world will just do away with human models and wheel out coathangers with lumps of silicon attached.

  2. I’m an American guy who watches practically no TV so I had never heard of or seen a picture of Jen. I googled her and found this:
    http://www.traffordcentre.co.uk/pictures/Whats On/~jD8i9lyD-DIFullb/Jen Hunter standing.jpg
    I’m not usually attracted to fat girls, but I have to make an exception with this one!

  3. remrebound,
    I’m sure ms. hunter will be glad to hear a douchebag nobody like youself finds her attractive. Maybe you should call her agent!

  4. J,
    Too harsh too soon, don’t you think?
    This was remrebound’s first post here, and although I agree in principle that making a point of letting feminists know whether he rates Hunter fuckable or not does display a sad lack of clue, it doesn’t deserve abuse straight out of the gate.
    For my further thoughts on the overly zealous squelching of newbies, please see Friday Feminism: Blogging while Feminist – a 3-comment rule?

  5. Ah, give it a rest! The guy was making the point that Hunter is a HEALTHY & therefore BEAUTIFUL woman.
    Personally, I feel that Hunter would be a better model to show off fashion creations. I’ve always thought of high fashion as an art form -but you know, the art work should be complete. It makes no sense to create something fun & funky, say, & have a model so hungry she looks perpetually as if she’s on drugs. Models, I think, should be able to act the part of the clothing they model so that they don’t detract from the overall image.
    And ewwww, what’s with the super skinny male models?

  6. No, he’s being offensive (“fat girls”) and he’s indulging in MALE ENTITLEMENT. Who in the world cares if HE does consider her attractive or he doesn’t? He thinks the world does. He thinks the world SHOULD. And he thinks SHE SHOULD.
    “I have to make an exception with this one”. She really should be thankful you have, oh-so-compassionate saint.

  7. It’s been some years since I studied this, but I believe one Standard Deviation either side of the mean includes 66% of a normal distribution. Someone who is 23% thinner than average would therefore be approximately 2/3 of a standard deviation below the mean.

  8. 1 SD either side of the mean covers 68%, I think, darling.
    What I meant was how are they quantifying “thinner than average” and “size difference”?
    Weight? Measurements? BMI?
    It’s a bit meaningless unless we know exactly what they’re measuring.

  9. This Australian model who’s just signed up with Ford Agency in NY is an interesting contrast: similiar sentiments but different paths to modelling.
    Size 12-14 mum is role model

    ”I am not so much fanatical about fashion, but just extremely passionate about being p—-d off about the continual skinny model debate,” said the 29-year-old.
    “It is not right to encourage young girls to live unhealthily to be a model.

    Abby Valdes has been in the modelling industry successfully for 3 years, not some naive woman from a TV show: so will Ford do better with the castings they send her to than the English agency did with Hunter?

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