Saturday, November 22, 2008

Body Image + Fashion + Me!

Ok well I kinda have been decided to revisit this theme once again because of 2 things today.

Number 1: The new reality TV show Stylista which as Gawker writes proves "You're Not The Right Fit For Elle If You Can't Fit Into A Sample Size".

Number 2: Something Awful forum thread (never heard of this forum before, but someone has kindly, not, linked to me in the "Ask me about working in the Fashion Industry" thread).

Ok so about Stylista. I actually have only just heard about this show as of today, I don't normally watch American Reality TV shows (I'm all for their Aus versions though, as you all know I loved Project Runway Aus but I have never watched the USA versions. The main reason for this is because of the bitchiness of USA TV shows. PR Aus was so happy in comparison to what I have seen of the USA version even the Helen stuff was light hearted, and after speaking to Oren and Petrova from the show it was all hyped up and out of context anyway...well mostly).

Anyway, for those of you who don't know what Stylista is, basically it's like Project Runway only they are competing to be a Junior Fashion Editor at Elle USA magazine. Sounds like fun yeah? Well not if your a plus size contestant it turns out. Poor Danielle, from the beginning she was the odd one out. I just watched the 1st episode and in the section where the contestants 1st day outfits are judged by a mean stylist, only Danielle is praised, but I got the feeling that the stylist guy didn't want to seem "fattist" so he went soft on her. Anyway that's just my personal observation. The real issue came in the most recent episode where all the contestants had to create an outfit using the Elle sample cupboard. Well there was nothing that would fit Danielle of course. The producers would have known this from the start of course, even way back when they auditioned her to come on. It was all set up to add drama, at the expense of her feelings. It is true that maybe she could have grabbed some accessories and just worked them, but she was obviously embarrassed and ended up in tears in a cupboard. Then the other contestants were going on and on about how the stuff was too big for them, not thinking about Danielle's feelings at all. It was really painful to watch.

I'm not sure what I would have done if I was in her situation. Like I have said before, I know I am fat and I am fine with it (mostly, as I have said many times I want to be as "thin" as I was when I left Japan but that's all been said numerous times before on here and I'm working on it...I say as I'm eating choc chip cookies Henry bought for me after work, lol) Heck I knew when I met Yvan that I was too fat for Facehunter. He is looking for beauty and fashion not crazy fat girl in silly dress and glasses. He did take some photos of me, but not for the site...Anyway I have no delusions on what I can and can not do at this size, I can work behind the scenes, I can't be in front of the camera. I know I'm no model and I'm fine with it.

Then someone says something like this (from the Something Awful thread)

Ichor posted: What do you think of this (with a link to my blog)

Gofrockyourself posted: This is going to be the meanest thing I've said in this thread so far - but there is a reason she's not working for a mainstream magazine (and it's not just that she lives in Melbourne). Fashion is an incredibly prejudiced industry, and looking like she does is sort of like going to an interview with sauce on your shirt.

Is this true? I don't think so, its against the law and discriminatory. The reason I don't work for a mainstream fashion magazine is because I haven't tried to, yet. I'm still studying. It is true that living in Melbourne does mean less opportunity's to work in fashion which is why in 2010 Henry and I are moving to Sydney (also more work for an interior designer, plus Whitehouse has a campus there and you can go on exchange). I thought that it would of course be hard to get a job in fashion, and I do know that my size does mean people are quick to judge and assume things about me. But really "sauce on my shirt".

Is this true? Will I never ever work in fashion? Or will I always be a fashion outsider locked out due to my size?


  1. I don't know who that person who wrote that is (although they are obviously desperate for people to think they are some kind of fashion industry insider, I'm assuming they're just a wannabe try hard), but they don't really know what they're talking about.

    If you want to work for Vogue or ACP as a mag hag, then yes you probably need to be a skinny little girl (and once you hit 30 you will be almost on your way out the door) - but honestly the fashion industry is so much bigger and broader than just that tiny box.

  2. What that person said is complete rubbish, you have a fantastic and individual style. Not to mention you're super talented. You don't HAVE to look like a model just to work in the fashion industry, looking like a model is only useful if you are trying to BE a model!

    Psh, forget what that person said. You don't know them, they don't know you, so don't fret over what they said for one second longer!

    Btw, love the blog! :)

  3. This gofrockyourself girl is probably just bitchy because she's hungry.

    And as someone from Melbourne I find her comments about there being "no real fashion scene in Melbourne" as just further evidence that she is talking out her ass.

  4. Ironically enough, the first post that drew me to your blog was the one in July about body image. You inspired me and I admired you. I've been following you blog ever since. This is the first time I've commented because (I know this sounds silly) but you always seemed sort of ... intimidating? Like, too cool for me to comment or something like that ... but anyway, I wanted to comment today because I felt strongly about the subject you wrote about today.

    1. I love your confidence in your appearance. I think that you look perfectly beautiful at that size and to imagine you smaller just seems to not be you ...
    2. Why the fuck do people feel the need to talk bad about people who aren't even volunteering themselves into the conversation?? Geez ...
    3. I think that your passion, creativity, ingenuity, and talent will be more than enough to ensure your success in the fashion industry. I love how you aren't unrealistic about the limitations because of your size, but that being said I absolutely do not think that a career in fashion is an unattainable goal for you.

    Plus -- I have a feeling that within the next few years, skinny will be out! Women are getting tired of feeling hungry and sad and insecure all the time. I think the next generation of women who start working in the fashion industry as well as the media and film industry are going to change that tide. I'm an aspiring screenwriter, and I know that I plan on writing roles intended for NORMAL bodies.

    Sorry if this was rambly. I'm not good at commenting on blogs ...

    In short -- you're lovely. Don't fret.


  5. I am gobsmacked.

    We live in such a bitchy world its amazing.

    I think skinny skinny girls are generally less attractive than larger girls. And I have read surveys where most guys agree too. The only guys who are attracted to them are the ones who care not about the girls themselves, but how they look with them walking next to them.

    Skinny-ness is a fad. and like Kayla Lane said, it'll be 'out' soon.
    Heathyness is always in, and that should be put first.
    But even the most healthy girls are still considered fat in the fashion industry.

    I hate the concept and the way we've been manipulated to believe that the thinner you are the prettier you are. When will people ever like what they see, and not what they've been told is good or bad.

    Whitehouse offered you a spot because of your fabulous folio, not because of how you look. And any employer who is smart enough would do the same if they wanted what was best for their business.

  6. From the pictures you've previously posted which show your talent in styling, plus the amazing work you've done on Melbourne Street Fashion, I think you would go really far in the fashion industry, whether it be in Melbourne or Sydney! (Of course I'm no "fashion insider" but I love reading your blog & admire you a lot!)

  7. I know next to nothing about fashion but I know that you certainly know what you're talking about (and I love reading it and looking at yr pics/fashions). It's crappy that someone linked to yr blog in a negative way and it sucks even more when people say shitty things :-( I say - don't listen to them. You're going to get even more ideas and confidence next year (and onwards at the Whitehouse Inst.) and are going to meet a million people who'll no doubt help you onto whichever path you choose!

    ps: I detest Alex Perry and his views on womens' bodies. Urgh.

  8. i'm not just saying this because i really dig your blog (nor because i'm not thin myself), but if you wanted to work at a magazine that didn't hire you based on you not being a size 6, it's clearly not the kind of magazine you'd want to work for.

    it's such a mum thing to say, but if you were to ever work somewhere that either
    a) made you feel like shit compared to everyone else there
    b) made you change the way you are,
    you'd lose all your integrity and you'd just end up resenting the job and yourself.

    you're happy with yourself and it's about time people realised that it's possible to feel good and see yourself as attractive (and have others feel the same!) without being tiny.

  9. Don't worry about her. I had nothing better to do than read that whole thread and really, she's just an annoying name dropper. Also, it proves she's not even read your blog.

  10. You will always be an outsider, we are all outsiders on here, thats why we started blogs and thats why people come and read them every day from all over the world.
    Fuck them Hayley.
    You are a priceless edition to the Melbourne fashion scene, thats what makes this city so great.

  11. Hayley, You are beautiful. You should know it. And you will work in the fashion industry because you work hard and you deserve it. Don't doubt it. Just let all that stuff roll of you - hard as it may be. I am so mad at them.

  12. Oh the dribble from gofrockyourself, "I work for an antipodes based, international fashion magazine doing a job that is a combination of Betty/Anne Hathaway's position in Ugly Betty/The Devil Wears Prada and staff writer...I'd rather remain anonymous, so don't ask specific questions about my publication"...blah, blah, blah!Yeah right and I'm Hilary Clinton!! More dribble from the girl with the high IQ..."I'm also happy to get into an internet shouting match about whether or not my industry causes low self esteem (it does, but only if you were going to hate yourself anyway)" dangerous is that attitude? Do you really think a magazine is going to hire or allow articles from that mindset into their mag...I don't think so. Their insurance wouldn't cover their liability.
    I saw you the other day near Williams st. I didn't say hello but when I got back to work a few of us had a chat about how refreshing your blog is.

  13. Firstly, I think the fact you have SUCH a high readership here, is because you are obviously talented and have a great, refreshing, and candid writing style. I was absolutely speechless when I saw the pics from your folio because they were so amaaazing.

    Secondly, I don't trust anyone who says Melbourne is horrible... haha! She said in that thread that she'd been to Melb and it was horrible, it has no fashion scene and there's no parties to go to. Well, from the pictures I've seen around these traps I would beg to differ. It looks as though Melbourne has a thriving fashion scene (I'm actually a bit jealous of all the fashion-y events you go to, lol!)... but just like everything else in Melbourne, it takes a bit to get to know it. Melbourne is like that cool intellectual chick who seems standoffish at first but is actually the coolest chick ever when you actually get to know her. And maybe 'gofrockyourself' thinks there's no parties because noone wanted to invite her - who wants such a stuck up Sydneysider going to their parties anyway?!

    I'm looking forward to the day when you're styling from some kick ass edgy magazine.. and then gofrockyourself can go frock herself.

  14. I don't see how you have to be thin to do what it is you want to do. From what I know, you are more interested in style/photography, and from what I've seen you are good at it and more importantly, you actually DO IT! So many people talk about how they want a career in fashion then they sit on their butts and do nothing. The way to get where you want to go is hard work. You're on the right track with your studies and your fashion sites. Don't listen to that person, she's just trying to be cool, and failing.

    I am inspired by your site, and your style. I am somewhere between Sample and Plus size, but I related more to Plus, because it doesn't matter if you're only a little fat, you're still considered FAT. (it might be different where you are I live in San Francisco, CA.) Keep up the good work!

  15. P.S.
    Don't listen to whatever that person wrote about you in some forum.

    People who do that kind of thing have issues.

  16. Man forums like that shit me to tears! I work in retail and I once went and had a look at a forum where some of our customers were writing about our store and staff, and can you believe it, one girl wrote about my body size and another said I talked too much! I wallowed for days in self pity before realising that it's true, you can't please everyone and why would you want to! Fashion Hayley, you are amazing--and don't forget it!

    Ali x

  17. Thanks everyone for your comments.

    I accidentally rejected 5 comments, so to those people I didn't reject you on purpose, I just hit the wrong button, oopps. Does anyone know how to get them back? Or are they lost forever deep in the internet?

  18. fuck that. quite apart from being completely irrelevant that's just mean.

    "like going to an interview with sauce on your shirt"?!!

    words cannot express, seriously.

  19. ahh what the fuck. unfortunately the fashion industry is so bitchy about peoples weight. its not the way it should be, its the way they have created it to be. i watched make me a supermodel (i became addicted to it. sad huh?) and they way that everyone treated the girls who were not complete skin and bones made me so angry! but the fact that the bitches kassy and hannah got voted off prove the the general public and average girls who are not stick thin. the average aussie girl is a size 12-14 not 6-8 like in the magazines! so the fashion industry isnt the real world and they need to stop acting like they have the right to treat people like absolute shit. something really needs to be done about the negative impact they have on body image. hopefully skinny will be 'out' soon.

  20. What a lack of basic manners! As much as I like to buy fashion magazine like, Vogue or Harpers Bazaar, these magazines will continue to praise the image of women are an anorexic size 2's with perfect airbrushed skin and a nose job. You have incredible talent and a creative mind. If you continue to keep a positive outlook, work hard, do things that scare you and listen to constructive critisism you will keep moving forward towards amazing oportunities. Let me note that what these individuals said or implied about you was NOT constructive, what they were saying was not encouraging you to move forward but was merely feeding their own insecurities. Last but not least, the popular culture that these magazines propagate is about something so mentally unhealthy and un-naturual. You can push yourself into this anorexic out-dated industry if that's what you want but there are other better opportunities you can embrace instead. One example is the thriving avant-garde industry where news ideas and creativity abounds. Some great examples of this are BUST magazine and Nylon magazine. Both magazines featured a front cover(Bust) and a feature article(Nylon) with Beth Ditto. In each case Beth flaunts her perfectly FINE curvacious legs and arms for the world to see. Anyway ya sorry that was a bit long winded I just always get really outraged by peoples rude closed minded views about people who do not fit into the homogenized view of beauty.


  21. Hales you're sooooooo beautiful and full of life, talent, confidence, funny, great company, caring, organiser, intelligent, artistic, get the picture and I love you Mum XXXx

  22. fuck THAT! While there is a lot, a LOT of judgement in the fashion world, I think that anyone who cares about the direction of their BRAND or success of their artistic message, will choose a qualified, creative person. Which you definitely are. I , for one, would want to surround myself with people who have ability and style, which you obviously have. Kill that noise!

  23. after watching 5 episodes of stylista, it gave me the impression that the fashion industry is pretty much run by bitchy elitist women and gay men who take themselves way too seriously and whose styles are as original as a chloe handbag purchased from a dingy alleyway in thailand. im not literate in the fashion industry as opposed to the plain love of clothes and personal style, but who wants to be in an environment like that anyway? lucky for us we live in an era of choice, and there are newer voices in fashion that values creativity and talent over something as shallow and OLD as body size. i dont know you personally, but judging from these posts and your creativity im sure you will have no trouble finding your place within this industry.

  24. fuck...i hope to god that the fashion industry is not like that. I think you are a friggin awesome stylist and really, please don't let comments like that get you down. i'm sure you'll carve your own way through the fashion industry. I don't like the idea of you conforming to stupid ideals of the fash industry. Don't change and definitely DON'T pay attention to comments such as that.

  25. "This gofrockyourself girl is probably just bitchy because she's hungry."

    loool truest statement ever

    To be honest, whether or not you can get a job in fashion depends on where you're located and what the magazine is I think.

    I think you shouldn't worry about it and you should just try for jobs when you've graduated.

    "going to an interview if you're fat is like going with sauce on your shirt"
    Right, that's definitely the most outrageous statement I have ever heard in my life. fucking ridic. So you shouldn't try for positions just because you happen to be fat? Wat.

    I just wanted to say that I think you're incredibly talented, just based on the styling and photography you did for your folio. I don't love all your clothes all the time, but you are BY FAR the BEST bigger girl dresser I have ever seen in my life! I admire the way in which you put things together, your metallic gold leggings, your splashes of color, your creativity. and I think that photoshoot you styled has proven your worth and that you can style and photograph really incredibly. I look up to you as a fashion inspiration and you're on top of the "people I admire and who inspire me" list. I think it's ridiculous that you are getting so much flak - I am sorry that you have to put up with such comments. I hope you won't let them affect you and that you'll remember that throughout the blogger world, people are getting haters/criticism all over, generally unfair and unwarranted. Please don't let it get you down!!!!!! Please, please continue posting and sharing with us. I hope you remember and will realize how many of us support and respect you, as compared to a couple of anonymous random shitheads.

    P.S. OMG YOU MET FACEHUNTER. HOW INCREDIBLE IS THAT!!!!!!!! Now he is coming to singapore and all the fashion bloggers are having kitties about hopefully meeting him.

    Do you think he would party with us random strangers??!!! haha anyway you are just so so lucky.

  26. You rejected mine and I don't care what you say, you did it on purpose because you don't like me!

    JK ;)
    All it said was that I agreed with Lady Melbourne - That this day and age truely is about the fashion outsider. This is your time. Regardless of what a "fashion industry insider" in denial seems to think.

  27. I've been reading your blog from London (when I'm supposed to be working!) since I followed a link from Facehunter about a month ago...

    Mostly read it because I am desperately missing Melbourne and think that your life epitomises the life of all those fashionable kids all around the city.

    I'm really disappointed that you have been made to feel like this my some mean stranger on the internet. It makes me really angry and I hope that you have not taken these comments to heart. Just remember that it's the successful people that get picked on. You're doing really well so don't let these comments get you down.

    Jenny x

  28. Oh, how disappointing... you are so, so above this crap. What a childish thing for them to say.
    This reminds me of when Facehunter was here and got all those negative comments... there are so many people desperate to be cool who think that the only way to do this is to insult other people. Yawn. It is so school yard.
    And for what it's worth, I think you always look beautiful, Hayley! And you are very talented... I hope you can forget about this nonsense by tomorrow! :)

  29. How weird! Blogging really puts you in all sorts of odd situations doesnt it? Once I was reading in this latex fetish forum that had linked to me about the mainstreaming of shiny leggings, and someone pointed me out because I had found them so cheap. I didnt even want to read the rest.

    People love to be cruel for no good reason when it's easy to hide behind a computer

  30. i think when you say shit like "im too fat for facehunter" your just giving into the cycle. own your beauty, your doing what they are doing by saying shit like that so dont contradict yourself

  31. Hayley, I don't work in fashion, so I can't offer any insights on your likelihood for success. I hope the above commentors are right when they say you don't have to look a particular way to be in the industry and that having a specific appearance is more important for models.

    What I would say is that I think in most businesses, success is based on what you can do (track record, portfolio, etc) but also on the rapport you strike with the client or your boss. And that rapport may be strongly influenced by how you look. Some people don't ever want to compromise how they look. Others see it as something they are willing to do in order to get something else that they want. I don't mean just size, but also how you style yourself. For example, I worked with a firm of management consultants, who learned from their clients in one market segment "We hate it when you send us a bunch of London guys in bankers suits". So when they visit those clients, they go in different attire.

    Not sure what you want to do in fashion (I didn;t read all the archive yet), but it seems to me if you want to be a stylist, you may need to style yourself to appeal to your target client base. That doesn't necessarily mean change your size, more about understanding what would intrigue them or make them feel confident in hiring you. If your portfolio is exceptional then it may speak for itself... if it's good but not outstanding then other factors may come into play.

    Having said that, I read a piece somewhere (and if I find the link I'll send it to you) about a British woman who is earning pots of cash as a stylist and doesn't look fashion-y at all. So maybe it simply doesn't matter as long as you're good enough at what you do.

  32. I was thinking of Katie Grand (wears no make-up, uses no beauty products (not even moisturiser), has frizzy hair and big gaps in her teeth and speaks with a Birmingham accent)

  33. There are always those people who need to put others down to feel better about themselves.
    Your readership and following is proof that your one stylish and talented woman.

  34. What? That is absolute and utter bollocks. Do you really think that a fabulous stylist such as yourself would be overlooked in favour of someone who looks like a model? Maybe at Elle but not at magazines that are actually worth something. If a magazine won't hire you based on the way you look (which, in itself is mental because I'd like to quote myself as calling you 'pretty much the most awesome looking person ever') then why the hell would want to work for them anyway?

    Eat your choc chip cookies girl and be happy and fabulous. What else is there to do?

  35. Darling - forget that bitch. How dare she?

    I love your blog, your style and your writing. Those idiots who might not hire you for your size? Clearly they're blind to your obvious talent (I saw that series of photos you styled, they were amazing).

    You write for real women in the real world, we love you for exactly who you are. Honestly, I'm so sick of super skinny bloggers just posting photos of "what I bought this week". There's no personality there at all.

    I just know you'll end up working for (or starting up) a super-cool street fashion magazine or website. Would you really want to work in high fashion? It sounds like hell! Trying to sell overpriced boring designer clothes to starving office workers using anorexic models to make them feel awful about themselves?

    Rant over. I'm going to go and eat two boxes of pocky now.

    Love always...

  36. Hayley I just read this and want to say - chin up and fuck 'em. I'm 'large' and had a lot of success at ACP, particularly in fashion. You'd be surprised how un-shallow a lot of the mags are, particularly the usual suspects. Besides, the mainstream mags only represent a tiny part of the industry - there is a whole host of fab fashion jobs out there, that aren't all mwah-mwah kissy-schmoozy for 24k a year including super! I think your blog is wonderful and know I have peers that feel the same way. The person who made nasty comments probably hasn't made it past her editorial coordinator possy because she is still tottering around in flashy heels, trying to figure out whether those Burberry studded things are meant to be shoes or a twisted belt. You are F-A-B tiger. x

  37. Hey, I know you'll do something great! You'll get into the fashion industry in no time. You do a great blog too, it'll be great to see someone like you in the fashion industry, whether mainstream or indie.

  38. Uh... coming in late with this one. Sure, we're not Vogue, and I'm no Anna Wintour (but then again, Anna Wintour is no Natasha Poly if we're debating looks v talent and Wintour is, as we all know, one of the most powerful people in fashion) - anyway,I digress, we asked Hayley to write for us because she can, well, write. Pretty simple, really.


    Michelle at Attitude


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