Janice Dickinson Doesn’t “Do Fat”

Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency: I Don’t “Do Fat”

Dr. Robyn J.A. Silverman

While we are still unsure how much people listen when celebrities say dumb things, when it comes to weight and size, many ears tend to perk up. This week on “The Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency” (Oxygen Network), the former supermodel, actress, agent and author scoffed plus-size models when she said she doesn’t “do fat” in her own snobbish, turned-up-nose way. We know. People think a woman as small as a size 4 is too fat for Hollywood.

People are clearly upset. Girls have to do so much to fit into today’s narrow definition of beauty. Given the pervasiveness of Anorexia and Bulimia, the media onslaught of withering bodies —and not to mention—the overall poor body image of girls and women, such statements belittle anyone who doesn’t fit the thin ideal.

“I am absolutely outraged! Janice Dickinson’s treatment of not only plus-size models, but all female models who aren’t a size “0”, is unacceptable. She is setting a horrible example for young girls, and is mean-spirited in a sad attempt to gain ratings.” Chenese Lewis, Hollywood NOW Love Your Body Chairperson, former Miss Plus America, plus-size fashion model & actress.

As a body image expert and success coach, it’s challenging to fight against the media storm and endless barrage of celebrities who are poster children for eating disorders. However, we get up and do it everyday. Janice Dickinson has a right to represent whomever she’d like—but by belittling plus size models in such a public way, she is also teaching girls to reject “fat.” This is frightening since this simply gives pubescent girls more reason to reject their own developing bodies.

She is not healthy for women to watch, for kids who need to learn self-acceptance, for

parents who are hoping to teach their kids about loving their body.” — Zoe Ann Nicholson, chapter president, The Hollywood Chapter, The National Organization for Women (NOW)

The National Organization for Women (NOW),  the largest organization of feminist activists in the United States, is working to educate people about important issues facing all women today—including healthy body image. Chenese Lewis, who has taken part in my research studies on women and body image, and who has been a great support to my work, has been an amazing resource as the Hollywood NOW Love Your Body Chairperson.

NOW is publicly rejecting the statements made by Dickinson—what do YOU think about what she said? Justified? Stupid? Doesn’t Matter? Please comment below.

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16 Responses

  1. […] it makes me angry that people like this, who say these things are given so much attention by main stream media. I dont remember what network her show it on, but […]

  2. I am coming to you via BPOTW. I think she is just ignorant and I don’t have time or patience for ignorance so, to me it doesn’t matter. I didn’t watch her in the first place and I certainly won’t now.

  3. Hi Suzie-

    Yes, and in this case, ignorance is NOT bliss. Some people should never be given a platform. It’s like watching a train wreck. I just hope that girls aren’t watching it all happen.

    Dr, Robyn

  4. No, Janice doesn’t do fat except in her lips and boobs. Woops, did I just write that? 😉 You know my thoughts on the image issue with girls and weight. I don’t even see how Janice is a viable “role model”. She’s kind of a laughing stock in my opinion.

  5. Very nice come back , Vicki!

    No, she’s not a role mode– just public. And I can only imagine that it’s teens watching her on TV– could adults actually be interested in watching that show? It’s these kinds of messages that flow right into our children’s heads and make them wonder if they’ll ever be good enough.

    She may have a lot of fat in her brain too.

    Dr. Robyn

  6. I hate to say it – but I’m really thinking that my husband has one of the best solutions for this problem. Well – not a solution really (since that doesn’t exist) but a good strategy for “redirection.” He thinks that participation in sports is integral to combating the pressure to look perfect. It builds confidence, it provides exercise and activity, it encourages girls to view their bodies as a something more than eye candy for the boys… Now we just have to hope that she doesn’t inherit my complete lack of athletic ability! But if so – we’ll find something else. At least this puts us on the right track…

  7. I do indeed like that solution, Kate, and there are many studies that support what your husband is saying. Anytime we can develop the “assets” of our girls– that is both internal strengths (i.e. body image, character) and external strengths (i.e. connections with positive people, community service ties), we are helping to develop their confidence and their belief in themselves. Sports definitely fits the bill.

    Thanks for the great comment– come back soon!
    Dr. Robyn

  8. I’m follow JDMA since season 1 until now (4) and i always say to my friends JDMA is more cool than ANTM (hahaha… dunno why i dun like ANTM – maybe just girls and no boys, except Isis… hahaha). but when i watch JDMA (ep 7), i’m totally think janice is not cool anymore. she is a worst role model to the teenager (especially girl). size 0 is NORMAL. huhuhu… she is totally insane. but as we know, janice is queen of controversy. whatever she did just for cheap publicity. Huhuhu.. and congrates to janice bcoz she got that publicity. however, i will be a fan of JDMA (so sad bcoz there is no more Traci)

  9. […] all heard it before. Media is riddled with it. Janice Dickenson scoffs at it. Tyra Banks yells about it. Keira Knightly and Kate Winslet are sick of media’s hand […]

  10. Why should we listen to this circus clown, anyway?? God, she’s hideous.

  11. We shouldn’t listen to her…strange that people do, isn’t it? And being a celebrity, whether we like it or not, her presence has influence. It’s important for us to help those younger girls realize that what she says is for media attention and to play a role, not where we should be getting our information.

    Thanks for contributing– come back soon!

  12. ugh! why is she even on tv! her face looks like a toilet!!!

  13. Yet her gut is hanging out on “I’m a Celebrity get me out of here”. I can’t believe this woman even has a show, she is a horrible mean spirited person and should never be looked at as a role model. Just look at how selfish she is being on “I’m a Celebrity” right now. She thinks she is so perfect, but is starting to look like Frankenstein with all that plastic surgery.

  14. Actually, I think Janice is a breath of fresh air. Not because she mocked plus size models, but because she doesn’t pretend that the modeling world is “deeper” than it is. She KNOWS how cut-throat and shallow modeling is. After all, how could it NOT be? They’re meant to be walking clothes hangers.

    I think it’s great that she presents modeling for what it truly is. A mean, cold, critical career path that you have to really have balls to handle (on a self esteem level). I think Janice really just doesn’t like blowing sunshine up anyone’s ass about modeling and the lifestyle.

    At least she doesn’t act like an petulant child and start crying that she wants to be “taken seriously” or “break into acting” and not be able to admit she sucks at it. She took what she’s good at (modeling and style) and she made a career out of what she knows instead of what world we’d like to see.

    She may be mean…..but you can always count on Janice to just be Janice. I think it’s refreshing and more women should adopt her attitude. “If you can’t be good…..be good at it.”

  15. On a side note: I’m not advocating her being a role model for teens in ANY way. However, her honest attitude about models and modeling is GOOD for girls who are thinking about modeling.

    Look at all these beautiful girls who’s lives were cut short because they thought the modeling world would be all fancy trips, cars, and adoration and ended up being used, abused, and on drugs. Women like Janice are the cold bucket of water these girls need to see what they’re really getting into.

    I applaud her ability to not show her career and the careers of other models through rose-tinted glasses, I think we need to stop giving in to the urge to protect our kids from ALL ugliness because that’s the only way they’ll learn to keep a watchful eye out in the world. It’s sad, but it’s reality. We don’t want to raise kids who crumple at an insult or criticism. Girls have to be strong enough to not care if someone calls them “chubby” once and remember all the people instead who called her “brilliant, funny, and pretty”.

  16. Shes running a business, fat doesnt sell, she is just being honest. Its a modelling agency… why would she hire people that are over weight? The fashion industry is a fickle place, people need to get over it and stop being outraged its been going on for years, wont change either.

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