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EXCLUSIVE: National Organization For Women Demands Ralph Lauren Apologizes To "Too Fat" Fired Model

Oct. 16 2009, Published 11:28 a.m. ET

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If Ralph Lauren thinks the controversy over model Filippa Hamilton’s digitally retouched photos is going away any time soon - fat chance! A national women’s organization is demanding the fashion house apologize again for its actions.

The fashion conglomerate recently came under fire when heavily altered images of 23-year-old Hamilton looking emaciated came to light. Since then the 5’10” and 120 pound model has come out publicly claiming that Ralph Lauren fired her for being overweight.

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“When I looked at (the ad), I wanted to burst into tears,” NOW vice president Erin Matson told exclusively. “What they have done is revolting. It is so harmful to young girls around the world.”

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Matson, whose own battle with anorexia led her to join the women’s rights organization, says she is disturbed at the message that these ultra-thin images are sending to women.

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“What sample sizes are they using? Who is the sample if a tall underweight woman does not fit a sample size?” says Matson. “It seems that they’re basing their sample sizes off of photoshopped images.”

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And while Ralph Lauren has since issued statements apologizing for the distorted image, Matson believes the company should do more to.

"Statements only go so far,” says Matson. “What I would like to see is an open apology to her and also affirming ads to women of all shapes and sizes and a statement that these women are beautiful.”

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“Certainly apologies are due to her personally,” Matson adds. “But what I’m really concerned about here is the message that that has sent to millions of pre-teens, daughters, mothers sister – women around the country and the world.”

NOW is working hard to combat those messages, which it says glorify unhealthy beauty stereotypes. Next week, the organization will celebrate its 12th annual Love Your Body Day offering a different message: “It's okay to be you - and the true you is beautiful.”



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