Search AnyBody:

AnyBody Articles:

Please note that this website was selected for preservation by the British Library ( The contents of the site (but not external links) will be archived regularly. This is to ensure that "scholarly, cultural and scientific resources" will not be lost to future generations. If you wish your contribution to this website to be excluded from the archived version please write to


2010 - A New Perspective

2010 may just be the year for change. In the world of body diversity we're off to a good start. Here's a photo montage of just some of the changes that have been happening, just one month in!


Quote from AnyBody member Susie Orbach in The Guardian:

'I ask feminist and psychoanalyst Susie Orbach, author of Bodies, whether she thinks these sites could shift our cultural outlook, expand our notions of beauty. "There's no doubt that they could," she says, before explaining the way we respond to images. "How do we get from a trend for straight-legged jeans to wide jeans? At first we find the new image foreign and horrible, and then it becomes very present, and we start to feel there's something wrong with us because we don't conform to it, and we want to catch up. It's the same with body image". Because we constantly see photographs of very thin women, many of them Photoshopped, we spend our lives trying to fit that impossible ideal – a relentless, often futile quest. "If we were seeing images, not just of fat women, but of all sizes, we wouldn't be continually having to catch up in terms of our own body size," says Orbach, "so we wouldn't be wanting to change it. We might feel that we were represented, and then we could focus on other aspects of our lives".'

- Guardian article

- musings of a fatshionista blog

- fat girls like nice clothes too blog

- young fat and fabulous blog



Models: Britney Vecchio, Hayley Morley, Crystal Renn, Amber Tolliver, and Peeky


- Article in the Independent


Crystal Renn, model and author of Hungry and new face Jacqurlyn Jablonski model Spring 2010 looks side by side.

Photography Terry Richardson
Styling Mel Ottenberg

'Curves Ahead'

Photography Sølve Sundsbø

Styling Nicola Formichetti

V magazine pushes the boundaries with its size issue - but are shoots promoting direct body comparisons and showing larger girls naked in overtly sexual poses really achieving anything other than just objectifying another group of people?

Curves Ahead for 2010

The last day of 2009 is filled with hope for change in our visual
culture. Today, V Magazine released a preview of an editorial entitled
“Curves Ahead” for its upcoming spring 2010 issue, dubbed the "Size
Issue." These images do anything but cut the models down
to size; they proudly celebrate the fashion of curves. What is more,
the images keep with a high fashion aesthetic and aspiration that has,
until now, exclusively been reserved for thin models – further
demolishing the myth that models need to be a particular size to be
featured in high fashion.

My hope is that these images will not only rock our foundation by
challenging who we consider beautiful, but it will shift the culture
of the industry decisions makers when developing editorials, creating
campaigns, and casting models. Living in a culture where we are
bombarded by cookie-cutter fashion images, it is difficult for some to
imagine what they would look like with different sized (and aged,
ability, and background) models. We have not had the opportunity to
see these representations in our popular culture. But just as Dove
showed us how beautiful diversity could look in personal care
advertising, V Magazine is showing us how beautiful diversity can look
in fashion editorial. Both are offering us a new way to see. In 2010,
let’s use this lens to celebrate diversity and, most importantly, make
it an every issue occurrence.
Ben Barry


Our favourite spread of 2009

Our 2009 award for most inspiring, ground breaking and fashion defining moment goes to the team at Harper's BAZAAR Australia - for showing Crystal Renn in her true glory and not sucumbing to the usual fashion cover up. And we think she looks all the better for it.

Harper's BAZAAR May 2009

an un-retouched image from the shoot:


Photographed by Luis Sanchis
Styled by Wayne Gross
Hair by Kenshin Asano at L'Atelier New York
Makeup by Keiko Takagi at See Management New York
Model: Crystal Renn at Ford Models New York

Photographed by Luis SanchisStyled by Wayne GrossHair by Kenshin Asano at L'Atelier New YorkMakeup by Keiko Takagi at See Management New YorkModel: Crystal Renn at Ford Models New York


Befriend AnyBody on Facebook

Make us AnyBodies feel popular and befriend us on facebook - put up posts, debate topics and keep informed of AnyBody events


Women Protest Ralph Lauren's Ridiculous Photoshop

Taking the message home. Protesters target the NYC Headquarters of Ralph Lauren.

Jenna of Jezebel reports from Manhattan.


Boycotting Ralph Lauren

Filmmaker Daryll Roberts sent an open letter to Ralph Lauren last week. He explains why he is boycotting his products and aiming for a million to join him to urge the company to wake up and overhaul the shocking images they use to advertise their clothes. (you can see what he means below in "Controversy over model.." 18 October) I'll refrain from uploading yet another one of these depressing examples when we have such gorgeous images to feature from Elle! Roberts' award-winning film America The Beautiful examines the country's obsession with physical perfection. Check out  and share your views if you've seen the film!


Natural and Beautiful makes a cover page debut!

French Elle took a brave and rewarding leap forwards - putting three models on the cover of their new issue in their natural raw and beautiful state - no photoshopping, no make-up, no over styling.  

Viva la revolution!

The covers feature Monica Belluci, Eva Herzgova and Sophie Marceau


Anybody supports Fat Talk Free Week

This week 19th to 23rd October Anybody hopes that you can enjoy celebrating Fat Talk Free Week. This is a wonderful idea which reminds us how our language is full of "fat talk". In my experience, on a daily basis I am surrounded by fat talk, which I find frankly tragic. "I'm so fat", "I'll start on Monday", "You can have it but I can't". These kind of comments go without saying on a daily basis.

I even sat in Court today in my job as a lawyer and while we were waiting for the judge to come in we all heard the court clerks talking about how fat they were and how they used to be so thin. One of them said how "hippy" she was and how bad she felt about it. It was totally weird that there, even in a court room where you usually keep silent before the judge comes in, it was totally acceptable to engage in this self-hatred so publicly.

What has happened is that "Fat talk" has become completely acceptable and normal.

It's so sad.

That's why Fat Talk Free Week has to be a good thing.  Here's the link.


Controversy over model being dropped for being "too fat"

A seriously distorted image of Fillippa used to advertise Ralph Lauren in Tokyo

The Times reported on 15th October 2009 that a Ralph Lauren model, Filippa Hamilton, is claiming that she has been dropped by the brand after six years working with them because she was supposedly too heavy and couldn't fit into the company's sample sizes.  A size 8 too heavy?


Top German women's magazine Brigitte makes radical change to promote real women

Brigitte, the most read women's magazine in Germany, has decided to stop working with professional models in order to work with and use images of women who are more physically representative of its readers.

This move follows on from Glamour's announcement last month to show a more diverse representation of women.

When two big successful magazines take steps like this and when we hear about the new charter in Canada (see below) it really seems like something in the air is changing and that people are cottoning onto the fact that the fashion industry has not been doing women's gorgeously diverse bodies justice.


Canadian charter has been drafted to promote healthy and diverse models

Lizzie Miller pictured in Glamour magazine

Anybody is very pleased to hear that the province of Quebec has drafted North America's first Charter to
promote healthy and diverse models. Here is a link. Let's hope others follow suit.


Fashion needs to grow up!

 Jo Sykes 2009 London Fashion week presentation

Anna Wintour, editor of US Vogue next to Alexa Cheung and Pixie Geldof front row of PPQ's London Fashion Week presentation 2009

Fashion week show by Mini Feu using all ages

By Elise Slater

When the fashion world's latest obssession is with 13-year old blogger Tavi and the latest issue of LOVE magazine ('The young and the reckless' issue) profiles only those under the ripe old age of 21 what hope is there for the rest of us?

Is life really over and dried up once you hit 22? Do you cease to exist? If you haven't made the big time by the time you are 18 you may as well give it all up? Where once older and wiser was the rule and the way to treat the elderly was with respect it seems increasingly the young rule the world, and the only products produced are either for the young or to make us look young.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not bitter...well, ok maybe I am. But I am only 30 myself, and active in the fashion industry, so to feel like I am already old really is ridiculous, and I know it. I can turn my thinking around - but when you are completely surrounded by this adoration for youth and there is a complete black hole when it comes to anyone over the age of 25 it really is disconcerting.

At London fashion week, where the scenster brat pack of rock star offspring rule the roost (namely Pixie Geldof, Daisy Lowe and Alexa Cheung) It was great to see Anna Wintour - a woman with real fashion experience and talent sit aside them on the front row - and looking rather perturbed about the whole affair!

At a point in history where fashion's obsession with the young is literally reaching an all-time low it is refreshing to see some older models making a debut - with London Designer Jo Sykes using models up to the age of 81 - who looked fabulous in their clothing. She put a silver haired Daphne Selfe into silver jeans - modern and contemporary clothing for all ages.

Young people are great, don't get me wrong, I was young too once! Young people are full of energy and aspiration and unfulfilled potential. We should celebrate youth - but we should also celebrate women who have lived and experienced and earned their stripes - women who have had careers, and been mothers, who have wrinkles from smiling too much and who grow more beautiful and wiser as they grow older. 

I think it's time we gave these youngsters something to aspire to and created a few older role models in the world!



A breakthrough in the magazine world?


From far left: Crystal Renn, Amy Lemons, Ashley Graham, Kate Dillon, Anansa Sims and Jennie Runk. Bottom Center: Lizzie Miller.

US Glamour Magazine (November issue) has made a commitment to showcasing body diversity in their magazine. They conclude the article: Let’s start that revolution right now. Here is the link to an article about using diverse sizes in fashion that concludes with their commitment. The also have a beautiful editorial featuring seven top curvy models. And with a quote from AnyBody member Ben Berry in the mix this may just be the start of the change we have been campaigning for...

'Who says supermodels have to be superthin? There’s a new definition of gorgeous—and you’re about to write it.'

September 21, 2009
by Genevieve Field

The cavernous photography studio in New York City is bustling with fashion assistants, hair and makeup stylists, and models chatting in white terry robes. All typical on a photo shoot, but when the robes come off, you see what’s different. Kate Dillon, Ashley Graham, Amy Lemons, Lizzie Miller, Crystal Renn, Jennie Runk and Anansa Sims— some of the top “plus-size” models working today—have beautiful curves, round shoulders, belly rolls and lots of other womanly stuff many of us see when we look in the mirror. Oh, and there’s lunch, which the models actually eat. “Gosh, it’s so nice that they’re feeding us,” says Lemons. “When I was doing runway, all I was ever offered was water and champagne, all day long.” But it’s not the food the models are excited about—it’s the mission. They’ve been assembled to help Glamour continue an extraordinary dialogue on body image that you, our readers, began.

It started in our September issue with a small photo of Lizzie Miller sitting au naturel—confident, sexy and clearly unconcerned about a little belly overhang. We loved the photo, but it was just one of more than a hundred of full-figured women we’ve run in recent years, so we were surprised when it hit a nerve. “This is true beauty!” wrote one commenter on “A woman that eats!” Added Megan Fehl, 23: “Because of my own belly, I always thought I was some deformed woman, but not now. Holy hell, I am normal!” And in the words of another reader: “I’ve struggled with eating disorders and body image since I was 12. Seeing this picture is the first time I have felt good about myself and comfortable with my body (just the way it is) in a very long time. Thank you for the self-esteem.”

Why did this particular picture, at this particular moment, resonate with so many women? Some possible reasons: The recession has us all in a back-to-basics, tell-it-like-it-is mood, so realer images of women’s bodies seem appropriate now. Celebrities like Kate Winslet, Jessica Simpson and now, on page 182 of this issue, Scarlett Johansson have spoken out against a culture that nitpicks a woman’s every thigh dimple. First Lady Michelle Obama dresses to accentuate rather than camouflage her regal curves, and has the entire world swooning. And maybe, as Emme, a pioneer plus-size supermodel and host of More to Love, believes, “we’ve just had it with the beyond-slender, airbrushed-from-head-to-toe models and actresses who’ve dominated [newsstands] for over a decade.”

Glamour has been on this wavelength since the early nineties. We’ve put Queen Latifah on the cover twice and frequently feature other fuller-bodied celebs and models (including all the women you see here, with the exception of Glamour newcomer Jennie Runk). But the phenomenal response to the Lizzie Miller photo shows there is a thirst for an even more inclusive view of women’s bodies. So what’s keeping the fashion and media worlds from portraying as many size 10’s and 14’s and 20’s as we do size 0, 2 and 4? And what ratio of fantasy to reality does the average American woman really want to see in magazines and ads?

It All Starts With the Clothes

Let’s say you fit the most popular American dress size, a 14, and you want to wear high-end designer fashion. Good luck to you, because most designer fashion labels don’t make a size 14 (they stop at 10 or 12). That’s an aesthetic decision, not a business move, says Marshal Cohen, chief industry analyst for the market research firm NPD. “We know that larger-size women will pay almost anything for good-quality clothes that fit, and luxury brands could benefit greatly from serving that need,” he says. “But there remains a deep stigma against going plus-size in the high-end fashion market. Find a brand that’s willing to bet its image and licensing revenue by doing this, and you will find a progressive company.”

Such companies do exist, and kudos go to Michael Michael Kors, Isaac Mizrahi for Liz Claiborne New York and Baby Phat, among others, for making chic clothes in sizes larger than 14. But even if more designer fashion came in plus sizes, you’d still rarely see it modeled in a magazine by plus-size girls. Why? It’s the sample-size problem. When fashion editors do photo shoots, they can’t simply buy clothing that’s in stores now. They need samples of clothing that will be available when the magazine hits newsstands—samples made by the manufacturer and cut, almost always, to fit a woman size zero to 4. When Glamour uses models and celebrities who are larger than sample-size, getting of-the-moment fashion for them “can be a challenge,” says Maggie Mann, senior fashion editor. “We’ll have a tailor standing by, doing alterations and opening up seams. And we might buy clothes off the rack if we can find something that’ll be available months later when the issue comes out.” Major celebrities have it a little easier; a designer will occasionally make a dress in her size as a courtesy, as happened when Queen Latifah was Glamour’s cover girl.

In June, Alexandra Shulman, editor-in-chief of British Vogue, wrote a letter to top designers, begging for reform. “We have now reached the point where many of the sample sizes don’t comfortably fit even the established star models,” read a portion of her memo, quoted in The Times of London. She charged that designers were forcing magazines to hire models with “jutting bones and no breasts or hips.” Strong words. Will they make an impact? “We hope so. It will take a season or two before we know,” says Glamour deputy fashion director Sasha Iglehart. “Crystal Renn has already graced Glamour’s pages multiple times. It would be a dream come true to work with beauties like her dressed in our

Click to read more ...


French politicians propose all airbrushed images carry health warning

Artwork by Magritte

How brilliant that French politicians are seeing sense and taking steps to protect us from false airbrushed images that make us feel we can never live up to expectations - even though they are fake. Here is link to the article. 


Anybody thought this was cute...

Alexander Cabanel - The Birth of Venus

Recently, in a large French city, a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym.  It said:


A middle aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern:

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans).  They have an active sex life, they get pregnant and have adorable baby whales.  They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp.  They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia. Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs.  They are incredible creatures and virtually have no predators other than humans.  They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist.  If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of Argentinean psychoanalysts due to identity crisis.  Fish or human?  They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them not to mention how could they have sex?  Therefore they don't have kids either.  Not to mention who wants to get close to a girl who's skin is all scaly and smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me... I want to be a whale.

P..S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my grandkids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver and a latte with my friends.  With time, we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies.  So we aren't heavy, we are enormously cultured, educated and happy.  Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, "Good gosh, look how smart I am"!


Body diversity comes to London Fashion Week

by Ben Barry, Anybody Member

London-based Canadian knitwear designer Mark Fast has broken with

fashion tradition by incorporating three size 14 models (alongside his
size 2 models) into his Spring/Summer 2010 show at London Fashion
Week. What is particularly revolutionary about his effort – aside from
the fact that he put body diversity on the catwalk – was that he did
not make the focus his show or media release on his incorporation of
larger sizes (he did it as if it was expected) nor did he simply
include a token full figured model for attention. His authentic and
genuine celebration of body diversity – size 2 and 14 – on the catwalk
is inspiration for all fashion designers to dream beyond their
exclusive use of one size. Change is coming.

Click link to see the show:

Guardian article on Mark Fast's casting of 12+ models:



MP suggests magazines and advertisers come clean about airbrushing

People have been speaking out this week about airbrushing photographs in magazines and advertising. The Liberal Democrats spokeswoman on women told The Times (2 August 2009) that“Today's unrealistic idea of what is beautiful means that young girls are under more pressure now than they were even five years ago. Airbrushing means that adverts contain completely unattainable images that no one can live up to in real life. We need to help protect children from these pressures and we need to make a start by banning airbrushing in adverts aimed at them.The Advertising Standards Authority should also draw up new rules so that advertisements aimed at adults should indicate if images have been airbrushed."


See also this article by Sarah Vine who is saying that the fact that so many images are airbrushed gives our children a completely unrealistic idea of what bodies are like and what is attainable.



Fat celebrities a danger to our health? Come off it!

AnyBody member Susie Orbach writes in The Guardian, Tuesday 30 June 2009 

Images of Beth Ditto's new collection for Evans:

We aren't taking the war on obesity seriously, claims a new study published by Nuffield Health; and large celebrities, such as James Corden and his Gavin And Stacey co-star Ruth Jones, Beth Ditto and Eamonn Holmes, are encouraging us accept being fat as normal. Apart from the fact that I can't seem to find the original research that this story is based on, which in itself is pretty interesting, I think we have to be wary of studies coming from a hospital that does gastric band surgery and thus makes money out of designating people as obese.


We are in a culture that is so fat-phobic you wouldn't have thought fat people could be any more demonised, but Nuffield's line seems to be that obese people in the public eye really should be. We've had - and continue to have - so many struggles about race and disability; but looking at the column inches that scrutinise fat and ageing people, both are heading the way of being illegal categories pretty soon. And if not illegal, then certainly worthy of disdain, contempt and commercial exploitation.


There has been a bit of public discussion about very thin girls and boys on catwalks and advertisements, but the style industries seem to have decided, in the end, that it's all in the name of art and design, and thus the tyrannous aesthetic of size zero doesn't really matter. That has left the devastating message that one size - skinny and tall - is good, aspirational and the passport to feeling acceptable. So it's quite interesting that we're uncomfortable when people actually rebel against the prevailing standard.


The Nuffield PR machine opens up the whole question of categorising people as fat and therefore somehow to be scorned, derided or unworthy - instead of fat being a description, a neutral one about adiposity. Such moralising categories don't address the serious underlying issues so many people have with bodies and food. You can be eating when you are hungry and be large, or throwing up into the toilet all the time and be within the so-called normal range. Meanwhile, you can be a world-class movie actor - a gorgeous one like George Clooney - and sit in the ridiculous obesity statistics as they are currently conceived. What we have is a population very, very troubled in its eating habits, a fact that is expressed in both visible and invisible ways. That's a public health emergency, not the fact that we happen to have a variety of shapes in public space.

Click to read more ...


30 years on and Fat is still a Feminist Issue

Painting by Magritte

On Saturday 27th June "The False Body" Conference took place in London to celebrate 30 years of Susie Orbach's book Fat is a Feminist Issue and to explore the body in the context of psychoanalysis. The event was chaired by Brett Kahr and the speakers were Susie Orbach, Valerie Sinason and Catherine Baker-Pitts all of whom spoke in illuminating, honest and powerful ways about - the body.  

There is no doubt that fat is still a feminist issue. Susie Orbach said that if we when we ask whether fat is still a feminist issue we ask the question - is there a form of violence against women's bodies today? - then the answer to that has to be yes. This is because, as was so clear from the speakers' different presentations, our relationships with our bodies are still so troubled and full of pain and our search for a body is so frantic within our modern culture. And not just women - men too.

The frantic search for a body was epitomised in a presentation by the psychoanalyst Catherine Baker-Pitts who is studying the cosmetic surgery industry in the USA. Her very clear impression from extensive research with women in the USA is that cosmetic surgery is becoming a cultural imperative. The pressure on women to have cosmetic surgery is becoming increasingly enormous and if you don't have it then you are seen as somehow lacking. There are no longer limits to the search for the "perfect" body.  So, just like the diet industry, the cosmetic surgery industry is now making huge money and profits out of our dis-ease around our bodies.  

One member of the audience asked - how can we be resilient to these huge cultural and commercial pressures?

It can start here. AnyBody wants to fight for variety in bodies and the possibility of having a body at peace. 

30 years since Susie Orbach wrote Fat is a Feminist issue and we can still be full of hope that there can be change and peace for our bodies.  



Remembering Ruby

By Sharon Haywood

Fifty-year-old Barbie might be middle-aged but she sure doesn’t show it. When she was in her 30s, her manufacturer Mattel sent her for plastic surgery, not to maintain her youthful appearance, but rather in response to market demands to morph her into a more realistic-looking doll. In 1992, Barbie’s waistline slightly expanded. Then in 1998, Mattel altered one version of the doll—Really Rad Barbie—giving her a decreased cup size and slimmer hips. Currently, her estimated measurements—38-18-34—contrast greatly with the American woman’s average of 41-34-43. Barbie’s curves fall several inches short of what typical women possess today.

On the other hand, considering that the average woman in the U.S. is a size 12, a doll that wears a double-digit dress size would be a much more accurate reflection of American women. The late Anita Roddick (1942-2007), the founder of The Body Shop, thought the same. In 1997, the socially-conscious international cosmetics franchise created Ruby: a chubby-cheeked, chestnut-haired, computer-generated figurine. Ruby was the brainchild of The Body Shop’s self-esteem campaign, “Love Your Body.” Her size 16 image was accompanied by the caption, “There are 3 billion women who don’t look like supermodels and only 8 who do.” She sent the message that you should love what you’ve got, not loathe it.

If you’re familiar with Ruby, you know that she’s not easy to locate. So, where’s this confident and curvaceous character been hiding? You can find her at under the category of “Banned,” courtesy of Mattel. The U.S. toy manufacturer thwarted the innovative campaign in its early days by serving The Body Shop with a cease-and-desist order; all posters had to be removed from American shops. Why? In Roddick’s own words: “Ruby was making Barbie look bad, presumably by mocking the plastic twig-like bestseller … Mattel thought that Ruby was insulting to Barbie.” Outside of Roddick’s explanation on her website, no other information regarding Mattel’s specific legal grounds can be found online. We can surmise that Ruby’s rolls and less-than-perky breasts were the offending culprits.

This year Ruby would have turned 12. But imagine if she had grown from being a self-esteem campaigner into a three-dimensional doll in direct competition with Barbie. Do you think that when she would have reached her 30s, she would have gone under the knife too? Would the folks at The Body Shop have decided she needed a tummy tuck, a breast lift, and some lipo to give her a competitive edge? The Body Shop’s global communications head told the New York Times that Ruby represented “a reality check” in contrast to the “stereotypical notions of unattainable ideals.” Odds would tell us that the Rubenesque beauty wouldn’t have any part of her body nipped or tucked; in fact, like many women approaching middle-age, she might even have gained a couple of pounds. Regrettably, we’ll never know for sure.

Although Ruby’s existence was short-lived, her presence generated controversy. She caused Mattel to sit up and take notice. Along similar lines, consider that Barbie underwent cosmetic surgery to appease consumers’ demands. Although Mattel was conservative in its alterations of Barbie’s figure, the company did respond to the public. Furthermore, with sales of the blonde figurine consistently dropping, the toy manufacturer has even more incentive to cater to the customer. If more and more women let corporate giants like Mattel know what they really want, who’s to say that Barbie’s waistline (and the rest of her) can’t fill out as she eases into her fifties? Something to ponder in memory of both Ruby and the visionary Roddick.