Kate Upton at amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS gala during the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival on May 24, 2012 in France.
I think Kate Upton is great.
Sure, I don’t know her personally and am perhaps most familiar with her in GIF form. But I don’t think I’m alone among straight women, who I suspect are also Upton fans because she doesn’t look like she spends all her time juice-fasting, working out, and popping metabolism-enhancing supplements. And yet, she’s been embraced by the fashion industry.
It’s hard to remember a model achieving the kind of fame Upton has as quickly as she has or in quite the same way that she has. She’s in Vogue and GQ at the same time, demonstrating her firm footholds in both the high fashion and men’s markets. This is something only a select few models — like Gisele and Miranda Kerr — manage to do. Yet unlike those ladies, she’s not famous for a six-pack.
Her figure is spectacularly proportioned, but it’s not scary thin or self-consciously toned like so many fashion models (or even red carpet-walking actresses, frankly). But because of her softer-looking figure, the pro-thin community on the Internet is attacking her. The blog “Skinny Gossip” wrote, “She looks like a squishy brick. Is this what American women are ‘striving’ for now? The lazy, lardy look? Have we really gotten so fat in this country that Kate is the best we can aim for?” They also accused her of having “thunder thighs” and exclaim, “eww.”
Upton has previously been called fat by a site named The Dirty, where commenters jumped to her defense. Victoria’s Secret’s casting director Sophia Neophitou even told the New York Times the brand would never cast the 19-year-old Upton for a fashion show because she looks “too obvious.” Neophitou added, “She’s like a footballer’s wife, with the too-blond hair and that kind of face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy.” Again: huh? Nonsensical statements like that that are what make the fashion industry one big punchline in movies like Zoolander. Upton is actually the opposite of “too obvious” since many of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show models are the same girls with the super-thin frames that have been dominating fashion runways for years. Unlike many of the models walking the Victoria’s Secret or other fashion shows, Upton wouldn’t have to stuff her bra with gel inserts so that she looked like she had cleavage, which certainly does not seem to be in vogue on the runways at the moment.
So haters can go on hating, but any model that doesn’t fit into a the runways’ preferred insanely skinny — yet muscley! — mold is more than alright by me.