1. Baltimore Ravens Cheerleaders
Courtney Lenz, a cheerleader for the Ravens, says she was denied a slot on the Super Bowl cheerleading squad, despite her seniority, because she gained 1.8 pounds in the course of the season. Says Lenz, “They didn’t specifically say that (I was disqualified for weight gain), but when it comes down to it, that’s the only disciplinary action I had during the year.”
2. Miss San Antonio Pageant
Domonique Ramirez was crowned Miss San Antonio in 2011, but was quickly stripped of her crown — she said a pageant official told her “I need to drop 13 pounds and I needed to lay off the tacos.” Another official later said that Ramirez’s bikini photos were “unusable” and could not be fixed by airbrushing (Ramirez was a size 2). Ultimately, her title was returned.
In 2010, Cassandra Smith said she was put on probation at a Michigan Hooters for her weight — she says her supervisors offered her a gym membership and told her she had 30 days to drop pounds or be fired. She also said she wore an extra-small Hooters uniform tank top at the time.
4. Christian Dior
The fashion house allegedly fired Mila Kunis from her gig representing its handbag line after she bounced back from her super-low Black Swan weight. An unnamed source told Star, “When they signed Mila, she was a total waif; they didn’t worry about making her agree to a weight limit in the contract. They’re really regretting that now.”
5. Weight Watchers
In Brazil last year, a woman sued Weight Watchers for firing her after she gained 40 pounds. One judge dismissed the case, saying, that if Weight Watchers employed overweight people, “it would be the end of the company itself, discrediting the brand and the organization” — but as of February 2012, another hearing was pending.
6. Ralph Lauren
Model Filippa Hamilton, who appeared in the bizarrely Photoshopped ad above, said in 2009 that Ralph Lauren fired her for being too large (at a size 4). She later spoke out against the ad on the Today show: “I saw my face on this super-extremely skinny girl, which is not me. […] it’s not healthy, and it’s not right.”
7. Elite Modeling Agency
Ananda Marchildron, winner of Holland’s Next Top Model, says she was fired from the Elite agency because her hips measured 3/4 of an inch too wide for their specifications. Agency officials allegedly said she had “a nice face but a fat ass.” A Dutch court ruled in 2012 that Elite had to pay her the remainder of her contracted pay, since winning the show entitled her to work for them.
8. National Ballet of Canada
Last year, Kathleen Rea told the story of her struggle with bulimia as a ballet dancer. She said that she initially kept her weight low by purging, but when she entered recovery and gained weight, she was fired — she said the company told her she had embarrassed all of Canada by looking “too fat.” She’s now a psychotherapist who uses performance as a form of therapy.
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