Size 4 Model Fired for Being Too Fat

Celebrity Body Oct. 14, 2009 AT 11:37AM
Size 4 Model Fired for Being Too Fat Credit: Randy Brooke/WireImage.com

A 5'10", 120-pound model is claming she was canned by Ralph Lauren because she was deemed too large.

"They said I couldn't fit in their clothes anymore," Filippa Hamilton, a size 4, said on the Today show Wednesday.

Hamilton - a 23-year-old Swedish-French model who worked for the company for eight years - said a letter was sent to her agent in April. It read: "We're terminating your services because you don't fit into the sample clothes that you need to wear."

A Ralph Lauren spokesperson denies Hamilton was axed over her weight, insisting that her termination "was a result of her inability to meet the obligations under her contract with us."

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But Hamilton said, "I did everything that I could. I was very loyal to them. I was on time every time."

Hamilton said on the Today show that she had no intention of going public with her complaint until she discovered a Photoshopped image of her in a mall in Japan. The shot appeared on the Internet site BoingBoing.com.

The image, which featured the Ralph Lauren logo, showed an emaciated woman whose head was bigger than her hips.

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"They Photoshopped her in a way that for me is grotesque and makes her look like a cartoon," Geoffrey Menin, Hamilton’s attorney, told NBC News. "The trouble is that it's damaging to her. Who wants to hire somebody that looks like that?"

See photos of models who embrace changes in their bodies

Ralph Lauren removed the ad and legally moved to demand that the images be taken off the Web, according to the Today show. In a statement, the company said: "We have learned that we are responsible for the poor imaging and retouching that resulted in a very distorted image of a woman’s body."

Still, Hamilton said the distorted image drove her to speak out.

"It's not a good example when you see this picture, every young woman is going to look at it and think that it is normal to look like that. It’s not,” she said on the Today show. "I saw my face on this super-extremely skinny girl, which is not me. It makes me sad. It makes me think that Ralph Lauren wants to have this kind of image. It's an American brand ... and it's not healthy, and it's not right."

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