The country is all a-twitter today with the news that Ricki-Lee Coulter is going to be dumped from Big W shapewear label Hold Me Tight. The label themselves have commented that there are “no real plans for us to change at this stage” but a source (don’t you just love an anonymous source? Always sounds just so credible) says otherwise.
“(Ricki-Lee) looks incredible and this has nothing to do with that – she just no longer appeals to the customer they (Hold Me Tight) target,” the source said.
“One of the poster slogans say ‘These curves are a work of art’. Anyone who has seen (Ricki-Lee) lately knows that just isn’t so any more.”
Frankly, I read this and my first reaction was “Oh great, another reason for people to attack Ricki-Lee about her weight loss”. Then after hoping no one would (but I know they will), I thought about it and I came to the conclusion that I think it’s fair enough to no longer continue to use her as a spokesmodel for shapewear. If it’s true.
In any modeling job, you are not selected because you’re a good person, because you’re good at your job, because of your worth as a person, because you’re talented, or because of any reason except what you look like. And they want people who look like (better) versions of their customers, their target market. So what’s the point of putting a size 8 in shape wear that you are trying to market to a size 14+? Customers aren’t stupid, they will look at that and know.
The thing that did make me angry about this story, however, was statements like the above, indicating that just because Ricki-Lee is now a size 8, she no longer has curves. Bollocks. Have you seen her? She may now be a size 8, but she still has curves!
I feel like Ricki-Lee has received a bit of a bum rap about losing weight, because she always said you should be proud of your curves. Because she was proud to be a size 14. Well, I don’t agree with putting her down because she chose to lose weight, and I don’t agree that she has done anything wrong. She has said she was unhealthy at the weight she was, she was not strong and she wasn’t able to perform on stage like she wanted to. So she lost weight, she worked hard, and she became healthy.
You know what? Good on her. She made a health choice for herself, for her own health, for what she wanted. That’s the crux of it. She hasn’t turned around and said you should be ashamed of your body if it’s bigger, she has just said she wasn’t as healthy as she wanted to be. And now she is.
I don’t feel like loving your body means you can’t change it if that’s what your body needs. You can be proud of your body as it is, and still want to be the healthiest you can be (Note: health, not size). I don’t feel like she betrayed anyone by saying she was proud of it as she was, and now saying that it wasn’t as healthy as it could be and now it is, and she feels amazing. I also don’t think comments like “What has she done to herself?!” on twitter when she is on screen for The Voice is very constructive for anyone.
I don’t know, maybe I’m wrong, maybe it is discriminatory to drop a model because of their size. Maybe you do feel betrayed that she said she was proud of her body, then worked hard to change it. What do you think?
Do you think it’s fair to drop her from a shapewear label? Do you think she should have lost weight? Do you feel like her losing weight has made her comments about being proud of her body invalid?
Update 23/6 6:20pm: Ricki-Lee has taken to her twitter to knock back reports she is no longer the face of Hold Me Tight and has noted they also have a swimwear range, which she will be in the campaign for come their launch in July.
Note: Abusive comments regarding Ricki-Lee, weight loss, or other people’s weight will be removed. Be honest, but do it respectfully.
Tamsin Howse has written 177 posts.
Tamsin is a wife, stepmother and blogger with a passion for people and relationships, fashion and beauty, and an inability to successfully complete household tasks. Co-founder and Editor-in-chief of KiKi & Tea.
Follow on twitter: @TamsinHowse