Winner of Holland's Next Top Model awarded 55,000 after agency fired her for having ‘big hips’
A former winner of the television show Holland's Next Top Model has won a lawsuit against Elite models after she was dropped for having hips the agency claimed were too large.
The Amsterdam District Court has ruled that Ananda Marchildon, now 25, was entitled to the main prize she won in the 2008 production of the show, a three-year contract worth 63,000.
Marchildon argued she was dismissed after only 8,400 worth of work because she didn't lose enough weight to please the agency.
Figure: Ananda Marchildon, 25, took her former modelling agency to court after she was dropped for having hips 'too large'
According to the ruling, though Marchildon had gained weight since getting the contract, she had a hip measurement of 92cm – about 36.2in – when she won, and Elite could not demand that she go down to 90cm – about 35.4in.
At a U.S. size 2, that is smaller than the average woman's but not unusual in the modelling world.
Elite spokeswoman Rita Camelli, in Milan, Italy, said the agency was considering its options.
'Of course we are pretty disappointed' in the ruling, she said. 'We felt we were in the right.'
Too fat Holland's Next Top Model winner Ananda Marchildon was awarded about 55,000, plus interest and legal fees
She declined to discuss details of Elite's position.
The published ruling included an email exchange between the 5ft 11in model and a representative of Elite in the Netherlands whose name was redacted.
'We agreed that you would come by us every two weeks for an evaluation, how it's going with your diet and exercise and losing weight, the Elite representative wrote.
'We're going to keep measuring you.
Lawsuit: Miss Marchildon won the fourth season of Holland's Next Top Model in 2008. Her prize was a three-month modelling contract, but she said she was sacked after gaining work worth only 8,400
'Today, March 23 2010, we measured your hips at 98 centimeters. This is a reminder!
'The goal is that you have a hip circumference of no more than 90 centimeters at the end of June.'
Marchildon responded that she would regain her former shape, and not more.
'If at the end of the road it appears that unfortunately not enough assignments have come in, that doesn't change the obligations of the contract,' she wrote.
The model and agency parted ways in September and Marchildon is now a carpenter.
Her lawyer said she would comment later Wednesday.
The court awarded her around 55,000 in damages, plus interest and legal fees.
The fashion industry has often faced criticism for creating unrealistic expectations about women's bodies and forcing models to undergo harmful diets.
Agencies say that they respond to the demands of clients, and ultimately customers – a model that doesn't look right won't get work.
In the Netherlands, underwear company Sloggi hired Marchildon for a one-time shoot on Monday to show that she is still fit for modelling work.
'It's too crazy for words that a model who's her size would be written off as too fat,' said spokesman Monica van Alewijn, who added that Marchildon is thinner today than most models the company uses.
'She's just a beautiful woman, and for heaven's sake she shouldn't starve herself,' the spokesman said.