Model Bridget Malcolm is opening up about being body-shamed on set — something that sadly happens far too often in the fashion industry. As noted by People, the 26-year-old Victoria's Secret model told her story in a blog post yesterday, March 19, explaining that "women have enough sh*t to put up with" and that they "should be celebrating" each other instead.
In her post, Malcolm recounted shooting for a client who had seen photos of her when she had a 33-inch hip, noting that she was no longer at that size when the incident took place. She described being ostracized by many of the crew members on set, with one woman refusing to look her in the eye, and another who didn't even acknowledge her presence at all. "Another lady asked me to please make my ribs show more whilst shooting, suck in my gut, and tied a sarong around my hips, to 'hide them,'" she added.
Malcolm noted that she fit into all of the sample sizes on set (which ranged between 2 and 4), but that didn't stop the crew from allegedly shunning her. She added that she had been "feeling pretty good" about her body until that day, and by lunchtime, she was "hating myself, wishing I was somebody else."
Her post went on to explain that she refused to eat at lunch, feeling "humiliated, fat, and ugly." Malcolm noted that others around her checked in to see why she wasn't eating, but she described their concern as "fake."
Later, she wished she'd spoken up at the moment. "I wish I’d had the strength to say to them, 'What’s going on? Am I not what you wanted? Because if not, lets not put me and you through this. Just send me home. You don’t want me here, and I don’t want to be here,'" the model wrote. "I wish I had done that instead of struggling through the day, to leave set and burst into tears."
Malcolm went on to point the finger at the fashion industry, saying that it should celebrate women of all sizes instead of making them feel bad about themselves. "There is a massive grey zone in the fashion industry," she noted. "We see ‘straight size’ girls from sizes 0-2 maybe a 4 if the girl is well known or has boobs. Then nothing, until we hit ‘plus size’ girls at around size 14. Never mind the fact that the vast majority of women in the western world fall in this size bracket. Until a woman can open a magazine and see her body shape represented, how can women stop comparing themselves to an impossible standard?"
Her post ended with an important reminder that our body size or shape does not determine our value or self-worth. "I want societal expectations to evaporate. We should be celebrated for our accomplishments, and leave our bodies out of it. No more comments on who lost weight and how. I finally got the memo. Now I want more people out there to feel this liberation."
This isn't the first time that Malcolm opened up about body acceptance in her blog. Earlier this month, she revealed that she made an important promise to herself last summer. " It was time to make peace with my body," she wrote. "I threw away my scales, my measuring tape and my body checking. I threw away all my clothes from when I was at my smallest. I deleted all the gym selfies from my Instagram, and all of the “progress” shots from my phone. Basically, I wanted no point of reference any more of a time when I was smaller, or larger. I just wanted to stop looking in mirrors and telling myself that I was 'too fat,' and 'not doing enough.'" She's also talked about body image on Instagram, noting that at one point, she felt "terrified of gaining weight."
Malcolm's experiences are certainly not limited to the fashion industry itself; many people would find themselves relating to her words. According to the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders (ANAD), at least 30 million people of all ages and genders suffer from an eating disorder in the United States, and the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) reports that girls start to be concerned with their weight as young as age six. Hopefully, with more models and celebrities coming forward about their experiences, other people will feel less alone — and real change and progress can be made.
More stories about body-shaming:
- Gigi Hadid Responds to Body-Shamers Who Called Her "Too Skinny" During NYFW
- Why This Plus-Size Tights Ad Is Extremely Problematic
- Plus-Size Model Lesego Legobane Shuts Down Man Who Put Her in Sexist Meme
Now, find out what Lizzo had to say about bodysuits and body image: