Nancy Upton entered American Apparel's "plus-size" model search as a joke, and won. But the clothing company says she is disqualified for "mocking the positive intentions of the campaign."
She writes in a post for thedailybeast, "no amount of distance will ever make me forget the anxiety I experienced the first time I saw the phrase 'Booty-Ful. American Apparel Introduces Size XL, Holds Search For "Booty-Ful" Models.” "Then, I read this: 'Think you are the Next BIG Thing?"
Upton tells Fox News, "In my entry I said I’m a size 12 and I just can’t stop eating. The idea was that here is a girl being as sexy as possible and she can’t stop eating because she is plus size and plus size women love to eat. I wanted to convey that size and beauty are not mutually exclusive. You can be beautiful and fat and that’s not a problem.”
She had a friend take her pictures eating an entire chicken, chugging chocolate sauce and bathing in ranch dressing among other high-calorie poses.
Upton connected with voters and won the online poll. But the company told her they found her entry insulting. Fox News reports Iris Alonzo, American Apparel's Creative Director wrote her a letter saying, “It’s a shame that your project attempts to discredit the positive intentions of our challenge based on your personal distaste for our use of light-hearted language.” "I wonder if you had taken just a moment to imagine that this campaign could actually be well intentioned, and that my team and I are not out to offend and insult women, would you have still behaved in the same way, mocking the confident and excited participants who put themselves out there?”
The Daily Mail, that features many of the photos from her entry, says Upton was also told, "While you were clearly the popular choice, we have decided to award the prizes to other contestants that we feel truly exemplify the idea of beauty inside and out, and whom we will be proud to have representing our company."
But it's not over yet. Alonzo has now offered to fly Upton to American Apparel headquarters in Los Angeles to meet with the company's creative directors. Upton says they told her they want to "discuss what happened with the contest and have a dialogue about advertising to a different demographic.”
The 24 year old says it's not likely to change her mind about the company or the campaign and she tells Fox that if the company asks her, she will refuse to model in an American Apparel ad.