Boycott Ralph

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Boycott Ralph

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cc: The Executives of the Ralph Lauren Company

Ralph Lauren – CEO
Scott Myers – Marketing Director

Michael Morelli – VP of Advertising
David Lauren – SVP of Advertising
Laura Johnson- Public Relations Manager
Trecia Laird- Senior Marketing Manager

Hello Mr. Lauren,

Let me preface this entire letter by saying that I’m truly sorry that we have to meet under these terms and conditions. I would rather have met you at the Four Seasons Hotel and had a juice and pretzels with you, because I’m sure you’re a really interesting guy. And I assure you, I’m a really nice guy as well.

Fortunately for me, I’ve had the pleasure of meeting tens of thousands of young girls while promoting my documentary “America the Beautiful.” To look in the eyes of over 100,000 college women and hear their pain (body image, self-esteem) has been an experience that I will never forget. I’ve also heard from over 80,000 parents that are in pain because they have to hear from their sons and daughters in pain. It does truly become a generational cycle.

I’m sure that you’re fully aware that a lot of the American population feels that the unhealthy ads in magazines are damaging to women. The damage comes in various forms; body image problems, low self-esteem and for some of the women, they get a full blown eating disorder like your niece Jenny.

I had a professional in the eating disorders world tell me last night that images like yours don’t cause eating disorders in every girl that sees it – What happens is girls that end up with an eating disorder had a 50-80% predisposition for getting an eating disorder in the first place and the negative magazine fashion ads and other factors are the gun that pulls the trigger. For the millions of other girls that don’t get an eating disorder, they’re left feeling fat, ugly and worthless.

Ralph, there is no turning back for me. When I met these women traveling from city to city and country to country, I looked them in the eye and promised them that I would do whatever I could to make the world a better place for them.

In my last letter to you, I mentioned that I would never buy anything with the RL (Ralph Lauren) label on it. Well, over 100,000 people emailed me and said they were joining me. They said they wouldn’t buy anything with the RL label on it as well until you promised to stop the very harmful kind of marketing and advertising for which you’ve been accused. Some of their emails are below.

In case you’re wondering “what harmful marketing and advertising?” – I have exhibits A, B and C of your advertising below.

Most of the emails that I’ve received are from adults. They’re fed up with it Ralph. 

Believe it or not, they get hurt as much as the young girls that read the magazines and look at the ads. “How? You wonder.”  When a young girl reads these ridiculous fashion magazines and gets triggered into a full blown eating disorder, who do you think gets left holding the bag for the $30,000 a month treatment?  I’ve met parents that have had their entire savings wiped out and some have taken out second mortgages on their homes to pay for the treatment of their young daughters. Trust me Mr. Lauren, they’re sick of it.

To be clear, this isn’t just an issue of eating disorders. In my film, “America the Beautiful,” I interviewed a 7 year old girl and a 12 year old girl, both of whom insisted that they were ugly. They couldn’t tell me specifically why they were ugly. They could only reference celebrities and ads of models as references of how they’re supposed to look. And you know what was funny about the whole thing, neither one of them were ugly. They were quite attractive girls actually. Their self-esteems have been assaulted by —- I’m sure you get the picture by now.

Mr. Lauren, women live in a very toxic culture. Men as well now that I think about it.

For the record, I’m letting you know that exactly 112,489 of us will no longer buy anything that you’re associated with until you give us a committment that you will no longer use droconian advertising like the ads below. We don’t want any money from you, nor do we want any free clothes. We just want young girls that read fashion magazines to be safe.

Also for the record, ANAD, the largest eating disorders awareness organization in the US is supporting me with my boycott. You can read about them at

I’ll be in Washington, DC tomorrow meeting with the CEO of the YWCA to get them to support me with my boycott as well.

There are YWCA locations in 122 countries around the world, 300 locations in the US working in 9 regions – 25 million women strong. You can read about them at

I’m going to talk to the press, arrange demonstrations, basically anything I can do to help women that suffer from these ludicrous ads. 

I plan on having  over 1 million people that agree with my position to not purchase any RL products as well until you agree to advertise to women in a way that respects and values them.

For clarity sake, this boycott isn’t just about your company. It’s about the entire fashion / beauty industry that advertises in a way that’s harmful for women. We’re hoping they will see that people are fed up and change their advertising practices as well. We picked you because you went waaaaay over the top with the 3 ads below.

If and when you send a formal announcement agreeing to stop with your draconian advertising, the boycott will be over and I’m sure some parents will forgive you and start buying your bedding products again.

Remember we’re doing this for the safety of young girls Mr. Lauren, including your niece Jenny.

So, what’s it going to be Ralph? It’s your conscience. Your decision.  We await your answer. Until then, I’m off to do my Christmas shopping with your competitors.

Respectfully yours,

Darryl Roberts

AWESOME!!!! Can I sign or should I copy and send to?

Let me know!


Thank you for sending me this letter to Ralph Lauren.  I know what I can do which is boycott his products from bedding to clothes to fragrance.  It sickens me that I have 2 sets of Ralph Lauren bedding in my home right now.  

For the sake of my daughter a recovering from anorexia/bulimia I will never purchase anything by RL again and will tell my friends so.  We can make a difference by getting the word out there.  I will forward this to women I know.  I have
given your DVD to a friend of mine who is a highschool counselor.  She is anxious to watch it and I am sure will do something positive with this information.

Thank you again for your tireless work in this arena, trying to save our children.



Great letter. Great public stance on what is a horrible ad campaign and a horrible message to send to young women. You will eventually affect change by taking these kinds of stands. Nice work.

Thank you Darryl! Writing these types of letters is very empowering and I encourage the women in my support group to do this. I know I do!

I will NOT buy any Ralph Lauren products and I will encourage others to bypass his products. I will also forward this to all of the women in my group and I’m sure that they, too, will boycott.

We have already begun boycotting Panera Bread because they are posting calories and fat counts on their overhead menus. Several of us wrote letters to them. Their response didn’t matter as much as the empowerment of the exercise of making ourselves heard.

Have you considered taking this Ralph Lauren BS to ANAD? They can really get on a roll and call national attention to ludicrous and sick things like this. I’m an Indiana volunteer with them and they’re really awesome about this.

Keep speaking Darryl! Thanks for all you do!

Great Letter Darryl!  I, too, have walked past everything Ralph Lauren (and I was a big fan of their stuff before) and I am telling everyone else to do the same.  And I know my friends and family will because they have seen what a horror my family has been going thru as we try to help my daughter get thru her eating disorders (yes, she has had both, God help us, anorexia and bulimia).

Thank you for your good work and God Bless.

mount laurel, nj
Until you do, I won’t buy anything with the RL logo on it. You can take that to the bank.

I’m with you on that!

Hi Darryl

Well said! I applaud all of your efforts and hope that Ralph Lauren does something positive with this letter.  It has to start somewhere in their industry. Maybe he could be the leader in helping promote a healthy ideal for fashion.  That would be powerful.  Thanks for sharing.

University of Alabama
Staff Psychologist
Mr. Roberts,

I attended the showing of your documentary in Downers Grove at the fundraiser for the Arabella House. I was in tears as I watched and thought about the women (and some men) that suffer from eating disorders and low self esteem. The energy and dedication that you have brought to this cause is incredible. Your work lets girls know that someone really does care and is willing to stand up for them.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything you have done for me and my comtemporaries.


Thank you,

I am so glad that SOMEONE uses their voice. I want to use mine!

You Go Darryl,

Thanks for all the great work you are doing to help empower girls and women.

What a beautiful courageous letter!  I wish there was some way for me to sign it, too!  I want him to know that I have told everyone I know about his ads and to stop wearing anything he makes.  I would sign a petition to boycott in a second!  I bought your DVD the day it was available and spent my Thanksgiving holiday making all of my family watch it: my 3 sisters, my daughter, my mom, etc.  I also plan on showing it to all of my friends.  This is important work at the perfect time.

Thank you!

Franklin, TN
Darrel, you are the absolute best ever!!!!! You go guy. xxxooo
Whooooaaaaa!!! POWERFUL! You go Darryl!!! Behind you 100%!!
I hope he gets it, that miserable asshole..
Darryl- I watched your movie (FINALLY) with my 15 year old daughter and the rest of our mother-daughter group on Saturday night. Since then there’ve been emails exchanged showing how it affected the girls. How they went holiday shopping and saw what was being sold and how girls presented themselves in a different light.

This morning I got your Ralph Lauren email and forwarded to the moms in the group and asked that they send it to their daughters. One mom wrote back to ask if there’s an online campaign of email letter writing to Ralph Lauren the girls could write to.

Is there?

Thanks for all you’re doing,
Very powerful letter Darryl!!!  Thank you for being who you are…
wow. you’re so amazing. ;-)

Something is definitely amiss over there. He’s possible relinquished too much responsibility to someone who doesn’t really grasp the dangers.





Open letter to Ralph Lauren


Sent 11/29/2009

Ralph Lauren – CEO
Scott Myers – Marketing Director
Michael Morelli – VP of Advertising
David Lauren – SVP of Advertising
Laura Johnson- Public Relations Manager
Trecia Laird- Senior Marketing Manager

Hello Mr. Lauren,

To introduce myself to you, my name is Darryl Roberts and let me start off by saying I used to wear Polo Shirts when I was in high school. Back in the Stone Age before laptops, cell phones and You Tube. The Polo symbol represented elegance and a certain kind of refinement. That’s how I remember you. A class act. A gentleman’s gentleman.

That’s why it’s a little hard for me to understand your present stance against women. What, I can already hear you saying, am I talking about?

If you believe for one second that your personal views and the views/advertising of your company aren’t perceived as the same, you’re absolutely wrong.

Let me explain myself if you don’t mind. I spent the last 5 years making a documentary called America the Beautiful, that deals with America’s unhealthy obsession with beauty. The film has screened in 187 cities in the US and played in 7 other countries.

While traveling with the film, thousands of women have told me that the images of the super skinny models in magazines make them feel bad. I can hear you thinking, Well why don’t they put the magazines down if they make them feel bad?  That is a worthwhile conversation to be had later. For now we have more pressing matters to attend to.


When this incident first appeared in the press you thumbed your nose at us all and said Filippa Hamilton violated her contract. After getting better council, you realized this debacle could hurt your bottom line, and you gave this statement:

For over 42 years we have built a brand based on quality and integrity. After further investigation, 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. We have addressed the problem and going forward will take every precaution to ensure that the caliber of our artwork represents our brand appropriately.

After being forgiven for this hideous infraction against women, what do you do? You do it again. The mainstream press doesn’t know about this one yet, but I do…


This is horrible Ralph. But instead of cutting your losses while you’re ahead, what do you go and do?

You do it a third time! UNBELIEVABLE!


I see the man in the picture hasn’t been drastically distorted. Just the women.

I get about 500 emails a week from young women complaining about images just like these Ralph.

If that doesn’t move you, here’s an email from a concerned father that I received 4 days ago:

Hi Darryl,

I met you last year in Naperville, IL at the Candle Light Vigil at the Arabella House and we talked briefly afterwards. Last night my wife, XXXX and I watched your film. It is the most awesome movie that I’ve ever seen. The amount of time, sweat, blood, and tears that you put into this has probably changed your life forever.

Our 22 year old daughter, XXXXXX has been trying to deal with bulimia, addictions, abuse for the past 5 years. She somehow survived an attempt on her life 3 years ago (200 extra strength Tylenols) and has been in and out of 3 treatment centers since then. This disease has completely fractured my family. I have two other kids that have given up on their sister. My wife and I are hanging in there together. We have exhausted our home equity and retirement accounts trying to keep her alive, but we have become enablers. This beast has such a strong hold on XXXXXX that I don’t think that she wants to get better any longer. We gave her a deadline of Nov 28 to seek a structured treatment program or she is no longer able to live with us. On top of this her employer is going to give her a choice today of going into a treatment program or being fired. This is probably going to put her over the edge. I’m feeling so desperate and I can’t do anything about it. Even if I had unlimited resources, it would not help until XXXXXX decides she wants to recapture her life. She is a former high school scholar athlete and earned a basketball scholarship to XXXXXXX College before her addictions took control of her life.

I’m sending this note to you because I feel that you are making a difference by preventing some young women from the illnesses that my beautiful daughter, XXXXXX, has become a victim of.

I really appreciate your hard work and vision!


But wait, it gets even stranger…

I recently found out that you have a niece, Jenny Lauren, who suffered from a horrible eating disorder. Your niece was so lonely and afraid during her terrible struggle that she wrote a book called “Homesick.”

In case you’ve forgotten about your niece and her struggle, here are some quotes from her book:

I am twenty-four years old, and for a year I have been in physical discomfort. That is 365 days with my butt twitching and an inability to contract my gluteus maximus muscles…365 days of wanting to jump out the window, 365 days watching the entire lower half of my body turn into jelly and atrophy. This is a sick joke.

I’m trying so hard not to lose my mind…

…after such pain, I need a tangible answer.

Ugh, and taking a shit (vulgar no matter how you put it) is like giving birth, with the baby’s head getting stuck for hours.

I can’t exercise at all, can’t even walk comfortably.

I would panic most mornings and rush up to 87th Street and Park and sit and wait in Dr. W’s office, sometimes for hours, to see him. As I sat there holding my breath and clenching my legs together to stop the twitch, I’d rummage through the pile of magazines, flipping through all the fashion ads. Oh, there’s Uncle Ralph with his two dogs in a Purple Label ad. Whadda ya know, there he is again. Not his face but a Ralph Lauren fragrance ad with a young beautiful couple wrapped in velvet and in love. The good life, huh?…things to aspire to. Reminding me of everything I hated, everything I loved, everything I wished I could be…but that was then. Look at me now.”

Ralph, I’m writing this on behalf of 100,000 parents and young women and we’re requesting that you stop. Give it a break. Put a lid on it. No more empty apologies. No yadda, yadda, yadda. Just stop!

Tens of thousands of parents and young women have emailed me asking what should they do. Should they stop buying your products? Should they picket outside of your flagship NY store?

I don’t know the answer to that question Ralph. What would you have them do?

What I’m hoping by writing this is underneath your desire to make even more millions and make the Ralph Lauren empire even bigger, that you have compassion. That you remember the pain your niece went through. That you care about all the young girls out here struggling and dying from eating disorders. That you actually care about all the young women with a low self-esteem from body image issues.

I realize that images like yours in magazines aren’t the only reason that girls get eating disorders and feel bad about their bodies, but they are a factor.

Why be like the rest of the designers Ralph? Wouldn’t it really make a statement if you did things differently. Show us that the Ralph Lauren brand stands for something more than photoshopped skinny models. Show us that you really care about the people that buy your products.

Until you do, I won’t buy anything with the RL logo on it. You can take that to the bank. I was shopping for bedding accessories and furniture yesterday at Bloomingdales and I saw an entire section of your products. I walked right past it. See, I actually care about the young girls suffering out here.

So, what’s it going to be Ralph? It’s your conscience. Your decision.

Respectfully yours,

Darryl Roberts

Former Miss Argentina dies after plastic surgery

Solange Magnano


A former Miss Argentina died Sunday after complications arising from plastic surgery, the official Telam news agency said.

Solange Magnano, 37, died in a hospital after being transferred from a clinic where she underwent an elective surgery on her buttocks on Wednesday, the agency reported.

Magnano ran her own modeling agency in Argentina, and had been a model and Miss Argentina in 1994. She also was the mother of 7-year-old twins.

The cause of her death was under investigation, authorities said.

News of her death shocked her fans. By Monday, a tribute page on the social networking site Facebook had more than 830 members.

“This is a horrible day. We will miss you, Sol,” one Facebook poster wrote.

“You couldn’t be any more beautiful than you already were,” another person added. “You had to pay with your life.”

Magnano’s most recent project was a runway show to be held in December in her hometown of San Francisco, Argentina, according to Telam.

In recent years, Argentina has become an international destination for plastic surgery. The costs of such procedures there are much lower than in other countries.

Estimates say that 1 in 30 Argentines has gone under the knife, making surgeons here some of the most experienced on the globe.

Medical tourism has seen a huge jump over the past decade, and is projected to be a $100 billion global industry by 2010, according to the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.

Unrealistic Expectations Always In Fashion – The Push For “Real” Women


From Regan McMahon /

Germany’s most popular women’s magazine, Brigitte, recently announced that starting next year, it would ban professional models from its pages to combat the glorification of ultra-thin women, and use “real” women instead.

Also in October, Polo Ralph Lauren sparked international outrage by Photoshopping out the true girth of size 4 model Filippa Hamilton to create an image of an absurdly skinny body. Hamilton, who claims she was fired by Ralph Lauren for being too fat, told the “Today” show that the distorted photo of her could make young women “think that it’s normal to look like that, and it’s not.”

Last year fashion officials in Madrid and Milan established a minimum body mass index (BMI) restrictions to prevent underweight models from taking the runways, and France pushed legislation to fine anyone – including magazines, advertisers and Web sites – who publicly promotes extreme thinness.

This season the popular “America’s Next Top Model” defied the fashion world’s height bias by selecting a group of contestants under 5 feet, 7 inches, the industry standard. (Nicole Fox, the winner, announced Wednesday, is just at the limit.)

These tidbits make me wonder if there has been a shift in the zeitgeist and the world is finally realizing that few women look like tall, skinny models and shouldn’t be held to that standard.

We’ve always known that, but it hasn’t stopped us from torturing ourselves over unrealistic expectations of beauty based on body type.

In June, I saw the “Model as Muse” exhibition at New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, which traced the evolution and influence of fashion models, beginning with the stars of Paris haute couture in the 1950s. They were chosen for a bone structure and carriage that made them perfect human hangers for the designer’s clothes, and they didn’t have to be pretty.

Then in the 1960s, the upstart Americans changed the game by presenting curvy, sexy fashion models with girl-next-door photogenic faces.

The ’60s also saw the rise of the skinny, flat-chested model, ushered in by Britain’s Twiggy. Unfortunately for girls with a little meat on their bones, that image has stuck. It has become so prevalent that models have succumbed to heroin chic (1990s Kate Moss) and anorexia. When Brazilian model Ana Carolina Reston died of anorexia in November 2006, she weighed 88 pounds and inspired the current call for reform. The following year, the U.S. Council of Fashion of Designers of America issued voluntary guidelines to curb the use of excessively thin models.

The height standard may not be dangerous, but it can still mess with a young girl’s head.

My teenage daughter laments that there are no models her (and my) height – 5 feet, 3 inches. So we thought “America’s Top Model” took a bold step having a contestant of similar stature. But when we tuned in, we found the experts critiquing girls for failing to convey the illusion of height and long legs in their photo shoots. Rather than bucking the industry standard, the judges dinged contestants for not conforming to it.

I saw an article in a fashion magazine featuring a photo of a sleeveless Michelle Obama that declared, “Arms are the new face,” and detailed ways to get biceps as buff as the first lady’s. So now women not only have to be pretty, skinny and long-legged, we have to have perfect, muscular arms, too!

I’m not sure I can take any more unrealistic expectations. But I have a feeling they’ll keep on coming.

Regan McMahon is an Oakland writer.

Kate Moss Slammed for Skinny Comments

kate-moss-commentsBy Lindsay Robertson / OMG

Groups representing the anti-eating-disorder movement in the U.K. are blasting supermodel Kate Moss for a seemingly offhand remark she made in a recent interview with the fashion website WWD. When asked about her personal motto, Moss said: “There are loads. There’s ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.’ That’s one of them. You try and remember, but it never works.” Now a leading U.K. anti-eating-disorder organization, Beat, is speaking outagainst Kate’s choice of words, because it turns out that the expression “Nothing tastes as good as being skinny feels,” long associated with dieting in general, has in recent years become the motto of choice on pro-anorexia and pro-bulimia websites.

Calling Moss’ quote “really unfortunate,” Susan Ringwood, the chief executive for Beat, explained to Reuters why that particular phrase was so offensive: “It’s one that’s used so prominently and so obviously in connection with pro-anorexic websites.”

Katie Green, an ex-Wonderbra model who now runs a campaign called “Say No to Size Zero” that urges the fashion industry to embrace more realistic sizes for its models, also spoke out against Moss’ comment: “There are 1.1 million eating disorders in the U.K. alone. Kate Moss‘ comments are likely to cause many more. If you read any of the pro-anorexia websites, they go crazy for quotes like these.”

Critics like Ringwood and Green don’t seem to think Moss was deliberately encouraging her young fans to develop unhealthy eating habits, but are trying to raise awareness about how an innocent comment from an admired celebrity can have a big impact on her fans.

A spokeswoman for Moss’ modeling agency addressed the firestorm, saying, “This was part of a longer answer Kate gave during a wider ranging interview which has unfortunately been taken out of context and completely misrepresented. For the record, Kate does not support this as a lifestyle choice.”

Another celebrity raised eyebrows this week with an offhand comment about weight concerns.Heidi Klum, who gave birth to daughter Lou just five weeks ago, told People Magazineyesterday that she’s going through with her plan to host “The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” (which tapes tonight and airs December 1), even though she still has “20 pounds to go.”

Top South Korean model Daul Kim found dead

dual-kim-modelFrom The BBC

South Korean model Daul Kim has been found dead at her apartment in Paris.

Reports say the 20-year-old could have killed herself, but officials have yet to confirm the cause of death.

Ms Kim has made appearances at fashion weeks around the world, modelling for leading designers, including Chanel and Alexander McQueen.

South Korea has the highest rate of suicide among the 30 nations belonging to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development.

There have been a string of high-profile suicides in the country during the past year, including that of former President Roh Moo-hyun in May over a corruption scandal.

Demi Moore’s W Cover: Worst Photoshop Ever?


From Lindsay Robertson / OMG

Everyone knows by now that magazines extensively airbrush the stars on their covers, and usually the celebs appreciate a little touchup and wouldn’t want it any other way.

But imagine Demi Moore, 47, getting her first look at the latest (December) cover of W and finding that a huge chunk of her hip has been digitally removed? That’s what the folks at Boing Boing called attentionto yesterday. The mistake hardly needs to be pointed out. If you look at Moore’s left hip (our right), it seems that what used to be flesh is now a great deal of white space. But, don’t worry, Mrs. Kutcher’s thigh still seems normal, though now it appears to bulge out below her sarong.

Magazine covers go through an exhaustive process of approvals, so it’s puzzling that this one made it to press with a mistake so obvious it’s visible a few yards from the newsstand.

Check out the close-up view.

Close-up of missing hipMert Alas and Marcus Piggott/W

demi-missing-hipFollow omg! On Twitter

The Old-School Fashion Hierarchy Is Falling Down

Model_Falling_down_mFrom Erin Flaherty /

What would the fashion industry look like if it shrugged off the exclusivity that has characterized it for, well, centuries, and cut out the middleman? It seems like the process is already well underway. This year’s Fashion Weeks had everyone wondering the same thing, and the buzz is best summed up thusly:

“The shows during September and October were a first glimpse of what the elitist fashion world could soon become: a business where designers take their collections directly to customers, no longer filtered through fashion editors at glossy magazines and buyers at top stores.”

But does that really mean the end of old-school power players like, say, Anna Wintour and Joe Zee? [New York Times]

The Times chalks the “phenomenon” up to social networking and the fact that even the most exclusive brands—Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Dolce & Gabbana and Alexander McQueen, among others—have embraced websites, bloggers, iPhone apps and Facebook. It was certainly novel that editors were Twittering their thoughts on the collection in real time, but then again, so were the actual designers. In some cases, designers worked with potential customers to gauge interest in specific articles of clothing, much as Ms. Winter consults with, say, Oscar de la Renta before a show to offer a thumbs up or down. The traditional process of reportage, which involves a select group of fashion journalists and magazine editors invited to shows that they will interpret months later (i.e., spring shows occur in the fall before) for the public, has been ruptured by the presentation of shows on YouTube on real-time streaming, and it has happened fast. Some designers even skipped the process of rolling clothes out to stores over the next few months and put items on sale directly on their websites minutes after the shows.

For many fashion industry veterans, this is crazy. In fact, it’s revolutionary in scale. For designers struggling to stay relevant and, above all, sell clothes during a crap economy, simply to be able to stay in business, it’s an amazing opportunity. And to those consumers who’ve always felt excluded from a cliquish, insider industry, it’s pretty exciting to watch the fourth wall come tumbling down.

At the same time, we’ll always expect and benefit from expert analysis on any given subject, ranging from politics and economics to pop culture and fashion. And insightful journalists, like Cathy Horyn, and talented stylists, like Katie Grand, are irreplaceable for what they bring to the table. But when it comes to something as subjective and sales driven as fashion, the power of the people can really have an impact. And it looks like it already has.




Special note – I’m not accusing any company of doing anything specific per se’.

The story you’re about to read is a factual account of something that happened last week. Nothing more. Nothing less. Let your collective imaginations run where they may!  :)

About a month ago, I got a call from PBS letting me know that they were doing a show called “Health Secrets: What Every Woman Should Know.” They wanted to interview me along with other health experts because I’ve spent 5 years interviewing women about beauty and how it’s effected them.

I accepted the invitation. About a week before the taping, they called to firm everything up and let me know who the other guests were. One of the guests happened to be  the Ambassador of the Dove Self-Esteem Fund.


I thought to myself, wow, that’s really cool that Dove is okay with me being on the panel.

Last February, when I toured the country speaking at various places during Eating Disorders Awareness Week, countless speakers told me that Dove had them removed from panels that they were supposed to speak on with the Dove models.

I asked, “Why?”

One of them said, “They don’t want their products associated with anyone talking about eating disorders.”

Interesting -

I wondered what was going to happen at the PBS taping especially when I found out that Alberta-Culver was one of the sponsors of the show. Alberta-Culver is a giant in the cosmetics industry and my film, “America the Beautiful,” asks all of the major cosmetics companies a rather simple question – “why do you continue to use Phthalates in your products?”

It seems simple to me. They’ve been banned in cosmetics that are sold in Europe, so why can’t women in American be afforded the same safety. Phthalates have been suspected of causing cancer and allergies in women by numerous environmental agencies.

After thinking about it realistically, it would be a miracle if I actually made it on the panel.

I was allowed to show up at the taping with one caveat.

The producers called me the day before the taping and said I couldn’t sit on the sofa with the other panelists, but I could sit in the audience and the host would ask me a question from there.

I told them I really didn’t have to come and it would probably be easier that way.

The producer said, “Oh no. Your film is awesome. We all love it and we want you to come. You just have to sit in the audience.”

I didn’t want to be a party pooper, so I went.

By the way, these 3 women were very nice. They were on one of the panels.

She told me her 15 year old daughter saw the trailer for ATB and REALLY wants to see the film.

No accusations here, but when I came into the room, I met the Dove Ambassador woman and she took off to get her makeup done and never came back.

This is the actual taping. See the empty seat next to the Dove Ambassador? That’s where I was supposed to sit.

The host that you see in the picture came up to me before the taping and said, “Your movie is awesome. I want a DVD for my 20 year old daughter. Thank you so much for doing such a wonderful film. You’re awesome!”

She was very nice – I had no idea who she was. More about her in a minute -

This is me in the audience. Actually this was a great place to be because I was with hundreds of teenagers and I was able to interact with them.

It was fun answering 2 questions from the audience. I felt like I was at “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”

Okay – Remember the awesome host of the show that I didn’t know -

It was Paula Zahn, the legendary news anchor from “CBS This Morning.” She also had her own show on CNN.

For the record, Paula Zahn rocks!



Here’s the story with the DVD’s -

Every DVD that was ordered has been shipped. You will receive them this week if you live in the US and next week if you live in Canada, Australia, Austria, India, Israel or the UK. If you don’t receive your DVD by the end of the week, email me and I will get in my car and find it for you.  :)

Also everyone that paid full price for the DVD should have received the $4.96 refund per DVD. You should have received an email confirmation of the refund. If you didn’t receive the email confirmation and you paid full price, $24.95 in the US and $29.95 in Canada, email me and I will make sure that you get your refund swiftly, promptly and most expeditiously.

The PG-13 version of the DVD will be ready to ship in 2 weeks. You’ll be able to order it in 10 days or so.

If you’re still having problems with your credit card, email me and I can get the order processed for you manually. Something that I worked out with the payment processor.

I will post the list of “America the Beautiful” House Parties in a couple of weeks.

We’ve received our second shipment of R rated DVD’s. We have some left, but when this shipment is gone, they’re gone. We won’t get anymore.

You can still get the discount price of $19.99 by entering – savefive – in the discount box when ordering.

To order your copy of “America the Beautiful,” click here:

Order DVD Here


It seems like Ralph Lauren got caught with his hand in the cookie jar – AGAIN!

If you thought the last airbrushed photo of the Ralph Lauren model was draconian, look at this new one -

This is absolutely ridiculous. The unmitigated gall or should I say blithe unconcern of Ralph Lauren.

I wonder if he has daughters?

The Model above, Valentina Zelyaeva is currently featured on the Ralph Lauren Australia Web site.

What’s strange is that there are two different versions of the photo on the site, and one seems to show the model in her true form (did they think they could sneak the digitally altered one past us?).

Hey Ralph, “why don’t you just show your clothes on skeletons… or are those not skinny enough for you?”

It seems that something has to be done about Ralph Lauren.

About-Face, Mewithoutmeasure, Monte Nido, Beyond Hunger, Girl Scouts, Remuda Ranch, Emily Program, Shaping Youth, Renfrew Center, YWCA, The Ranch, Anad, NOW, New Moon, Neda, and the 170 universities that I’ve visited, I have a question -

When are we going to show these companies that advertising to young girls in this manner is totally unacceptable?  Collectively we have massive power and we can make Ralph Lauren say uncle. Trust me.

I promised the 50,000 women that I met at college campuses over the last year that I would do whatever I could to make the world a safer place for them. And I meant it!

I’m serious, if all of you are ready to put an end to Ralph Lauren’s disrespect. Just say the word. and I’ll lead the offensive.

I have 50,000 college women that will join us.

Personally, I can’t take it anymore, so if you have my back, I for sure have yours.

Remember after doing this documentary, the fashion industry isn’t too fond of me anyway, so I have nothing to lose.  :)


I spoke with the head of the Alliance for Eating Disorders in Miami today. Along with the Renfrew Center, they’re hosting 2 screenings of “America the Beautiful,” in December.

One of the screenings will be on December 2nd at the Cinemark Palace 20 in beautiful Boca Raton and the other screening will be on December 3rd at the University of Miami.

I’ve heard that HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of college students are anxiously awaiting the University of Miami screening.

During my 2 days in Miami, Art Babel, the largest Art Show in the US, will take place. I plan on catching some of the awesome exhibits.

To get tickets for the Florida screenings go to:
Florida Screenings



I thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the work that you’ve done. I look forward to following you in the future.

You are a trailblazer in a society of insecure lemmings who are afraid to question things or to speak their minds. You are an admirable, wonderfully unique, passionate, empathetic person who is blessed with insight and vision. I am so thankful that I had an opportunity to meet you, and to hear your story.

Best of luck to you.

Dear Darryl,

We had a little bit of correspondence at the very beginning of the movie release.. I was trying to get you to come to Winnipeg in Canada. I recently learned that the film was briefly here last spring which was very disappointing because there was little to no advertising about this.

I believe it played at one of the universities but no one in the eating disorder community was even aware it had been here. :-(

I have ordered the DVD Of course (still haven’t see the film!!) but I also wanted to see if there is any way we could get YOU to be HERE the week of February 1-7. That is ED Awareness Week in Canada. Its really cold — we can loan you a big parka!!

Winnipeg is in the middle of the country… a city of 600,000 in the centre many miles away from other major city centers (we are about 8 hours drive north of Minneapolis just to give you a hint) … we don’t get the opportunities places like Toronto or Vancouver do to screen amazing films like ! this or to host big splashy events like you show us in your newsletter… but I know we can pull it off and create a special night that will promote your film but also let the province know about our new program and how/where to get treatment and support.

Please email me to talk further. Thank you so much.



“America the Beautiful” will be available on Cable TV/Video on Demand starting in December. It’s being distributed by the “major distributor,” that doesn’t wan’t me to mention their name. I think I’m going to slip up.  :)

Every month, “Major Distributor,” runs 5,000 commercials all over Cable TV promoting the hot independent films that they’re distributing/featuring that month.

The commercial features the 4 “hot” titles that they want everyone to see. These are the films they put all of their marketing muscle behind.

In December you’ll see the commercial run all over cable TV and guess what? You got it, “America the Beautiful,” is one of the titles selected for their national commercial campaign. Exciting!

Here’s a sneak preview of the commercial. I don’t know why they sent it to me, they had to know I was going to share it with you:

Watch Commercial

Second Ralph Lauren model in Photoshop row as she’s airbrushed to become impossibly skinny

Will the high-end clothing line ever stop altering its models?

-Carolyn French

Valentina Zelyaeva

A new image from the Ralph Lauren corporation is causing a stir once again and needless to say we aren’t the least bit surprised.

Read about RL’s previous photoshop scandal

Model Valentina Zelyaeva is currently featured on the Ralph Lauren Australia Web site, looking extremely skinny and disproportioned. Her hand appears nearly as wide as her thigh and her shoulders are considerably wider than her hips.

What’s strange is that there are two different versions of the photo on the site, and one seems to show the model in her true form (did the company think they could sneak the digitally altered one past us?).

The image has been posted on, with commentators wondering “why they don’t just show their clothes on skeletons… or are those not skinny enough?”

Ralph Lauren has yet to comment on the ad, though a response is expected sometime this afternoon. (Daily Mail)