Last week the ad, which was only supposed to be seen only in Japan, made its way around the Internet. The model had a waist that was impossibly skinny, and her arms and legs were extremely thin as well. People were outraged at the sickly and unrealistic look.
So was the model, 23-year-old Filippa Hamilton. "I was shocked to see that super skinny girl with my face," she told the New York Daily News. "It's very sad, I think, that Ralph Lauren could do something like that."
But that's not all Ralph Lauren did to her. She told the News the company fired her. "They fired me because they said I was overweight and I couldn't fit in their clothes anymore," she said. At 5'10'', 120 pounds, Hamilton really wouldn't fit anyone's description as "overweight."
Hamilton said she's worked for Ralph Lauren since around 2002, and considered the company a second family.
Polo Ralph Lauren said in a statement that Hamilton is a "beautiful and healthy" woman but their relationship ended "as a result of her inability to meet the obligations under her contract with us."
The company also took reponsibility for the skinny ad:
"The image in question was mistakenly released and used in a department store in Japan and was not the approved image which ran in the U.S. We take full responsibility. This error has absolutely no connection to our relationship with Filippa Hamilton."
Hamilton's lawyer, Geoffrey Menin, said the image is "gross distortion of how she really looks and which we fear will be extremely damaging to her."
Hamilton is concerned about its impact on the public. "I think they owe American women an apology, a big apology," she said. "I'm very proud of what I look like, and I think a role model should look healthy."