Karl Lagerfeld has often made waves for offhand remarks about "fat people." Now his words are coming back to bite him in the derrière, as a group called Belle, Ronde, Sexy et je M'assume has filed a legal complaint against him in France.
The organization, whose name translates to "Beautiful, Round, Sexy and OK with It," is accusing the Chanel designer of "defamatory and discriminatory comments," reports AFP. Betty Aubriere, the group's president, told AFP, "We're fed up. Many young girls are insecure and hearing such comments is terrible for them," particularly from famous people. "Today it's him who insults us and tomorrow who will it be?"
With its move against Lagerfeld, Aubriere says it hopes to address size discrimination broadly. Most individuals aren't as outspoken as Karl, who famously called Adele "a little too fat" and supposedly told a reporter, "No one wants to see curvy women." But discrimination against curvier women as well as men seeps into society in countless inconspicuous ways, from the lack of plus-size celebs in movies to stores that strategically cater to smaller sizes and even anti-fat biases in the workplace.
Targeting Karl Lagerfeld will likely focus attention specifically on the fashion industry, where unspoken (and sometimes spoken) standards for body shape have had damaging effects on both the models and the consumers who see them in ads and magazines.
On a more local level, Aubriere told the AFP that they are also pushing to end bullying, advocating more awareness in schools "so that people understand that curves are often an illness or genetic, and not due to a poor diet."
Think that this latest legal filing will make a difference in France... or force Lagerfeld to change his loose-lipped ways?
On the record:
Karl On Japanese People
Karl opened up to <a href="http://www.wwd.com/fashion-news/designer-luxury/chanels-tokyo-turn-5815470?module=today" target="_hplink"><em>Women's Wear Daily</em></a> about Tokyo Fashion Week: "It's changed a lot but it's changed for the better I think. I noticed that people became bigger than before because now they eat more cake and sweets and things like this that they didn't do in the past. There's a real change in the look of the Japanese people. Normally, before, they were all tiny. It's the kind of beauty you get from junk food." (AFP photo)
Karl On Michelle Obama
Karl told <a href="http://www.style.com/stylefile/2011/09/karl-lagerfeld-opens-up/" target="_hplink">Style.com</a> he's very fond of Michelle Obama: "I'm a big fan of Mrs. Obama - and her face, I think, is magical. He would not be there without her. Mrs. Obama is not a fashion statement, but she has other things to do. My favorite thing about Mrs Obama was when she was asked if her skirt was not too tight and she answered 'Why you don't like my big black ass?' I want [Barack] Obama to win because there is nothing better anyway, and especially because of her." FYI: Kristina Schake, Director of Communications to First Lady Michelle Obama released a statement regarding Lagerfeld's comment saying, "Mrs. Obama never made that statement." (Getty photo)
Karl On Dating In Russia
In his infamous interview with <a href="http://www.metro.us/newyork/life/article/1089980--karl-lagerfeld-on-lana-del-rey-the-greek-crisis-and-m-i-a-s-middle-finger" target="_hplink"><em>Metro</em></a>, Karl put his foot in his mouth when talking about Russian men: "If I was a woman in Russia I would be a lesbian, as the men are very ugly. There are a few handsome ones, like Naomi Campbell's boyfriend, but there you see the most beautiful women and the most horrible men." (Getty photo)
Karl On Adele
Karl caused major drama when he opened up to <em><a href="http://www.metro.us/newyork/life/article/1089980--karl-lagerfeld-on-lana-del-rey-the-greek-crisis-and-m-i-a-s-middle-finger" target="_hplink">Metro</a></em> about his feelings towards Adele: "The thing at the moment is Adele. She is a little too fat, but she has a beautiful face and a divine voice." (Getty photo)
Karl On International Relations
If you ever wondered what <a href="http://www.metro.us/newyork/life/article/1089980--karl-lagerfeld-on-lana-del-rey-the-greek-crisis-and-m-i-a-s-middle-finger" target="_hplink">Karl thought about the Greek financial crisis: </a>"Greece needs to work on a cleaner image. It's a big problem, as [Greeks] have this reputation of being so corrupt. You can't be sure the money will go where it's supposed to go. They need to build trust, and that takes time too. Nobody wants Greece to disappear, but they have really disgusting habits - Italy as well." (AFP photo)
Karl On Raising Children
Karl sat down with former <em>Vogue Paris </em>editor-in-chief Carine Roitfeld and talked children for <em><a href="http://www.interviewmagazine.com/fashion/carine-roitfeld/" target="_hplink">Interview</a></em> magazine: "You're also lucky because they are very beautiful. It would have been difficult to have an ugly daughter." (Getty photo)
Karl On Dominique Strauss-Kahn
Karl thinks politics<a href="http://www.style.com/stylefile/2011/09/karl-lagerfeld-opens-up/" target="_hplink"> is all about survival: </a>"I love Dominique Strauss-Kahn. I love his wife. They are great people and when they came back to Paris I sent them flowers. But you know, for people in politics, it's very embarrassing. On the left they had hoped he wouldn't come back, because I think other people want his job. And on the other side...but even in America, Clinton survived his blow job." (Getty photo)
Karl On Curvy Women
The<a href="http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/fashion/no-one-wants-to-see-curvy-women-german-designer-1801469.html" target="_hplink"><em> Independent</em></a> reported Karl saying some insulting things about curvy women to the German magazine <em>Focus</em>: "No one wants to see curvy women. You've got fat mothers with their bags of chips sitting in front of the television and saying that thin models are ugly." (AFP photo)
Karl On Tina Brown
At a press conference in Japan on Friday, reports <em><a href="http://www.wwd.com/media-news/print/lagerfeld-fires-back-at-tina-brown-5821720?module=today" target="_hplink">Women's Wear Daily</a></em>, Karl Lagerfeld said of<em> Newsweek:</em> "First of all, Tina Brown's magazine is not doing well at all. I'm sorry for Tina Brown, who was such a success at Vanity Fair, to go down with a shitty little paper like this. I'm sorry." (Getty photo)