The French organization ‘Belle, Ronde, Sexy et je m’assume’ (Beautiful, Round, Sexy and Ok with it), has taken legal action against fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld, the group’s president said on Tuesday.
Betty Aubrière told AFP her organization, which fights on behalf of full-figured women, was demanding “a right to respond to and confront” Lagerfeld over comments he made during a French television appearance earlier this month.
She also confirmed she had filed a complaint of “discrimination and defamation” in the Charente-Maritime region of south-western France, against the German-born Lagerfeld, who has lived in France for decades.
During the October 4th episode of ‘Le Grand 8’ on French TV channel D8, Lagerfeld accused “fat people” of being responsible for a deficit in France’s healthcare system.
“The hole in social security, it’s also [due to] all the diseases caught by people who are too fat,” said Lagerfeld.
He also reiterated his previously-stated view that: “Nobody wants to see round women on the catwalk.”
Attacking the creative director of the Chanel fashion house, Aubrière told AFP: “These insults by public personalities must stop.”
“We’re sick of it. There are many young girls who don’t feel comfortable in their skin, and for them to hear comments like that is terrible for them,” said Aubrière.
“Today it’s [Lagerfeld] who finds us offensive. Who will it be tomorrow?” she added.
This isn’t the first time that Lagerfeld has found himself in hot water over his views on female beauty and weight.
He caused consternation in 2012 when he criticised award-winning British singer Adele in an interview with Metro France newspaper.
“Adele is a little bit too fat, but she has a pretty face and a divine voice,” he said.
After an international outcry, the vocalist responded, in an interview with People magazine.
“'I've never wanted to look like models on the cover of magazines. I represent the majority of women and I'm very proud of that,” Adele said.
“I'd lose weight if I was an actress and had to play a role where you're supposed to be 40 pounds lighter, but weight has nothing to do with my career,” she added.