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PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP

PROJECT RUNWAY, SEASON 10, EPISODE 6, “HELP MY FRIEND”

Designer Ven bullies client/model about weight, age and constant bashing with no repercussion.

I have been truly overwhelmed by the events of the last few days.  As you probably already know, I had agreed to be a participant in the “Fix my Friend” competition for Project Runway.  I anticipated a pampering experience wherein I would receive a makeover and have a new look designed just for me.  Instead, I was humiliated and degraded for being a “plus size” contestant.

I kept dreading the day when the episode would be aired and the whole world could see me trying on belts that had been made for Twiggy.  Since I was so mortified, I did not tell many people that I would even be on the show.  I watched it at home with my husband and young children.   Seeing the edited version of what had been filmed shed a new light on what had occurred.  I was horrified to realize that my children (who I always try to teach to respect others), were now watching their mother being bullied on national TV.  It was devastating!  I want my daughters to grow up with healthy self images, regardless of what the media promotes as fashionable.  I deeply regretted my decision to do the show.

However, since that time, there has been a tremendous outpouring of support from perfect strangers.  They are outraged at the designer’s comments and attitude towards me.   I am so grateful for their kindness which is helping to rebuild my damaged self-esteem.   I only wish I had the time to personally thank each one for their remarks and gestures.

It was disheartening to see that the judges on Project Runway did not send the offending designer home.  Does this mean they condone his actions?  Do they also believe that only rail-thin models are worthy of their attention?

As I begin to put my own embarrassment aside and look at the situation from other people’s eyes, new questions pop into my head.  Why aren’t the sponsors’ speaking up?  The sponsors’ offers an anti-aging product line, and very large selection of plus size women clothing.  Do the network and sponsors believe in promoting tolerance or do they only care about ratings?  (I know that controversy can be beneficial to them, but at what cost?)  Why does the average woman compare herself to runway models to begin with? There are nationwide efforts to stop bullying. My experience is a prime example of adult bullying at its best. Bullying needs to stop, not just for children but for everyone!

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I am not an extrovert by any means so I really am overwhelmed by all of this attention.  I have no idea where it will lead, but hopefully more women will carry their heads high on their “plus size figures”, and fewer teens and tweens will feel that designer clothes make who they are.   Maybe someday Project Runway will official denounce this designer’s actions. But in the meantime, I again thank everyone who has shown support for me. Your kind remarks have diminished the hurt I felt from one individual’s insensitivity.

I especially want to thank my friend, Theo Thomas, for challenging me during the filming as I was pretending to like what had been designed for me.  And I also want to publicly acknowledge that other former Project Runway competitors (namely Michael Costello and Suede) have graciously offered to design an appropriate outfit for me.

If you’d like more information about this topic, or to schedule an interview with Terri Herlihy:

Email:  [email protected]

Facebook official “fan” page:  Terri’s Redemption  URL:  https://www.facebook.com/terris.redemption

Ph:   913-488-3295, Mary Mattheis, public relations consultant

 

Check out PLUS Model Magazine’s August Denim Issue here!

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83 Comments

  1. Jackie

    August 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm

    I saw the episode last night and was so disgusted by Vens behavior. You are a beautiful and kind woman, whereas he is clearly a bitter, angry and soulless human being. I wish you nothing but happiness and the best of luck in the future, and I hope that you will soon have your moment to shine and be pampered.

  2. Jacquie Barbavian

    August 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    To humiliate a woman based on her size while not focusing on her talent is low, declasse’ and unprofessional. NOt every woman is meant to be the same size. As a Fashion Designer I have made clothing from size 0 – 26 and larger! Every woman had a figure flaw they wanted to hide no matter what size they were! This was cruel and I will not be watching this show anymore if this kind of bullying behavior is allowed!

  3. Amy Lambert

    August 27, 2012 at 7:55 pm

    I actually finished watching last week’s episode right before this was posted. I am overwhelmingly bothered and saddened by the experience of this woman. The only thing that saved this show were the denounced expressions of the other designers towards Ven. He was disrespectful beyond being disrespectful and should have been sent packing.

  4. Analise Whitlock

    August 27, 2012 at 7:58 pm

    Take this show off the air! How dare the judges allow that beautiful woman to be humiliated and mistreated. The designer should be stoned! I will start a boycott in my town so people know the truth about this show. No one spoke up for her. I’m so sorry you had to endure that.

  5. April Yedinak

    August 27, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    You know what really burnt my big butt about the whole fiasco (aside from how rude and unprofessional he was) is that he was such a hypocrite. Seriously big boy- you are going to cast some stones about size?! I think he needs psychiatric help for that level of delusion.

  6. Ambrosia Jones

    August 27, 2012 at 8:13 pm

    April Yedinak, THANK YOU for finally writing what I have been screaming (to no one in particular) since Thursday! Ven’s hypocrisy was infuriating, particularly his “Oh, she’s AT LEAST as size 14” comment. Well, he appears to be AT LEAST a size 20! (You know what I mean.) I’m glad so many people have spoken up in defense of Terri, including the wonderful Tim Gunn. Terri, you are beautiful and a kinder person than I and are blessed to have such a wonderful friend in Theo.

  7. PLUS Model Magazine

    August 28, 2012 at 2:34 am

    PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/AcFwPFdh http://t.co/Eu9h4oiE

  8. Curvy CEO

    August 28, 2012 at 2:37 am

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  9. Danimezza

    August 28, 2012 at 2:39 am

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  10. Sally

    August 28, 2012 at 2:39 am

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  11. Lindsey farmer

    August 28, 2012 at 2:44 am

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  12. Zadry Ferrer-Geddes

    August 28, 2012 at 2:49 am

    @terriherlihy23 you ARE a beautiful woman! RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP http://t.co/jGqs9bft

  13. rosemary

    August 28, 2012 at 2:50 am

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  14. Diana Barbosa

    August 28, 2012 at 2:50 am

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  15. Entropygrl

    August 28, 2012 at 2:53 am

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  16. Calvetta Watlington

    August 28, 2012 at 3:24 am

    Justice for ALL http://t.co/CcuNkldx

  17. Smitten

    August 28, 2012 at 3:29 am

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  18. Shannon

    August 28, 2012 at 3:31 am

    RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP http://t.co/bcHnR9Zg The designers behavior was AWFUL.

  19. Jmh

    August 28, 2012 at 3:39 am

    RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP http://t.co/28ZuOhzP

  20. Heather Henderson

    August 28, 2012 at 3:39 am

    When I was modeling I lived on ~500 calories/day. Shame on #teamven. He should try it for a week. http://t.co/Xzf78cUG RT @plusmodelmag

  21. C.Stokes

    August 28, 2012 at 3:43 am

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  22. WorldWide Heat

    August 28, 2012 at 3:43 am

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  23. Kate Mcfarlane

    August 28, 2012 at 3:47 am

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  24. Curves and Chaos

    August 28, 2012 at 4:16 am

    RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP http://t.co/BBvYKYEj

  25. Cocoa Popps

    August 28, 2012 at 4:17 am

    RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP http://t.co/BBvYKYEj

  26. C Parrott

    August 28, 2012 at 4:36 am

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  27. colby ogilvie

    August 28, 2012 at 4:40 am

    http://t.co/sObmp8ql — clbdom (@clbdom) @SHAQ @_CharlesBarkley — clbdom (@clbdom) @projectrunway

  28. Mimi

    August 28, 2012 at 5:05 am

    I’m so pleased that Michael Costello and Suede offered to create an outfit for Terri. I’m also pleased that the other current designers were horrified by Ven’s behaviour. My only disappointment is that he was not sent home for his behaviour…AND his essentially crap creation. The skirt was too long (Sorry, Terri, but it was), the top was a meaningless blob of cheap fabric, and the whole thing showed a contempt for his client, even without Ven’s pathetic attitude. Nathan’s stage creation, while tacky, showed more work, creativity and respect for the client. Ven who takes such pride in his perfectly made clothes, turned out a stinker, and insulted his client (and, by extension, me, a plus size girl with the cash to order designer pieces made to order – so a potential client who’ll look elsewhere now!) in the process.

    I’m glad Theo convinced Terri to speak up and express her disappointment with the treatment and outfit she received from Ven. I am SO deeply disappointed that Ven wasn’t even reprimanded, let alone booted, for his actions and pitiful product. Bad move, Project Runway.

  29. Jessica Stallings

    August 28, 2012 at 5:12 am

    I wish I could give Terri a big hug. RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP http://t.co/YwwKI6Lr

  30. Susan Gonzales

    August 28, 2012 at 5:25 am

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  31. Kate Mcfarlane

    August 28, 2012 at 5:48 am

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  32. Abe Robinson

    August 28, 2012 at 6:44 am

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  33. Kristina

    August 28, 2012 at 6:51 am

    “@CURVESandCHAOS @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI SPEAKS UP http://t.co/lur5OiV7” @ninagarcia can u help?

  34. PLUS Model Magazine

    August 28, 2012 at 7:00 am

    PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/AcFwPFdh

  35. Samii

    August 28, 2012 at 7:09 am

    Oh wow. I just can’t believe there are such awful people out there. I’m sorry, but shouldn’t he have been focusing on making the most amazing clothes, rather than what size he had to make them in? What a jerk. I hope he’s kicked from the show for his cruel behavior. I would’ve loved to have been on the show, myself. I would’ve went postal on him after all of that. But Terri took it in stride, unlike I probably would have. I have to have all the respect in the world for this woman. Keep your head high, darling! xo

  36. CLEMENTINE DESSEAUX

    August 28, 2012 at 7:28 am

    “@Plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/mI9E33hU http://t.co/9sXNlZRr”
    #ANOTH3ROPTION
    #CHANGE

  37. WINK MUA

    August 28, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Love this!! He treated her horribly! RT @Plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/EBqFNMYp

  38. The Right Honourable

    August 28, 2012 at 7:40 am

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  39. Lanae Roxas

    August 28, 2012 at 8:28 am

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  40. Megan Emmerling

    August 28, 2012 at 9:09 am

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  41. Cat Pausé

    August 28, 2012 at 10:33 am

    RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP http://t.co/DZc6NtEB

  42. AlwaysForMe

    August 28, 2012 at 10:45 am

    RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP http://t.co/bAY9TDBT

  43. AlwaysForMe

    August 28, 2012 at 10:47 am

    Do you think Designer Ven should be sent home RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS http://t.co/bAY9TDBT

  44. Swimsuits4All

    August 28, 2012 at 11:30 am

    PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/AcFwPFdh

  45. NutmegCourts

    August 28, 2012 at 11:53 am

    PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/AcFwPFdh http://t.co/Eu9h4oiE

  46. Carole

    August 28, 2012 at 12:28 pm

    PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/AcFwPFdh http://t.co/Eu9h4oiE

  47. Kendra Porter

    August 28, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP http://t.co/1DYIPs4J

  48. ThreeDressesProject

    August 28, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP http://t.co/BBvYKYEj

  49. Kara C.

    August 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Ven's client speaks up about her experience. #projectrunway http://t.co/t6jK6f9O

  50. Samii

    August 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm

    RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP http://t.co/JrkakETJ

  51. TheCurvyFashionista

    August 28, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    Terri speak out. #ProjectRunway RT @Plusmodelmag: @PROJECTRUNWAY ’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/MVVGI2D2

  52. Kemi

    August 28, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    Terri speak out. #ProjectRunway RT @Plusmodelmag: @PROJECTRUNWAY ’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/MVVGI2D2

  53. Carissa

    August 28, 2012 at 3:00 pm

    ah, so the model @venbudhu bullied is speaking out – (it's nice two other designers stepped up to redesign) – http://t.co/TEBfro4s

  54. Anastasia Garcia

    August 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP http://t.co/STqscY83

  55. Natalie Ferraro

    August 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    (this is such a win!) RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP http://t.co/3e75vvQ9

  56. Angie Coiro

    August 28, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    via @anrubio: PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP http://t.co/HqQI8HbX \\ #bullying #fatbashing #women #bodyimage #ed

  57. Liis Windischmann

    August 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm

    @terriherlihy23 speaks with @Plusmodelmag about turning a negative into a positive after her awful fashion experience http://t.co/ytpm3shU

  58. bunny knuckles

    August 28, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    The beautiful woman who was bullied by Ven on Project Runway has written about it. GO. GIRL. http://t.co/xcKwzIYD #fuckyouven

  59. Kathryn Swartz

    August 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm

    RT @bibliogrrl: The beautiful woman who was bullied by Ven on Project Runway has written about it. GO. GIRL http://t.co/nwQcetqB #fuckyouven

  60. Penny Piquant

    August 28, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    RT @~: The beautiful woman who was bullied by Ven on Project Runway has written about it. GO. GIRL. http://t.co/0d3LfWng #fuckyouven

  61. Swimsuits4All

    August 28, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    Do you think by not sending @VenBudhu home, judges were condoning his actions? His client speaks out. #ProjectRunway http://t.co/nZgOidHI

  62. joe

    August 28, 2012 at 7:45 pm

    Do you think by not sending @VenBudhu home, judges were condoning his actions? His client speaks out. #ProjectRunway http://t.co/nZgOidHI

  63. PLUS Model Magazine

    August 28, 2012 at 8:00 pm

    PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/AcFwPFdh

  64. Queen of the DMV

    August 28, 2012 at 8:03 pm

    PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/AcFwPFdh

  65. Halmoni

    August 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/AcFwPFdh

  66. Oana A Thompson

    August 28, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/AcFwPFdh

  67. LeeAnne Bergquist

    August 28, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/AcFwPFdh

  68. Mica Clem-Winck

    August 29, 2012 at 2:07 am

    PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/AcFwPFdh

  69. Juicy Buys

    August 29, 2012 at 2:14 am

    PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/AcFwPFdh

  70. Kimberly Eldreth

    August 29, 2012 at 3:16 am

    PROJECT RUNWAY’S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP LINK: http://t.co/AcFwPFdh

  71. Curvy Exchange

    August 29, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    So well written, she's amazing! >>RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP ~ http://t.co/QAAXV4uD

  72. Janey S.

    August 29, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT SPEAKS UP | PLUS Model Magazine http://t.co/1huixhoE

  73. RealDivasRLARGE!

    August 30, 2012 at 9:32 pm

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  74. KCTMOM

    August 31, 2012 at 12:46 am

    PROJECT RUNWAY'S VEN BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP | PLUS Model Magazine http://t.co/b9e9UFQx
    #projectrunway

  75. Kathy Repique

    August 31, 2012 at 5:51 am

    PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP | PLUS Model Magazine http://t.co/WMljdez0

  76. TroJah

    August 31, 2012 at 9:34 am

    One of the MANY reasons why I don’t watch shows like this. They don’t EVER include plus models for anything..and if they do its to ridicule. This is horrible. I’m so glad you have a platform to share your experience and your thoughts about what happened to you. Thank You Terri and thanks Plus Model Mag.

  77. Lily Marlene

    August 31, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    “It was disheartening to see that the judges on Project Runway did not send the offending designer home.”

    It’s a design show and they didn’t judge his design to be the worst- that’s why he wasn’t sent home. He treated his client poorly, but client relations isn’t a part of the judging criteria, or a required skill. It would have been ridiculous (and pandering) to have sent him home for having offended his client and her supporters. No disrespect meant, his actions and attitude were repugnant.

  78. Phatshion Peacock

    August 31, 2012 at 9:54 pm

    RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP http://t.co/feIsSZbE

  79. Phatshion Peacock

    August 31, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I was on fire when I watched this episode of Project runway! #thedesignerwasplussize2… http://t.co/Ptlog2ti

  80. Curvy Exchange

    September 2, 2012 at 6:05 pm

    So well written, she's amazing! >>RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP ~ http://t.co/QAAXV4uD

  81. Karen

    September 3, 2012 at 2:02 am

    When I first read this post I was completely dumbfounded but then as I thought about it I feel dumb for being dumbfounded as this kind of behavior is so typical.

    I haven’t seen the episode yet as I tend to watch most shows in a marathon format . . .

    The funny is he could’ve used the situation to his advantage. After all who couldn’t design something attractive for an 18 girl with an adolescent boy’s figure? Designing a flattering plus size garment actually takes TALENT.

    My heart goes out to you Terri.

  82. Brina

    September 6, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    I watched the episode and was deeply disturbed by Ven’s behavior and the fact that he got to stay on the show. He should have been removed just for making his client feel terrible about herself. In the past when the show has done the “Real Woman” challenge there is almost always someone who is whining that all of the real women aren’t sample sizes. Um Hello!?!? Do they not understand that women of all sizes deserve to be clothed in beautiful clothing? That everyone deserves to feel good about themselves?

  83. TYGER

    September 16, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    RT @plusmodelmag: PROJECT RUNWAY'S BASHED PLUS SIZE CLIENT TERRI HERLIHY SPEAKS UP http://t.co/u6BtkZhA

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