How Gemma Ward Got Too 'Fat' to Model

Once touted as the next big thing, model simply got too big

By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff

Posted Feb 12, 2010 11:55 AM CST

(Newser) – Gemma Ward was discovered at 14, became Vogue’s youngest cover model at 16, and landed more than 20 Vogue covers by 19—but today, at just 22 and a few pounds heavier than she once was, Ward’s modeling career appears to be over. Speculation about her size began in 2006, and by 2007—when she wore what one article called a “not so itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny Chanel bikini” during a Paris fashion week show—one fashion editor “almost didn’t recognize her,” the journalist tells the New York Post.

The former waif had probably gained only 10 to 15 pounds, but that was enough to make her look “big, almost bloated,” the editor continues. Her agency put her on “hiatus” in 2007, and she hasn’t worked for 2 years. “Her moment's over,” says a source. “She's not coming back.” She won't be back as a plus-size model, either—she's too small.

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 10:  Model Gemma Ward arrives at the '7th On Sale Online' Gala November 10, 2005 in New York City.
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 10: Model Gemma Ward arrives at the '7th On Sale Online' Gala November 10, 2005 in New York City.   (Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 05:  Models Gemma Ward and Erin Wasson attend the 2006 CFDA Awards at the New York Public Library June 5, 2006 in New York City.
NEW YORK - JUNE 05: Models Gemma Ward and Erin Wasson attend the 2006 CFDA Awards at the New York Public Library June 5, 2006 in New York City.   (Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 06:  Model Gemma Ward attends the fashion fete to celebrate the launch of the magazine Daily Mini at the Garden of Ono June 6, 2006 in New York City.
NEW YORK - JUNE 06: Model Gemma Ward attends the fashion fete to celebrate the launch of the magazine Daily Mini at the Garden of Ono June 6, 2006 in New York City.   (Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JANUARY 30: Gemma Ward attends a special screening of 'Factory Girl' hosted by The Cinema Society and Calvin Klein at the Tribeca Grand Hotel on January 30, 2007 in New York City.
NEW YORK - JANUARY 30: Gemma Ward attends a special screening of 'Factory Girl' hosted by The Cinema Society and Calvin Klein at the Tribeca Grand Hotel on January 30, 2007 in New York City.   (Getty Images)
Model Gemma Ward arrives for the screening of the film Le Scaphandre et le Papillon, at the 60th International film festival in Cannes, southern France, on Tuesday, May 22, 2007.
Model Gemma Ward arrives for the screening of the film "Le Scaphandre et le Papillon," at the 60th International film festival in Cannes, southern France, on Tuesday, May 22, 2007.   (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau)
MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 22:  Model Gemma Ward attends the 5th Marie Claire Magazine Awards at the French Embassy November 22, 2007 in Madrid, Spain.
MADRID, SPAIN - NOVEMBER 22: Model Gemma Ward attends the 5th Marie Claire Magazine Awards at the French Embassy November 22, 2007 in Madrid, Spain.   (Getty Images)
Australian model Gemma Ward attends the 2008 Pirelli Calendar launching gala dinner Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007 in Shanghai, China. Ward is among models who appear on Pirelli 2008 calendar.
Australian model Gemma Ward attends the 2008 Pirelli Calendar launching gala dinner Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007 in Shanghai, China. Ward is among models who appear on Pirelli 2008 calendar.   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Australian model Gemma Ward attends a press conference to launch the 2008 Pirelli Calendar Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007, in Shanghai, China. Ward is among the models who appear in the calendar photographed by Patrick Demarchelier of France.
Australian model Gemma Ward attends a press conference to launch the 2008 Pirelli Calendar Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007, in Shanghai, China. Ward is among the models who appear in the calendar photographed...   (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27:  Model Gemma Ward attends the Sydney premiere of `The Black Balloon' at the Dendy Opera Quays on February 27, 2008 in Sydney, Australia.
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 27: Model Gemma Ward attends the Sydney premiere of `The Black Balloon' at the Dendy Opera Quays on February 27, 2008 in Sydney, Australia.   (Getty Images)
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