“Weighing In” on the Modeling Industry
Disclaimer: This is a hot debate topic. These are my own personal views, I’m not saying I’m right, I’m just saying this is how I feel about it. You are certainly free to disagree.
Note: When I refer to models, I am mainly speaking about high fashion runway models.
In recent years, the modeling industry has been criticized for assorted, numerous reasons. Models being too young, agencies encouraging eating disorders, too much airbrushing on photos, etc. Many companies now are making a point of featuring “real women” (whatever that’s supposed to mean) while those that don’t follow this trend have to basically act completely ignorant or open themselves up to criticism if they share views that are not the popular “all models should be a size 12-14 because that’s the average American female.”
Now here’s one of my unpopular opinions, I think image-wise, the modeling industry is in great shape. I think Isaac Mizrahi summed it up pretty well in a 2013 Huffington Post interview.
“…the girls are encouraged to be thin, but I don’t think they’re encouraged to look like drug addicts anymore.” [¹]
I can’t remember the last time I saw a model that looked unhealthy. I really can’t. I think it’s ironic that the people who are complaining about models “looking bulimic” (when they probably are not) are the ones who need to be enlightened regarding different body types.
I’d like to make a few points:
– Fashion is a business-based-business. What I mean by that is, designers are artists. SUCCESSFUL designers are business-people. They have a product to sell, they’ll sell it the best way they know how.
– Designers are not made of money. They work unbelievably hard to be successful and what they make goes right back into their company. It’s just not practical to make sample sizes up to size 10 let alone 12-14!
– There’s a lot more… insurance in using a model that’s 5’10” and 34-24-34. Nothing’s ever certain but you can expect that this model has a really good metabolism and she won’t gain or lose enough weight to cause any problems with fit.
– Models are not all size 0! That is a huge huge misconception. Best I know, most models are around a size 4.
– My personal opinion is that these rigid standards keep the modeling world small… well, relative to what it would be if there weren’t any physical standards. And it would just be even harder for models to get work.
– The modeling world is weird. Don’t try to compare it to the real world or even to Hollywood, you’ll make yourself crazy. Once you acknowledge that the modeling world and the real world just value different traits and are completely separate, you won’t care so much. I mean, I’m five feet tall. I don’t exist in the modeling world. That doesn’t bother me.
Now, that’s not to say that I don’t think there are certain standards that should be in place to ensure that models are safe and healthy. Because I do.
– Models under the age of 18 should be thoroughly educated on health and have healthy habits drilled into their brains.
– Models under the age of 18 should not be allowed to work if it could be detrimental to their physical or mental health.
-Models under the age of 18 should always have some sort of guardian present when working.
– There should be resources for models who’s careers have come/are coming to an end. They should have help making that career transition.
So those are my thoughts and feelings on the modeling industry and some of the controversies surrounding it. Feel free to weigh in!