Revealing Confessions About The Modelling Industry From Those Who Experience It First-Hand

The modelling industry is notoriously cutthroat. With allegations of mistreatment of under-age girls, lack of diversity, sexual harassment, promoting an unhealthy lifestyle, and basically any other horrifying cliché that has ascribed to fashion.

We have to call on this system to change. We need diversity; all bodies, differently abled, shaped, coloured, sized, gendered and aged. Diversity is so important. Representation is so important. — Anonymous Fashion Model

Although many of us like to think these stereotypes are no longer true, or at least slightly less so, in 2017 the Director, James Scully made it clear that plenty of problems still continue to this day – perhaps worse than ever – when he spoke awareness on the subject to his social media during the Fall 2017 shows.

In effort, Models.com used their platform to invite models to speak out. Regardless of who’s on the right side, the sad truth is models, more than others, censor themselves in fear of losing critical jobs. As a result social media has become their soapbox, but many are still reluctant to voice their own frustrations.

“The fact is there is not a monolithic model experience–but there are unequivocal blemishes in an industry based on beauty: diversity or the lack thereof and the impact of racism, working conditions specifically related to pay or lack of it, sexual abuse, body image and mental health issues especially the impact on young impressionable and eager minds trying to fit in to an ever demanding industry. How does fashion begin to reconcile with its models? Here are their responses, many have asked to be published anonymously.” – Models.com

 

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HOW SHOULD A MODEL BE TREATED?!

For a theoretically progressive industry, fashion remains closed off to the transgender community.
“I got a semi-exclusive for an A-list show with an opening guarantee during my first season in Paris. When [the designer] found out I was transgender, something no one knows about to this day, they cancelled my booking; they somehow considered it a risk—that it would draw too much attention, something they thought would affect the brand negatively: A very doubtful decision, especially considering that I was [then] an unknown new face.” —Anonymous

Body positivity and inclusivity has a long (long, long, long) way to go in the modeling world.
“So many women are having to compromise their physical and often mental health for the advancement of their careers. The boundaries of what a model should be are too black and white, leaving little or no room for error or individuality. Of course, there are wonderful role models like Ashley Graham and Iskra, championing body positivity but the industry’s reluctance to stray into the ‘middle ground’ of sizing is alarming and limiting.” —Emily Butcher

And so does diversity.
“The modeling experience, as someone who has first-hand encountered it all, and also as a black woman with curly hair, isn’t easy at all… Sometimes, because I have a walk that exudes attitude or because I represent the diversity the industry needs, that in itself gets me declined jobs and should frankly be the opposite. Naomi [Campbell] mentioned in 2012 that the industry is only moving backwards. Change needs to happen and models should be treated fairly, as human beings.” —Anonymous

Financial instability is a prevalent, often overlooked factor.
“The discussion of how models are treated often omits a very important point: the financial transparency and security of models. I work in the European market, and most of the agencies take high fees and make models pay for every bit of communication they are supposed to do in order to promote their models (comp cards for example). Let alone travel, accommodation and other fees that a model has usually to cover. Could anyone think of a situation like that in other fields of work — imagine, you are working for some big company and your job requires traveling and staying in hotels in different cities. If your boss were to tell you several months later, ‘You know, you have to cover it all yourself.'” —Ekaterina Ozhiganova

Sexual harassment and assault does happen, and it’s common.
“I was once shooting a lookbook where the stylist, helping me dress, used this chance to feel my body up much more than necessary and continued to do so throughout the entire shoot. Countless times have I had to undress in undesirable public situations, but even now I can remember the disgusting feel of this man’s hands tracing my body.” —Fernanda Ly

True to cliché, the modeling industry can incite eating disorders for those working within it.
“[I was] trying to get signed by a top agency. The agency said that they loved me but wanted me to lose a little weight, and they gave me a month to do it and then resend digitals. And so I lost a lot of weight in a short time and just got obsessed with it after that. I became anorexic and was extremely underweight, passing out in rehearsals [for a school play]. After the month they never got back to me and my mother agent. Since then, my weight has fluctuated so much because of how poorly I treated my body.” —Anonymous

And body dysmorphia is also common.
“I started modeling when I was 13 years old. Since the beginning, I was always told that I have too big hips and thighs and that I should lose weight. I was never fat. I just have a larger pelvis and different bone structure from the other typical models. Since, I’ve always hated my body. I’ve never had anorexia or bulimia but I was starving myself from time to time. I guess I’ve developed body dysmorphia. I’ve realized this is a common problem which models have; I was chatting with other models who seemed to be even skinnier than me and they thought about themselves [as] how fat they were.” —Petra Zatkova

The Instagirl phenomenon doesn’t work in everyone’s favor.
“There has been such a huge increase of Instagram models in the past few years, that yes, it has opened up many new doors for us as individuals to be able to take control of our own careers, but for me as a signed model with plenty of experience and an amazing background of work, it has made things more difficult, because now I am having to compete with the girls that have the online presence that I was not so quick to jump onboard with.” —Anonymous

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“Plus Size” Models

The ideal female figure has changed and this is how…

Below is a series of shocking statistics about the average size and weight of models has changed over the last two decades. This will raise awareness to many about how todays society views the ideal female figure and image, and remind us when there as a time when models were not expected to be stick thin and bones.

 

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“Most runway models meet the Body Mass Index physical criteria for Anorexia.”
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“Years ago, models averaged between a size 12 – 18.”
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“These days the majority of “plus-size” models on agency boards are between a size 10 and 14.”
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“50% of women wear a size 14 or larger, but most outlets only cater to sizes 14 and smaller.”

 

Today, some modelling agencies cater to “plus-size” models but not enough to actually make a change in the industry. As today, big well-known brands and shopping outlets showcased “straight-size” women to model “plus-size” clothing. Unfortunately, brands like Athlete and Fashion Nova have been caught out in the act, also shops like Top Shop have been criticised for not selling “plus-size” clothing.

From personal experience, I range from a size 10 – 12 (being 6ft tall)  in clothing and have been told I am bigger than the average size model. This was a real eye opener to the fashion and modelling industry and how strict they were for models to be the “right size”.

Ignoring issues like photoshoots that are only available to models that are a size 8 and therefore eliminating the possibility of using “plus-size” models. If we continue to ignore and rely on others to decide what we want to see, change will never happen. No one should starve themselves or hate their body because they don’t look like the unrealistic and photoshopped images on our advertisements.

There needs to be diversity to demonstrate and embrace a more realistic, natural and positive attitude towards our bodies. To especially show young girls and women that not everyone’s body is the same, some women are curvier, some are skinnier, some are shorter and some are taller. There is beauty in all.

 

Models of Colour

My name is Paris Laban, I am a Leo but also have strong Sagittarius characteristics as well. But enough about who I am, what is more important is what I stand for and what I can do. One of my passions is modelling, but in this industry there are problems and changes to be made for this industry to be equal, among all the different models. Fashion is art and art is never racist, so why are the major designers?

I am fully aware there is a lack of diversity in the fashion and modelling industry, are you? There are many beautiful black models and they are not represented the way they should be.

I have read and heard so many stories from black models (majority runway models) that face some type of discrimination in the fashion industry. From not getting booked for jobs as designers have already hired a model with their “look”, they get told,

“We love your look, but we’ve already got a black model.”tumblr_ok40eplOn31rtrxuao1_500.jpg.png

The little things (that actually have a great impact) like having to bring their own make up and even doing their own make-up, because the make-up artists the designers hired don’t have the range of different shades of make-up to perform on black models. Another is hair, many stylists have no experience working with black models, therefore have no idea how to work with the texture of black models hair.

This is a huge struggle for black models as most miss out on opportunities for work, as simply because the stylists couldn’t handle their texture of hair. Although straight hair extensions became a solution for some and even shaving their heads, as a result of getting jobs and protecting their hair from stylists with no experience with their texture of hair.

Even the supermodel Naomi Campbell, recalled at the beginning of her career she encountered with the same issues as of today, and after all these years later, its disappointing to hear that models of colour are still having to go through this. As a model, it’s a responsibility to be prepared for anything, even when the stylists aren’t, but for a model of colour, you have to be more prepared than others.

Racial diversity is not only a great problem in the fashion industry, but also in commercials and advertisements. There are hardly any black designers, the runways are almost completely whitewashed and it’s puzzling that some people think that blackface is stylish!…

 

If they can do it, I can do it.

Models of colour should not be sorry for what they look like, where they come from and who they are, it is time for the fashion industry to treat and see everyone as equals.

There are some models using their voices to encourage the industry to be inclusive of racial diversity. This applies to everything from casting models of color to having resources they need for shows, like hair and makeup. But there needs to be more voices to speak up in order for things to change…

Below is a video on the topic that was highlighted in a satirical and enlightening way, but it will definitely make you think seriously about the diversity in the fashion industry….

Advice for Life

Some quotes and advice that help me and remind me of how great life is, to appreciate what I have and the blessings I am able to receive and already have.

Everyone faces their daily challenges of negative comments whether it’s coming from someone else or yourself…. Here are some Advice for Life to read back on when down or the need to be reminded on how strong you are and that YOU are in control or YOUR life:

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1. Love Yourself & Be Yourself!

You are beautiful inside and out – no one can tell you different. Just look yourself in the mirror and compliment yourself, all the positives ONLY. Embrace them as your imperfections make you, YOU. No one else can be a better you than yourself.

2. I ask to not hate those that hate me — We must not hate those that have done wrong to us, for as soon as we hate them, we become just like them.

Positive thoughts, Positive vibes, Positive people = Positive Life

3. The FUTURE is YOURS to CREATE – Make it wonderful and full of dreams, goals and desires.

Live the life you love so you can love the life you live.

4. Londrelle – The Master at Positive Affirmations. A personal favourite:

Maybe this life isn’t so much about trying to achieve your goals, but rather understanding that we should embrace what comes and free what goes. Whether good or bad accept all things as the seasons flow, releasing everything you experience happens only to feed your soul. What you consider blessings might later be lessons that you find and all your lessons will be blessings in due time. The sun never sets it is only you that moved away, so if you ever happened to lose your way, keep these words in mind and renew your faith, everything will be ok. – Londrelle

For an eye opener, listen or read Londrelle’s work. It is really a work of art and has the deepest meaning in every piece of his work!

5. YOU control everything.

You are constantly creating and controlling what is in your life. What you think of constantly or focus all your energy on shall happen. If you focus on negativity then that is what your life shall be around. If you focus on positivity then that is what your life shall be around. “Sometimes we try to excuse our negativity by saying, ‘It was just a thought, it didn’t mean anything.’ But it does! A wrong thought left to roam around in your mind can take root and grow into a ‘stronghold’ (see 2 Corinthians 10:4). And when a thought becomes that strong, it begins to control your outlook, your attitude, and your actions.” — Lan

6. Listen to your favourite music – Reminisce on the best memories that bring you happiness – Focus on a future event that excites you

Having strategies that can bring you happiness and change your mood in an instant can be really helpful when down.

7. If it’s meant to be, it will happen. But that doesn’t mean you won’t have to work for it! — People tend to forget the second part.

8. Don’t kill people with your kindness, because not everyone deserves your kindness. Kill people with silence, because not everyone deserves your attention. — Book of Prosperity 

9. Do you love the people you surround yourself with? Do you love what you’re doing?  Are you closer to your desire than you were yesterday? Are you living your dream?

Ask these questions everyday, if the answer is not “YES”, then you need to change something in your life to change the answer from “No” into “YES”. Change your life for the better! Change it, do it for you.

10.Power is not in strength or wealth. Real Power is in love and forgiveness.

Loving and forgiving and accepting everything around you, allows you to be free, happy and feel the power of love.

LOVE & BLESSINGS to everyone who reads this. May your life be full of love and happiness X

 

France Banning Extremely Thin Models

FRANCE has taken a stand against the Fashion Industries standards of excessively thin models. The law France has implemented has banned the use of unhealthy looking thin fashion models as a step to prevent anorexia, eating disorders and the negative interpretations of beauty!

This law shall bring the responsibility to the Fashion Industry for the potential impact it has negatively forced globally about the perception of beauty, and should give a much needed diversity. Anorexia affects up to 30,00 to 40,000 people in France, 90 per cent of that are women. This ban aims and attempts to stop this throughout the Fashion Industry at least.

“Law that states unhealthily underweight models may not appear in fashion shows or editorial fashion photo shoots, and employers will face jail time if the ban is broken, reports the BBC.” 

In France, it is required for models to provide a doctor’s certificate providing their overall health. Most importantly checking the models Body Mass Index (BMI) – the measuring of weight in relation to height. Taking into account the models age and body shape as well, the doctor’s will decide whether the model is too thin to avoid subjective discrimination.

It is also required for photographs that have been photoshopped or edited with, has to be  labelled “ALTERED”.

France’s Minister of Social Affairs and Health, Marisol Touraine, released a statement saying:

Exposing young people to normative and unrealistic images of bodies leads to a sense of self-depreciation and poor self-esteem that can impact health-related behaviour.

Employers breaking the law could face fines of up to 75,000 euros ($82,000) and up to six months in jail.

France follows the lead of Italy, Spain and Israel – countries whose governments have also implemented legislation on underweight models.

 

Sources: http://www.unilad.co.uk/fashion/france-bans-extremely-thin-models/                     http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39821036?ocid=socialflow_facebook&ns_mchannel=social&ns_campaign=bbcnews&ns_source=facebook

How To Submit The Right Test Model Shots

One of the most frequently asked questions, “How to take the right model shots?” or, “What kind of photo’s do I submit to a modelling agency?”

 

When submitting to an agency, with no experience, all they want to see first are your test shots.

  • Head shot
  • Body shot
  • Profile shots

In these model shots it is crucial to wear as minimal make-up, all the agent/scout want to see is your ‘look’, the real you. Additionally it is important to keep your hair well groomed and simple, if your hair is long, wear it out but also take shots with your hair up in a simple ponytail. Do not submit photos of your hair with weave or extensions in.

Keep clothing simple with plain skinny jeans and a t-shirt. The agents or scouts are looking at your body proportions, your shape, not what you’re wearing. Don’t wear any dresses, fur clothing or disturbing clothing. Wear simple heels.

Have only you in the background and natural day light. Not with the sun beaming on you and not in the dark/shade with lights on, natural lighting will give you the best clear shots.

With these test shots, it is crucial to put your contact information and stats (measurements):

  • Age
  • Height
  • Bust, waist, hip
  • Clothing size
  • Shoe size
  • Full name
  • Mobile / Home no.
  • Email
  • Address

FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE IMPORTANT

In the modelling industry, your photos are everything and first impressions are equally important! Always look your best and give all the information the agent needs about you, they get hundreds of submissions every week, don’t take it to heart if you don’t hear from them, they are always busy! So try again the following month and submit to other agencies as well, increase your chances! You got to start somewhere 🙂 Goodluck.

 

 

How to be ready for ANY model job

Every model has to have a model bag. It contains everything a model needs, personally and for jobs. Models don’t travel light thats for sure and good models are always prepared for any circumstance.

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A Models Bag – NYFW Fashion Statement ~ Ashley B. Chew

Fashion:

  • Heels (simple)
    • White, Black & Nude
    • NO wedges
  • Flats & sneakers – perfect condition
  • Change of comfortable clothes that will leave no skin lines! e.g.. Robe
  • Nude & Black undergarments
    • Strapless bra / Stick-ons / Nipple covers / Chicken fillets
    • Seamless underwear – preferably G-string

Beauty:

  • Make-up – basically one of everything
    • Make-up remover
  • Bobby pins / Hair clips / Hair ties / Safety pins
  • Hair brush
  • Hair spry / gel
  • Mouthwash / mints – NEVER gum, its unprofessional
  • Shavers
  • Lip balm & Moisturiser
  • Deodorant

Other:

  • PORTFOLIO
  • Something to keep you busy
    • Book /Magazine
    • Earphones for music
  • Phone & GPS with chargers
  • Water & healthy foods / snacks
  • Notepad and pen