Selling Your Soul For A Walk Down The RunwaySeptember 16, 2011 No Comments
As fashion week is upon us, it is easy to revel in the beauty of the fabrics, shoes, and hair pieces. But with fashion week also comes the fun of watching the impossibly thin models strutting down the runway. It all seems so desirable when looking in from the outside. But as new reports reveal, being a model is not as glamorous as it was thought to be.
Working models are barely being paid and never receive benefits. Just like freelance artists, these girls are literally starving and working from paycheck to paycheck. We have been bred to believe that a life as a model is a life to be coveted by anyone. But this doesn’t really seem to be the case. So, it begs me the question, is walking down a runway really worth it?
Ashley Mears, a former neglected model, discusses the idea of model disparity in her New York Times piece “Poor models. Seriously.” She describes modeling as waiting for jobs to turn up, having little control over working conditions, and racking up debt with their agencies. Becoming a model sounds a lot like selling your soul.
Money aside, we are all aware of the painful pressures of the fashion industry on a model’s body. As the Council of Fashion Designers of America attempts to change protocol about their models, we can only hope that results will be seen. No one under the age of 16 is to model, afraid that the pressure will undoubtedly get to them, and there are now BMI restrictions. Models need to be OVER a certain BMI now.
“At the start of my first Fashion Week in New York, when I was 19, my agent advised me to dress to look as long and lean and possible, because ‘anorexia is in this season.’ It was a joke; he laughed and so did I,” Ashley writes.
The pressure to stay thin is most often written about but other conditions that a model endures can be just as treacherous. There is no financial security, no job security, and a high price to be paid for the slim chance of making it big.
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