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Model Maison – Rebecca Moore

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This is an edit from the beautiful website, Model-Maison; a project of love and dedication that has seen the photographer, Cybele Malinowski shoot models in their bedrooms all over the suburbs of Sydney, LA, London, Ukraine and Shanghai. Each week, we will be featuring a new model from Model-Maison.

 

 

Model: Rebecca Moore
Photography: @cybism
Styling: Kate Gaskin
Hair & MU: @aniamilczarczyk

 

 

Roll Call

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Original Posting: Stylight.com.au 

Keep Your New Year Resolution – Tips From The Models

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The facts here are simple. Supermodels and models need to make daily life choices that include a healthy lifestyle with a regimented workout routine and a low-carb, high protein diet. It does take time however to make healthy habits a part of your everyday routine (21 days to form a habit, 6 months to incorporate a new habit within your personality), and the below tips will help you keep your New Year’s resolutions whether you are a supermodel or not; and are surefire ways to stop the cycle of attempting to make change and not following through.

1. Be Realistic

The easiest way to fail is to make a resolution that is not attainable. This could be giving up your favorite food – let’s face it, that’s just not going to happen and chances are you will break and have a favorite food binge eating session. Stick with something simple like, have your favorite food in moderation. This would be easy to attain and chances are you will not go overboard, because you are not depriving yourself.

2. Smart People Plan Ahead

Making your resolution on the night of New Year’s Eve is not the best time to do so. Chances are you are making a resolution based on your mindset of that evening, verses a well thought out plan. The key here is to make and outline a plan prior to December 31st. The outline should decide how you are going to skip any temptation and stick to your resolution, whether it means calling a friend for a support, practicing positive thinking or reminding yourself how a negative behaviour can affect your goal.

3. Reward Yourself

This doesn’t mean contradict your resolution to eat healthy, by rewarding yourself by downing a box of See’s Candy. Reward yourself by doing something that is aligned and doesn’t conflict with your resolution. For example, purchase a new outfit (exercise outfit or any other), or take a day off from the gym and hit up a movie with a friend.

4. Track Your Progress

Short-term goals are typically easier to attain and by tracking your progress you will be motivated to stay on track. For example, instead of focusing on losing 35 pounds, focus on losing the first 5. In this scenario, it is also helpful to keep a food journal to track your progress and keep in mind you will have off days, Do not ever beat yourself up over a slip up – it happens, just get back on the horse again and continue on the path. Keep in mind this is a marathon not a sprint, but be sure to focus on the short term as you will be less overwhelmed.

5. Reinvent If Needed

Keep your plan flexible, and if you need to reinvent to stay focused on your goal, you should do so. For instance, if you committed to a diet that incorporates a latest food trend such as Kale, and it turns out you do not like Kale – switch to another healthy alternative such as broccoli. Focus on what works and keep your plan fluid for any changes.

The Super, Powerful, It Girls

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I’m a huge believer of calling things like they are so I can’t help but be super aggravated at how carelessly people toss the word “supermodel” around these days.

It’s like a model gets discovered, appears in a few campaigns and runways and suddenly she’s dubbed a “supermodel.” Pfffft. Not even close!

The fashion and modeling world has a rich history behind it and only those who have studied it (or are somewhat familiar with it) will likely agree with my point of view on this subject. Or at least understand where I’m coming from.

It’s not about “hating” on certain models, it’s simply about setting the record straight and if there’s anything we should strive for within the modeling industry, it’ accuracy of some kind.

In a 2007 magazine interview, Claudia Schiffer was quoted as saying, “The supermodel is dead.” And you know what? I believe her. But I’m not saying that to be dramatic. It’s the truth. The models many idolize today aren’t supermodels (at least not when it comes to the true definition).

To help get my point across, here is my view/understanding of what each of the following terms “Supermodel, Power Model, It Model” mean and where they belong in the industry by today’s standards:

 

The Supermodel

It’s been said many times and I’ll also jump onto the bandwagon that there are 5 “original supermodels”: Christy Turlington, Naomi Campbell, Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista and Claudia Schiffer. Yes, there were other heavy hitting models of the 80s and 90s, such as Helena Christensen, Tyra Banks and Elle Macpherson, but it is the “Original 5” that remain the iconic symbols of what embodied a supermodel and that era of the industry.

What helped to skyrocket these models into supermodel stardom was the fact that their faces and names were recognized by people inside and outside of the fashion industry. This seemingly small fact is actually quite huge as it applies to the concept of a supermodel. What allowed these women to become known by everyone from fashionistas to the average family? Magazine covers.

Back in the 80s and 90s, models were the go-to-people for gracing all of the major magazine covers, both fashion and non-fashion alike. This was how the average person who wasn’t a fashion guru knew who the most famous faces in modeling were. It wasn’t uncommon for someone like Cindy Crawford to appear on the cover of a magazine like Good Housekeeping and then pop up on the latest Vogue cover next.

These supermodels knew no boundaries and weren’t restricted when it came to publications. They appeared in all of them. Because of the publicity that magazine covers offered, it raised the level of familiarity the average consumer had. Keep in mind, there was no social media back then so this was the main way people knew who was who.

What brought the era of the original supermodel to an end? Celebrities. Singers and actresses became the popular face to have, not just on the cover of all the magazines but the advertisements for clothes, accessories, fragrances, cosmetics, etc. Models were meant for covers and when celebrities took over that scene, it turned the tides for models and made their roles more limited, especially when it came to reaching the average non-fashion obsessed consumer.

Look at any newsstand these days, 9 times out of 10 it’s going to be a celebrity (who was not originally a model) on the cover. The models who do find themselves on the covers are now mainly limited to fashion magazines (not always but most times). Remember: the original supermodels were on all of the magazine covers and not just those related to fashion.

When the celebrities took over the covers and the spokesmodeling/brand contracts, it resulted in setting up future models for a spotlight regulated to the catwalks, editorial pages inside the magazines and the occasional ad campaign.

Some would argue that many models in recent years are highly recognisable and that they could name them all. But 9 times out of 10, those people making such claims are avid fans and followers of the fashion industry so it would make sense that they would know who those models are instantly. What about the next door neighbour? Your teacher? Your parents?

I must remind you that the supermodels of the original era in the 80s and 90s could be recognized by housewives, businesspeople and even the baby boomers. In all honesty, you can’t really say the same for the many models that have been labeled “supermodels” in recent years. I must admit that even I can’t name a lot of the mislabeled “supermodels” these days…in fact, a lot of them look so similar I get them confused!

 

The Power Model

The Power Model category is where I believe the majority of the models who have remained strong in the industry belong (not in the category of supermodel). This isn’t a lesser title to covet and it doesn’t mean someone labeled a “Power Model” isn’t as successful as the supermodels of old.

It’s quite the opposite as you can see by the name itself. A Power Model is one who isn’t just paid a lot of money for the work they do, they’ve managed one of the greatest feats of all: staying power. It’s one thing to be a successful model but to be one that continues to stay employed for 5+ years is an accomplishment that deserves to be recognised.

There are plenty of Power Models who belong in this category: Heidi Klum, many of the VS models, Gemma Ward, Kate Moss, Gisele, Iman, Tyson Beckford, etc., etc.

Some of these Power Models have remained relevant in the industry through their name and reputation alone but also because many have stepped into the role of an entrepreneur by coming out with their own product lines, moving on to become television/media personalities, running their own corporations, etc.

Not all Power Models are instantly as recognizable by people outside of the fashion world but most are certainly familiar with who they are, depending on the Power Model and what he/she has done. For example, Tyra Banks has been around forever but these days the latest generation of consumers and the average Joe/Jane don’t associate her with her original career as a model but because of America’s Next Top Model.

Stepping outside of the modeling category for many Power Models is what has allowed them to be reintroduced to the next generation of fans in a new way.

 

The It Model

Sadly, all too many “It Models” are the ones who get called supermodels and that really grinds my gears. I’d say 80% (dare I say 90%?) of the models today who obtain some amount of measurable success in their careers should be automatically put under the “It Model” category.

Similar to what I said about the Power Models, It Models aren’t any less successful or inferior than the other two categories I talked about above. But it is important to label these models properly and understand that the reasons that led to the category they belong in, do differ.

Not all It Models go on to become Power Models. It’s hard to reach the top of the modelling game and it’s even harder to stay there. It’s easy to spot an It Model: seemingly overnight they start appearing everywhere…advertisements, in the biggest runway shows and the social media monster can’t stop talking about them.

These are the new kids on the block who were discovered and put out into the spotlight at the right time. They’re fresh, they’re hot and everybody wants a piece of them. This is totally normal for models who are basking in their time to shine. However, more often than not, the It Model finds their flame extinguished after a few years. They eventually get replaced by the new It Models who are younger, fresher and more in demand.

Have you ever wondered, “What ever happened to so-and-so? I hardly see them in anything anymore.” Chances are, that’s because–for whatever reason and that isn’t necessarily anyone’s fault–they didn’t have the staying power to move on into the Power Model category.

Keep in mind that modeling isn’t a career that’s known for its longevity. It isn’t a joke when people offhandedly comment that most models, namely runway and fashion models, are “retired” by the time they’re 25. As many young and aspiring male and female models as there are out there ripe for the taking, the industry can be picky, kick out whoever they want and welcome whoever they want in because It Models are always replaceable. It’s sad but true.

So next time you start to call someone a “supermodel” think about whether or not that individual really deserves the title and if they’ll even still be around in a year or two. It kinda makes you think once you start putting things into perspective.

 

Modeling 101 – A Model’s Diary
By Dania Denise

One To Watch – Jack Tyerman

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Babe, heart-throb, hottie, jaw dropping – whatever, you name it. That is Jack, the latest Aussie male to make haste in the modeling industry. This carpenter turned model now has thousands and thousands of Instagram followers and is represented all over the world; Australia, Spain, Paris, Sweden, Denmark and Milan.

Instagram: @jacktyerman_
Agency: IMG 

So I’m guessing modeling wasn’t at the top of your list for “dream job” as a kid – how did you get into the industry? 

No not really, I’ve always wanted to be a carpenter and i’m hoping to finish my apprenticeship off once this road ends. I was actually scouted by an agent named Kirk Blake, in Crows Nest – Sydney.

Is it your only job? Or is it more something you just do on the side?

I have a bar job as well – which I live off week to week. Any money made from modelling is straight into savings!

What’s been your favourite shoot to date? Why?

Shooting in the French Alps would be my favourite shoot, just because the location was so beautiful and I got to drive a Yacht and an Aston Martin along a cliffside.

If you could pick any designer, any runway, any shoot – what would be your dream gig?

Shooting a campaign on a beautiful island somewhere unknown with a very creative photographer….




Now that you’re working in the industry, what do you think some of the misconceptions are of male models?

That they are all arrogant pretentious airheads, which don’t get me wrong, some definitely are, but not all of them. Also that it is the easiest job in the world when it really isn’t. Keeping in optimum shape and always having to look fresh is sometimes quite hard for a bloke in his early 20’s.

Have you ever faced any criticism from friends or family?

Not so much family and close friends, but there are always those people who will put you down or misconceive you as ‘arrogant’. People i may have went to school with but who I don’t see anymore.

What are some of the struggles you’ve faced?

In terms of modelling itself, being bigger framed in the shoulders. I used to play footy and was 92kg, so i’ve had to under eat slightly and run every day to shrink my body. A real struggle for someone who loves food!




 

Surely there has to be some pretty great perks for being a male model, tell me?

Oh there is, getting into clubs free and drinking alcohol for free is up there haha… And there’s also this app called INTO which allows you to get all this stuff for free at various venues around the world, ranging from food, cocktails and dental work. Some of the stuff is valued at $500… not bad.

Have you ever had to wear some weird and wonderful creations / Strange outfits?

I once wore this fishnet outfit with 8 inch high heels.

Where do you hope to see yourself in 5 years?

Acting, if not back on the worksite building houses 🙂 

Your job is to pretty much look drop dead amazing, and you are – so how do you keep in shape?

I try run every morning on an empty stomach, and again in the afternoon. I also box 2-3 times a week with my boxing trainer (also a mate of mine). F45 is good too, anything that keeps my heart rate up.




What don’t you like about the modeling industry?

The amount of fake materialistic crap you have to put up with.

How has social media helped your career? / What are your thoughts on the social media impact of modeling.. ie. Instagram models?

Social Media I think has definitely helped my career. Our profiles on the IMG website list our Instagram account name – hence it (sometimes/a lot of the time) plays a pivotal role in booking jobs depending how “big” you are in the social media arena. People and companies often send you free stuff too!

And finally what does Jack do in his time off?

I train a lot and I LOVE cooking – It’s my new favourite thing to do. I find it really therapeutic. Every week i’m posting photo’s on Instagram of what i’m cooking. I love sport, i’m a massive rugby league fan and i play in a touch footy comp with some mates.
Also what every other guy in their 2o’s does – go to the pub, hang at the beach, listen to music, movies etc etc etc.






 

 

I’ve Got More To Offer Than Just My Body

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By Carrie – OnOption Blog
@carrielynna

None of my clothes fit.  I’ve been wearing the same pair of black skinny jeans that are becoming increasingly tighter and the same baggy black t-shirt big enough to hide the fat on my upper arms, midsection and hips.

As of 3 weeks ago, at least I’m participating in life again.  I spent a good 3 months prior avoiding social situations and friends because I didn’t think I could bear to hear the words whispered behind my back “she got fat” or “she gained weight.”  Unfortunately, I heard those things along with being told that I’ve let myself go.

They hurt, but not as bad as I thought they would.  The sad thing is, I’ve been trying to lose weight.  I’m eating cleaner than I ever have, I was working out everyday until finally giving myself a break because instead of losing weight I was becoming a magnet for it.  The happiness I had built so strong throughout the last year began to weaken and I found myself in a dark place where I would track every bite of food and bit of exercise in a fitness app in order to guarantee successful weight loss.  It is the heaviest I’ve ever been and even so at 5’9”, 125 pounds and a size 3, I am not what people would call fat.

This is not the first time this obsession over body image has happened.

I can’t remember the last time…

-that I didn’t feel judged by my looks or my size.

-that I felt comfortable and confident in a room full of people.

-that I opened a magazine and admired the women in it instead of comparing myself to them. I can’t even remember the last time I stood next to another woman with out comparing myself to her.


At the gym at 105lbs

I think its easy to fall down the rabbit hole with body images issues as a model. I was scouted when I was 20. I was in my second year of college. I had been thin my entire life, parents of friends were always telling my mom to feed me more and I lost count of the number of times I got questioned for being anorexic. I was extremely active and had a speedy metabolism. I ate what I wanted and whatever quantity I wanted it in. However once I went to college, I noticed that with considerably less activity and a broke college diet of Burger Kings Chicken fries (which are the bomb) and unlimited bacon in the cafeteria, I put on that “freshman fifteen”. At 117 pounds I was told to lose 2 inches off my hips by my agency. It was much more difficult than I thought and I think this was the first time that I really ever noticed there could be something “wrong” with my looks.

My face, my body, how I put myself together- it all became an unhealthy competition. My self esteem was dwindling as I was striving for this impossible idea of perfection.By the time I hit 24 I was back to my teenage weight and this time I struggled to gain anything.I accepted that 105 pounds was my natural weight again until one day, out of nowhere, I got sucked into the black hole.

I became obsessed with my body. I would wake up each day and wait as long as I could to eat, then I would go for a walk/jog and shower before ever allowing myself to put food in my stomach. I would turn down meals when I was with my boyfriend and say that I’d already eaten before coming over. I weighed myself religiously every morning. At my worst I had gotten down to 99 pounds and I still thought that I was bigger than my friends. I had to be as thin as them.

The only problem was that I was, I was actually thinner than them. I looked in the mirror and all I saw was an untoned stomach and fat legs. What I saw in the mirror and was not reality. It got to the point where I was too uncomfortable to be in a bathing suit, hip bones were not enough. I was constantly concerned that I wasn’t good enough solely based on looks and my body. No one was judging me, only I was judging me.


At 99lbs thinking i still had a way to go


I became so attached to my flaws and beauty and all the other crap that my job needs to flourish and brought it into the real world. I know I’m not the only model that does this. We hear day in and day out whats “wrong” with our appearance. Our appearance is what makes us money, its how we survive. We are just as insecure as everyone else, if not more. We get told we are too fat, too thin, our ears stick out, not pretty enough over and over again. I wish I could lie and say it did not affect me but I clearly has.

Just a 3 weeks ago when I made my debut back to life, I spoke with a girlfriend of mine. She, also a model, inspired me to write about this.  I am no longer with any of my agencies.  Its been a bit of a mission as I want to share it with everyone, but it is still a constant struggle. I have days where I feel large and I’m still wearing the same tshirt or struggle to say yes to seeing friends.

But through the last 3 months in my bedroom I’ve finally managed to figure out that there is another world and its the world I want to live in. A world where I realized that I have more to offer than my body and my looks. Where I can accept myself, my curves and my cellulite and remember that I am a human.

I am trying to live less afraid of what I look like and more secure that being a kind, loving, intelligent and talented girl will attract the things I want. I’m on a mission to accept myself the way I want everyone else to accept me, flaws and all. I’m beginning to accept that its time to buy bigger clothes!


I took this last week while I was working- it seems crazy, but the entire time I felt extremely uncomfortable in a bathing suit.

Riccardo Tisci: A fairy God Mother of Sorts

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By Brandis Ohlsson

Riccardo Tisci is the creative director of Givenchy, one of the most respected and coveted French fashion houses. When he’s not dressing celebrities like Beyoncé, Katy Perry, and Rhianna, Tisci is busy making careers. Known as a designer who is heavily involved in the casting process for his shows, helping to launch the careers of some of the fashion industry’s most well known models.

Tisci takes a different approach to his casting process than many of his colleagues, by looking to form long term relationships with his models, versus using them for a season and moving on. It can be said that he’s looking for a muse, not a clothes hanger. He’s also not interested in looks alone – to Tisci, personality is just as important.

He recently said to Style.com- “For me, a really good model has got a personality. It’s about beauty, of course—like a classic kind of beauty—but that isn’t the only factor. A girl can have an unusual personality or a strange beauty. And for me, you see it, you feel it in the moment you meet the girl, that she could be the girl. You know, at the end of the day, a show is not just made out of the clothes, it’s made out of emotion.”

When speaking of some of his most memorable girls cast, Tisci speaks of Lara Stone- a girl he loved because she was different than what stereotypically works as a model these days. Natasha Poly, of whom he helped arrange working papers to come to Italy. Joan Smalls, who worked as his fit model prior to talking in the shows, and Mariacarla, who Tisci declares as his true muse, someone who grows more beautiful with age and who has been his friend since the very beginning. These girls, all a part of the “Tisci Girl Gang”, skyrocketed after getting their big breaks from Riccardo Tisci. And it’s not just models – Tisci is also credited with breaking Kim Kardashian into the fashion scene.

Riccardo Tisco – designer, creative director, and fairy god mother of sorts to aspiring models everywhere.


Kim Kardashian


Mariacarla


Joan Smalls

 

Male Models – When Will They Be Taken Seriously?

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By Margetta Sowah
Twitter – @bohomags

Men are often seen as the bread winners, taste-makers, and hunter extraordinaire. They are at the top of the food chain but also stand at the bottom of the pecking order… a contradiction in terms? You could say that. What it comes down to is constructive sympathy for our male counterparts to icons like Gisele, Kate, Naomi and Cara.

Overlooked and objectified

The male model has often been a misplaced mark on the bullseye of beautification. When researching this topic the public opinion was obvious – we don’t value male models. Yes the Fashion industry advocates male modeling as an occupation but that does not guarantee equal representation.

Public perception of male models (MANdels, if you wil) is not one of admiration. When I typed into Google ‘are male models…’ the first four suggestions were; attractive, stupid, insecure, photoshopped? Are male models seen as stupid or is that just par for the course? Should we feel sorry for those who fall under scrutiny? Articles such as: ‘Why no one should ever date a male model’, ‘Does every male model have to be a dumb blonde,’ and ‘I’d rather date a tree than a male model’ show a comical attitude towards Fashion’s pretty boys. Sigh. Apart from Elite Daily ruining my Dendrophile fantasies (clearly joking), most of us assume male models are stupid, narcissistic, have substance abuse problems and, though I never really understood the correlation, are blessed with huge… Christmas stockings #jiggleballs.

Shouldn’t we have the same attitude of acceptance as we do females who model, or at least try to? The problem of objectification goes both ways with the only difference in this case being the power of capitalism. Truth is no one wants to buy a magazine with a half naked man on the cover unless he is a celebrity, sportsman or has an alternative lifestyle (tattoo artists/piercers, biker or seen as a novelty etc). Objectification, like most judgments, begins with perception.

Man and the body

Do the names Adonis, Narcissuses or Dorian Grey ring any bells? Adonis was the personification of masculine beauty and Aphrodite’s lover in Greek mythology. Narcissuses was so enamoured by his own appearance he stood staring at a pool of water until he died. The Picture of Dorian Gray was written by Oscar Wilde about a man who sold his soul for eternal youth. Those analogies paint a picture of a certain demographic, don’t they? We’ve all become accustom to certain male bodies – the David Beckham’s, Tyson Beckford’s, Zac Effron’s; hell even Jonah Hill (pre weight-loss) has a place in Hollywood.

Have you seen a plus-size male model before? He’s full figured, goes to the gym, eats right, has a healthy relationship with food and alcohol but is no Marc Jacobs or Tom Ford.

The US retailer Target broke new ground by becoming the first to promote their male plus-size model – Zach Miko. Miko stands at 6’6” and wears XXL. In the spirit of inclusivity Target also advertises wedding registries for gay couples and has successfully launched shape diversity swimwear campaigns. As Gok would say, you go Tarjay!

Zach told People magazine, “My main message to people is; ‘Why not now? Why can’t you feel attractive the way you are right now? […] It’s great to be more fit, more healthy, more active, but that doesn’t mean who you are right now is invalid, or that who you are right now isn’t an attractive person. We need to keep seeing bigger, smaller. We need to see every body type. We need to see that every type of person is beautiful.” Mmmhm. Agreed!

Equal Pay Everyday

On the 27th of October 2015 we celebrated (or should I say spent) Equal Pay Day in Australia. Did you know in Australia women are paid 18.6% LESS than men! According to PedestrianTV.com this means women are only paid 81.4% of the year. Okay, brace yourselves because I’m going to say something very true but also very controversial. The only industries, generally speaking (I’m not talking about obscure, niche jobs) where women are paid more than men are prostitution/stripping and modelling. Though there is absolutely no link between the two that is definitely kitchen table talk for later.

I’m proud to say All My Friends Are Models are equal opportunists. We actively support issues of inequality and work hard to break damaging stereotypes of what beauty is and how it should appear. Team work makes the dream work! (Yes that was a shameless work plug.)

I digress… Let’s talk about modelling income. American model Sean O’Pry (he was in Taylor Swift’s Blank Space music video) is a top earner at 1.5 million annually, according to Fortune Magazine. Miranda Kerr earned more than double at $7 million. Shout-out to Aussie babe Miranda Kerr. What makes models like Miranda Kerr worth more than Sean O’Pry – besides having to earn your keep. I have a feeling it has more to do with sellablity than anything else. Women earn 148% more than men in modelling, according to Payscale.com. While men will probably never be on the same salary as women in this industry, there are definitely changes in the air. The launch of Men’s New York Fashion Week has been seen by editors, buyers and designers as a cataylst for much needed change.

The future of the fashionable man

This is no longer a man’s world. Women are wearing the Tom Ford pants and Dior shirt with the Chanel loafers. Outside of office hours, men who model should not to be defined by physical appearance alone. I know it sounds like the pot calling the kettle black but everyone – no matter what you do and how you do it – should have a right to equal pay, representation and acceptance across the board regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation and personal preference. We need to believe this is a concept worth fighting for.

So a toast to men who model. May you continue to do what you do, stride how you stride, wear what you wear and never be afraid to be fashionable at any age, in any size. Who doesn’t love staring at cheekbones you could grate brie on. Wine anyone?

Buying Into The Beauty Ideal

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By Ellen Hancock – A Not So Model Life
@gypsy_revival

About a year ago I called it quits. I called it quits on having to maintain long hair. I called it quits on dieting and exercising to the point of unhappiness. I called it quits on listening to what everybody else wanted my body to look like. In a rash mood one day I made an appointment with a hairstylist and chopped off my hair. I didn’t even ask my modeling agency, because I knew they would tell me not to (honestly a big no no, and not something I would recommend). I started working out more than ever, but while also eating enough to gain muscle and body mass. I just needed to make some changes, and in the process I felt like a new person, a revived person. I felt like I was finally having a chance to move onto a new phase in my life. Then, without warning, my modeling agency in Los Angeles dumped me.

I was shocked, to say the least. I had worked with this agency for years. In fact, I had just been in their office the day before – and not a hint was dropped to me that they were unhappy. Just like that, out of the blue, my working relationship with them was over.

Maybe I should have been upset – but honestly, I wasn’t. The agency had a roster of super thin fashion models, and frankly, I just couldn’t force myself to fit in anymore. I had been feeling so much pressure to blend in there, and it had really been wearing me down. Plus, being just another skinny girl with long hair wasn’t working for me professionally either. Gorgeous “ideal” models are a dime a dozen in Los Angeles. I was trying to fit into the framework, and only coming up 2nd best. 2nd best doesn’t book the job. I wasn’t the tallest, I wasn’t the tannest, I wasn’t the youngest, and I wasn’t the skinniest. Being a second rate version of somebody else was leading to career failure – yet that’s what the agency wanted.

When I chopped my hair off I had made a decision to risk my fashion career for my internal happiness. I wanted to be ME in every sense of the word. I guess I had to live with the consequences. I didn’t blame the agency really. They have a business of promoting lanky, long-haired, eternally youthful fashion models. That’s what their specific clients want. And I had pretty much openly declared that that wasn’t me anymore, and I wasn’t going to fake it anymore either, or ask for permission to be myself.

The truth is I had wanted to grow into being more than just a fashion model for quite some time. I knew there was a deeper part of who I was that I wanted to share with the world. Yet modeling and working out and dealing with body hair consumed most of my time (seriously, hair is a huge nemesis for a model! You wouldn’t believe it). I had been feeling trapped, and chopping off my hair felt like my way of finally lashing out against everything that I thought limited the definition of who I was.

The dismissal email from the agency was timely in a very strange way. I had finally worked up my courage and signed up to audit a master class at Anthony Meindl’s Actor Workshop. The idea of acting has lured and terrified me my entire life. Yet at this particular time in my life I was dead-set on finally letting my dreams speak louder than my fears. I was about to walk inside the acting studio for the class audit when the email informing me I was being dropped from my agency arrived in my inbox.

It’s hard to describe the amount of conflicting thoughts and feelings that flooded over me in that moment. In the end only one thought really stuck though. I heard my heart speaking to me, and I thought – “This can’t just be a coincidence.” I felt like the timing of that email was a sign from the universe – a huge affirmation that I was moving in the right direction. I decided that the universe was relieving me of a situation that had made me unhappy for so long, allowing me to focus on this new endeavor. Everything was pointing towards letting go of the past and moving forward in a new direction. While being let go from the agency still stung and left me reeling, it actually felt like a relief too.

I’ve kept up with acting since that day, and it’s hard to believe I’m nearing my one year mark at my acting school. It has been an emotional and wild ride. After some time I found some new modeling agencies to work with that are more accepting of my authentic self – and with that I have found a lot more joy in my career. I have a lot more peace with my life, and I feel like the path I’m on is finally the authentic journey I had been craving for so long.

All this leads me to some big questions, though. Questions about women’s self-worth, and the beauty industry I’ve worked in so long, and where we all have to draw the line between what messages society presents to us and what we choose to internalize. And further, what social responsibility models have to follow their own health and happiness.

The cosmetics industry grosses billions of dollars every year by telling women that we, as ourselves, are not good enough. How we view ourselves is ultimately a choice, yet it is undeniably difficult to push away so many images and messages that tell us that our particular type of beauty isn’t the type of beauty that’s appreciated in the world. Yes, even models deal with the same defining limitations. Advertisements proclaim fat is the enemy, perfect skin means you’re worth it, and that successful men will take care of you and give you a family if you can just manage to look flawless, put-together, and be half their age. Ladies, give yourself a little compassion for feeling down on yourselves. You are fighting a tide of negative and unachievable messages of what it means to live a happy life. I know far too well, because I have played a part in those messages for years.

We are so much more than our outer appearance. Even as a professional model I realize and struggle with that reality. Maybe even more so than most. I had to make a very personal decision along my journey to simply be me. That decision has undeniably affected my career in some ways. I never did get my breasts augmented, so that canceled out lingerie or swimwear work. As I get older I work more in the commercial and lifestyle realms. And after cutting my hair I get sent out less on castings for jobs that seek a more traditional form of ideal beauty. That’s just the way it is.

At this point in my life I accept and rejoice in who I am. There was, however, a long period of time where I didn’t allow myself to let certain aspects of my modeling career go, despite some natural changes in my body as I got older. I fought hard to be something I wasn’t anymore – the younger, thinner version of myself. It was a struggle that really didn’t make me happy… and I know a lot of other models face that same daunting experience. When the career you’ve worked so hard to build hangs in the balance, physical change is an incredibly hard thing to come to terms with.

What makes a models’ experience with personal change even more convoluted is the fact that the decisions that go with those changes ultimately affect more than the just model. Every time a model makes herself unhappy or unhealthy to achieve that ideal form of beauty, she is also letting down the thousands or millions of women who see her images and believe that what she represents should be attainable. When a model asks herself “is it worth it” to book a job, she is ultimately deciding not only what her own self-worth is, but also projecting what the self-worth of all women should be. That’s a heavy weight to carry. Yet that is the power of being a model in today’s media-rich society.

I wonder what would happen to the fashion and cosmetics industry if more models channeled their energy into a more authentic approach to beauty, rather than trying to fit into the “ideal.” Consumers are starting to put pressures on designers and magazines to cast a wider range of beauty types – ethnic, plus size, or older models. Yet that pressure can only go so far when dollar signs are sending the opposite message. It’s a cycle that seems to never end. I hope that one day women will finally be ready to declare that they are enough, just as they are. I hope more models get stubborn about making sure personal happiness is a part of pursuing their dreams. And I hope women start spending their money in a way that is more aligned with self love. I feel like models have such a unique and clear view of just how screwed up it is to buy into the beauty ideal. I think it’s time they start to open up about it.

A Day In The Life Of A VS Model

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By Michele Smith
Facebook – MicheleSmithMarketing

What does a behind the scenes sneak peek in the life of a Victoria’s Secret supermodel look like? For the majority of the time, most supermodels do not wake up looking like Elle Macpherson, although most have a regimented skin routine, workout in the a.m. and maintain a healthy lifestyle. There are perks too, in addition to the late night celebrity parties and the early morning hours. Many of these famous women can be seen graced on the covers of Elle, Vogue, as well as many others. Without specifying who, when and where – here is a glimpse at model superstardom at Victoria’s Secret when a model is typically at the peak of their career.

Wake up and work out. While most supermodels have their team behind the backstage, they still wake up every day not covered in makeup and the night time prior they sleep with a cleansed face. Most supermodels, especially Victoria’s Secret models already have their schedule for the day and are ready to roll. This means wake up, work out and head out. This is followed by healthy organic snacking, as long as it is nutritious.

Make up and network time. This isn’t just a Q&A for most models, but actually for the Vickie’s spectaculars, it means press time and makeup for the upcoming photo session/runway event. While models are in makeup and being styled for the occasion, they are talking to reporters during this time. This is extreme interviewing in the process of looking pretty from beginning to finish. The supermodel transcends the regular everyday model as she stays calm cool and collected while remaining true to one’s self, while representing the Victoria’s Secret brand.

Photoshoot/Runway time … usually with celebrities. Fittings have been completed ages prior to the event, but on site before the runway, models receive facials and spray tans. There are typically celebrities (think Taylor Swift for example) either emceeing these high profile Victoria’s Secret events or performing while models are walking down the runway, showcasing the latest and greatest of the fashion line. This is preceded by photo time with the celebrity of the event beforehand as well. This high profile event is laced with V.I.P.’s and is highly covered by the media.

The after party. A day in the life of a Victoria Secret model has not ended after the catwalk under any circumstance and this means the after party, which is also highly covered by the media. The glitz and glamour continues and although the angels may have lost their wings, they typically show up showcasing some of the latest designer fashions. The glam continues at these star studded events and many models can be seen in photos with the celebrities in attendance.

At the end of the day. Most of the models not only try to stay hydrated all day, but try to go to bed as early as possible to prepare for the activities of the following day. A Victoria’s Secret show is a big deal in any model’s career and results in huge exposure; resulting in many other modeling jobs.