Tuesday Morning Wake Up with Bryanna & Mariah, brought to you by Mariah –
Hope your Monday was great!! Let’s dive right in this morning.
Do you ever wonder why the modeling industry insists on using extremely skinny models to showcase their clothes instead of strong and fit models? Better yet, do you ever wonder why the industry doesn’t showcase women who represent a wide variety of clothing sizes?
Even after my own experience in the modeling industry, I am still unable to provide a clear explanation. Nevertheless, I do believe the modeling industry will continue to experience a shift in their standards thanks to Instagram and the “fitness” movement.
In law school, I dabbled in the modeling world and signed with a couple agencies in Los Angeles. I was ecstatic. My perception of modeling was nothing short of glamour and glitz. However, within a week of signing with an agency, my agent took my sizes and shot professional photos for my portfolio. I thought I was ready to go, but my agent informed me I was not the right size for high fashion and runway modeling. My measurements were 35, 27, and 37. The typical model measures 34, 24, 34, which ranges from a size 0 to size 2. I was dumbfounded. I was in great shape and had recently finished my career as a collegiate athlete. How could I be “too big?”
Ultimately, the modeling industry does not care if you are a “healthy” size, nor care if you have to starve yourself to lose weight. Let me give you an example. On several castings I talked to fellow models who discussed their trouble with losing weight. They were already skinny and fit, but they were pressured by their agency into losing more weight. One girl even told me, “I don’t know how I can lose more weight. I have tried everything.” The reality is, most women cannot achieve a size 0, even while quasi-starving themselves. However, many young girls dream of becoming a model, and do whatever it takes to make it, even at the cost of their health.
If you ask any model why they have to stay so skinny they will reply, “because these are the standards.” Designers will inform you that tall and skinny look better in photos. Curves and muscle are undesirable, because they interfere with the lines and shape of the garment. In addition, designers use the smallest size to showcase their clothes because it saves money. Instead of adjusting the clothes to fit the model, the models must “adjust” themselves to the clothes.
Fortunately, several companies are starting to branch out of what is considered the “norm” in modeling. Through Instagram, companies are realizing consumers want to see women representing all sizes. Honestly, I am not sure why it took companies so long to figure this out. After all, modeling is supposed to target women, most of whom would like to see how the outfit would fit on them. In addition, research now shows skinny is no longer considered the most attractive shape as corroborated by a University of Missouri-Kansas City study. It looks like researchers have confirmed what Instagram users have been communicating, that strong is beautiful. Just look at how many fitness accounts have skyrocketed. Companies now seek these accounts out to promote their clothes instead of the prototypical high-fashion models of old.
With that said, wear your muscle loud and proud because strong is beautiful. Wear your size loud and strong, because every body type is unique. Strength is seen at any size. Don’t be ashamed of it and don’t let out-dated modeling standards taint your perception of beauty. The industry is wrong and their standards are built on sinking sand. Let’s rise up and support our sisters, at every size and shape, at any stage of fitness.
Until Next Time Be Whole & Be Fit