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Monday, 3 November 2014

The flip-side of modelling culture #MondayModelBiz

I just found this blog in my 'drafts' folder- I guess I started writing something and then wandered off. I'm not sure what point I was trying to make... I think it was something to do with challenging the idea that modelling makes everyone feel more insecure about their appearance and more prone to body dysmorphia, eating disorders, drug abuse and so on.


Having your appearance commodified, critiqued and capitalised upon can indeed make you more self-critical- especially if you actually give a damn about providing the best service as a model, or making the best money- but models are certainly not the only women holding themselves up to unattainable, airbrushed model standards. Good lighting, posing and Photoshopping are BIG deals. All women are potentially negatively affected by this but models less so because a) we UNDERSTAND what went into making that girl in that photo look impossibly perfect and b) we are constantly seeing these perfectly lit and airbrushed photos of ourselves, which kind of has the opposite effect of seeing these photos of other women.

Many sole traders, the self-employed and young entrepreneurs suffer from depression and anxiety triggered by their hard-working and high-responsibility lives, and models are no different, except that we are, a bit. It is much harder for us to lose ourselves in debt when we don't have any employees, business premises or other expensive start-up costs. It is also, when you think about it, harder for us to get into drink, drugs or over-eating as a result of stress, because our physical appearance is so closely monitored by our clients. One too many beers or takeaway food packages when we're feeling tired and stressed out isn't really an option for a full-time model on the road. Come hell or high water, we must get a good night's sleep, and will devote time and effort into prioritising it in a way that other businesspeople might not, because they might think  it weak or lazy to waste time on their physical health instead of growing their business. For models, I think these two things are most obviously one and the same.