Everything is not what it seems

Modeling industry more than glitz and glamour


Model Anna Bayle wearing Christian Lacroix Haute

Najiyah Payton, Staff writer

From magazines, ads, runway shows and fashion week, models are envied and set the standard of society’s beauty standard.

Now the definition of “beauty” is a combination of qualities, such as shape, color, or form, that pleases the aesthetic senses, especially the sight. Before those combination qualities were all the same; slim, white, also blonde haired and blue eyes.

Now we have advanced as a vast majority with different body types and the acknowledgement of people of color being just as beautiful and white and European ones. Curvy women are now more acknowledged and sexualized sometimes more than slim body types and the same goes for women of color. However there are other things wrong with the modeling industry such as body shaming, sexual harassment, and racism.

Body shaming has been an ongoing problem for both women and men — being overweight is considered sloppy and disgusting and being “too” skinny is sickly and unhealthy. Our country is supposed to be full of acceptance and freedom, however, no matter your body type there’s always something that’d be said to you and about you.

On the other hand, being healthy is still important, and  being skinny does not automatically mean you are healthy or in shape at all. Your health is more important than the way you look and that brings up another problem.

There have been so many cases of food disorders when it comes to girls and men who model. The social culture around the “perfect” body affects young boys and girls in more ways than you may presume. As time fluctuates the idea of beauty chances especially psychically and the epidemic of what is physically attractive and alluring is useless in the end.

What is the point in attempting be a certain way when in a decade the idea of beauty and fashion will completely change. Most popular eating disorders being Bulimia and Anorexia all to fit the imagination and image of “beautiful.”

Hurting yourself both physically and emotionally to fit a certain standard of attractiveness is unacceptable and damaging to the body. So the modeling industry not only hurts the models but also the people who come upon their photos by ruining others self image and level of confidence.

Discrimination has been and still is going on for hundreds of years especially in America. For a very long time people, especially women of color are considered unattractive and not beautiful.

The African American Model, Donyale Luna’s was the first to cover a vogue magazine August 31, 1945, the first Latina supermodel was Patricia Velasquez in the 1990s and the first model of Asian descent was Anna Bayle and she started in the 1970’s. Before this remarkable woman all modeling was based around the white woman and their body types.

Most recently, women of color have been considered beautiful but it had taken far too long for that to come to the scene. It is remarkable that in the last 30 years women of color have been taken into consideration, but there still isn’t enough women of color in this industry. As a society we still need to celebrate all types of people from skin to race to physical appearance what matters is what is inside and that’s what truly is beautiful or not.

Finally, which is definitely one of the most important problems with this industry is the amount of sexual assault cases against agents and others in the business with any sense of control. For example, Harvey Weinstien who was very well known and very big in film production was convicted of sexual assault in 2018.

There’s so little respect for young women in the modeling industry unless you’re extremely rich and well known. They are treated as less than and hundreds of girls have come out and said they were sexually assaulted or just simply verbally harassed and treated as though they are not human. A lot of these offenders get away with their wrong doings, which definitely isn’t fair. A lot of those young girls don’t have enough strength to stand up for themselves and file a report because of low self esteem issues and the personal scarring of the encounter.

In conclusion there’s a long list of problems with this industry and there will always be room for improvement.  There are many more controversies that go hand and hand with fame and money of this lifestyle. On the other hand there are also a few benefits and positives of the industry although they do not outweigh the negatives.

 So here’s a few positives: models can gain confidence, traveling, good salary on average, new experience, and exposure if said model is interested in other things such as acting. The positives need to be remembered as well.