What makes a model a model?
Many people think that to be a model you merely have to be “pretty” or “interesting” looking and usually slim, however it takes much more than that to create a fab picture or to sell an item on the catwalk or in a TV ad.
A model needs to be able to tell a story, convey emotion and engage the audience to captivate them. No matter how stunningly beautiful a model is if they can not move well, convey emotion or draw in the viewer then they image will look flat and uninviting.
Being a great model doe not mean being tall, slim, tanned, toned or anything else you may initially associate with models. Being a great model is about creating a fantastic image. There are several models, both professional and amateur, that are fantastic at what they do and they are nit conventionally “pretty”.
What is deemed pretty? Who sets the standards for what a mode really is? The industry currently has a rule that fashion models MUST be over 5’8 (many models being 5’9 upwards), a size 6 and have a certain bone structure and be totally able bodied. But how many women in the UK are actually able to relate to that “ideal” shape? Very few. With the average UK dress size being a 14-16 and average height of 5’4, we are a nation far from “ideal”. is it time for change? Time the world of modelling broadened its horizons and accepted women of all shapes, sizes and races?
When you look through a fashion magazine what do you notice after you see the models are all tall and thin? There is very rarely a black model or an ethnic model. This is something that beggars belief in todays world. Those of Mixed race decent is the fastest growing ethnic group within the UK. Mixed race doesn’t just mean white and african mixed, it can mean african and indian, white and asian and much more. So why is this group not reflected adequately in the modelling world?
Glamour modelling is a little different. The models do not need to be very tall, nor a very small size. But they do have a certain look. They are generally no larger than a size 10-12, more often than not they are caucasian, tanned, curvy yet slim and quite often surgically enhanced – be it with fake boobs or even Botox. However, in all mainstream modelling there seems to be an upper age limit. You are very unlikely to find a professional full time model over the age of 25. Ancient or what!
In a modern society, it would seem as though there are still primitive beliefs on beauty. Does the modern woman not want to see real women in advertising campaigns? Or do they just want to see the unobtainable? What really sells a product? Is it the pretty face or the personality behind the face? Dove have embraced “real” women for many years in their campaigns. Gok Wan has been trying to change opinions with his shows “How to Look Good Naked” and “Miss naked Britain”. The industry is slowly changing with large brands such as Marks and Spencer using models with disabilities in their campaigns. There are various organisations who are out to promote diversity in the industry. Models of Diversity are running a national campaign to do just that. It is about time the nation began to see beauty in every human being, no matter what size, race, age or shape they are