How the Fashion Industry is Finally Promoting more Realistic Models

I remember, not too long ago, sitting in rooms FULL of girls who all wanted desperately to model. Whether it be on a runway, an editorial, a catalog, or an advertisement, they all wanted it so badly that they would have been willing to do ANYTHING to get it. Anything to reach the so-called “ideals” of the modeling industry, to be able to walk into a room and have the sort of non-descript human form required for potential clients to be able to picture the model as a canvas. And I remember looking around at these girls as they were given instructions on posing, how to hide this, how to minimize the effects of that…and seeing in their eyes that not only were they taking in this advice all too hungrily, their hunger to fit the modeling ideal would soon overcome their hunger for anything else. I didn’t know whether to be struck by it’s sadness or to sort of laugh at it’s futility. And I promised myself then and there that I would never succumb to the pressures placed upon me as a young model.
True, beauty cannot by any means be defined by your measurements or weight. And the fashion industry today is beginning to finally pick up on that. Model-haters of the past and present see the thin frames and scoff at them, whether it be from jealousy,personal reasons, or simple disgust. But they don’t realize that for that point in time, models HAD to be thin. The last time fashion openly embraced realistic models with fuller figures was back in the 1950’s and early 60’s. But designers and retailers were running into problems. People were seeing the GIRLS, and not the clothes. It was a distraction that advertisers and designers alike agreed had to be abolished for the well-being of the industry. So what they would do is, they would actually go into anorexia rehabilitation centers and take girls to model the clothing. The world of fashion had become very commonplace, seeing the same thing over and over. The single force that turned that around was a model aptly named Twiggy, who at a size zero, not only modified the current style, the current LOOK at the time, changed the face of modeling completely. Soon after Twiggy hit the London fashion scene and pioneered the “mod” style, designers and retailers everywhere followed suit and began booking only stick-thin models. In a matter of only a few short years, the standard of “Beauty” had gone from voluptuous sex symbols such as Marilyn Monroe, who wore a size 12, to waif-like women at a size zero or less. Anyone above this newly established norm who wished to model was either shunned and denied by the industry or pigeonholed as a “plus size” model when they weren’t even close to being plus-sized at all!
But in more recent years, tragedies tied to eating disorders and being severely underweight have plagued the runways. Designers have rushed to replace them with “healthier” models, but I don’t believe it was in caring for these girls or their well-being. I believe it was to appease the media and general public and to avoid giving brands and designers a bad name. But I also believe that in today’s society, we’re ready for runway models that aren’t skin and bones. I believe that in a world that is so accepting of other things, that the public and members of the cutthroat fashion industry are READY to have realistic women representing clothing.
I’m going to say it with pride. I never did succumb to the things I wanted to avoid at all costs. And no. I’m not stick-thin. At a size three, I’m still considered a plus-sized model, but I couldn’t care less. Nor am I a fashion or commercial model, but I get by. More and more opportunites are getting opened up for girls like me and I couldn’t be more grateful.