Real women ruling the world
At the start of my career, every modeling agency I ever worked with would always start out by telling me I needed to lose weight. Now being a healthy, confident woman with a pretty good level of self-awareness, I just never understood why this was such a standard, across-the-board demand from model agents to models. At first my response to this precarious demand was a simple smile, a nod and I just wouldn't think too much of it because, well, for starters I'm actually pretty thin! I just happen to have *gasp* boobs and, get ready for it, a round bum! I always thought that was what makes women feel a little more womanly.
However, I have an appreciation for all body types – skinny, curvy, tall, short – but for the longest time my industry glorified a body type that is naturally unattainable by 98% of the population! I always stuck to my guns with my body image and maintained a healthy weight, diet and lifestyle. My career progressed slowly at first, but I noticed that as time went on I actually had clients booking me specifically for my round bum because it was just so difficult to find within agencies! Truth is, there are tons of beautiful and unique faces in the industry. Beautiful faces I couldn't even comprehend till I actually saw them in person, but the bodies in the business were all...the...same. Skinny. Very skinny, if I may add. Bodies that were trained and dieted into having minimal shape unless some ladies get breast enlargement after losing all their body fat due to the rigorous “diet”. Sadly, for so long, the industry continued to demand this body type across the board. Every model did whatever it took to look that way, even if it meant in an unhealthy manner. I always knew I didn't need to fall into this. Yes, I could have crash dieted and brought my body to a state of unnatural emaciation, but that would only mean that I would: 1. Compromise my health/set a poor example and 2. Be like everyone else. All health risks aside, if you look at things from a business perspective, when has "keeping up with the rest" ever been a good idea? A true success is something that is original, and to stand out in modeling (or any business where you are selling yourself) one must connect with whom they are selling to. I knew I needed to continue being as relatable as possible because I just refused to believe that healthy couldn't be in fashion.
Sure enough, the slow progression of a body image shift within the industry recently took a drastic turn, for the better. The amount of curvy models gracing the covers of magazines immensely increased. Now, magazines like Vogue are responding to readers’ requests by booking curvier women AND, surprisingly enough, photoshopping models now to appear curvier! Check out this article from Yahoo Canada pointing out this bizarre trend. The rail thin Kate Moss look-alikes who used to claim the covers of magazines have been replaced by much healthier looking models such as Kate Upton. Sadly, Kate has been the victim of much scrutiny in regard to her weight by many industry pros yet readers and the public simply cannot get enough and WANT MORE of her! Why? Because she is real, and incredibly beautiful being that way. Major campaigns have even gone as far as cutting out models all together and reaching for actresses because they are typically more relatable in terms of body image. Beyonce, J.Lo, Anne Hathaway and more healthy bodies have completely dominated the magazine market because they have much more behind them than beauty and a skinny body.
Today the highest paid and most "well-known" models are the curvier ones who began their careers by repeatedly appearing in magazines like Maxim, FHM, Sports Illustrated and other body-focused magazines. Fashion magazines and labels are now reluctantly following suit by booking these types of girls because it is highly demanded by readers. I can speak from experience since I have been placed in both Maxim and FHM, my bookings increased drastically because people want to see real, and real is sexy. I was very happy to have been able to give a contribution to an article on the front page of foxnews.com outlining the industry shift. Check it out!
This is a huge testament to women all over the world because it proves that ideal for beauty has reverted back to real women with real bodies! The industry still has work to do with regard to setting a healthy example with what is put in front of us, but I certainly admire appreciation for a more diverse and healthy body considering we all can relate to it and feel beautiful. My mind/body/sole tip for this week is to enjoy a little desert after a healthy dinner :) If all of the supermodels are doing it, so can we!