Models -the wallpaper of our billboards, magazines and television screens. Their intimidating presence has us all beautifully brainwashed into a warped ideology of how we should be and how our lives should look. That to experience love and joy, one must be flawless – scar free and with a BMI of 18 and below but beneath their photo shopped skin are these ‘ideal’ men and women really so different?
For years this was me, a brain washed minion who thought having a thigh gap would get her a boyfriend (it didn’t). After being bullied throughout the majority of my education I saw modelling as a way of revenge – a massive “FUCK YOU”, to those who’d sent me anonymous abuse or treated me differently because my untameable acne was an eyesore, upon the orange-foundation horizon of secondary school. A few professional photos were a form of being catapulted to the top of the food chain- where I was above them all, it was a real ‘who’s laughing now?’ idea for me; to live the glamorous life of having people do my make-up for me whilst I waited to have my photo taken in a ‘fancy’ studio.
However if you could go behind the scenes of an average photo-shoot the whole charade would be shattered within half an hour. Models are not treated like movie stars- more like coat hangers. ‘Stand there and shut up’, you get no say in the monstrosities you’re dressed in or the make-up that’s plastered all over your face for hours. Often you’ll spend more time in the make-up chair than on set and trust me ladies after the 2nd hour the novelty begins to wear thin. In my experience all the promises I was made by photographers or designers never seemed to materialise, during my last shoot I was promised we’d be no more than 4 hours – 6 hours later and I just had to walk out in I fear that I’d never be able to leave. They said they’d pay for lunch? ‘Good luck with that sweetheart, not till we’ve finished shooting for five hours and you’re on the verge of passing out!’ okay nobody actually said that but that’s what happened.
The whole experience was good for me though – I needed to see first-hand how fake this industry really was, after ignoring the naysayers who claimed it was all false and retouched. Well they weren’t wrong; anyone would look stunning under lights that bright! The thing that put me off my dream completely was being told to breath my ‘stomach’, I’m not trying to be arrogant here but I very much have the flat stomach and visible collar bone/ ribs shebang- so basically all that’s there is essentially my bodily organs. It made me really angry that these photos I was featured in would be portraying such a false aesthetic but also if this is what goes on at a low level fashion shoot, what on earth goes on at a high-end one?
You’re probably reading this thinking I’m bitter about something and in a way yes you’re right because I feel that every fashion magazine I’ve ever read was a massive lie, I should have just focused on being who I wanted to be rather than who Vogue wanted me to be. If this article makes even one of you see sense then I’ll be happy.