It wasn’t my choice: I was forced to watch.
So essentially she gets a bunch of not-skinny girls with slight imperfections, dolls them up with fancy hair and make-up and in nice clothes, and sends them off to photo shoots. They then compete against professional models for contracts.
My first issue is with the “real”. I’d be interested to find out if these girls are photoshopped in post production. And the idea of doing them up and sending them to a photo shoot doesn’t seem too real. So I’m not too sure what she’s challenging. Just the idea that “fat girls” can’t be models? Surely we already have that with plus-size models?
While she may feel she’s challenging the modelling industry, she isn’t really going far enough. She is still working well within its usual confines. Perhaps the changes I want to see need some sort of alliance between like-minded folk within the industry who decide that the whole lot needs an overhaul, and set new ‘best practice’ guidelines or ‘minimum standards’ for themselves.
For me the bigger issue is these unrealistic targets that are aimed at us through marketing. Every photo in every campaign is done with cleverly thought out lighting, exposure and camera angles. Models are nipped and tucked in post production until the end result looks nothing like the real person.
Then we we’ve got the whole ‘size zero’ models and celebrities in general being pushed to get thinner and thinner, until we end up with the lollipop heads like Lindsay Lohan, Hilary Duff, and so on. So girls crash diet because apparently anything bigger than a size 8 (UK) is enormous, and curves are just plain wrong. They have a crappy self-image because they’re aspiring to unreal, unrealistic images of girls that have been made up for hours and at great expense.
And the weird thing is, these models are gorgeous anyway. They’d look even better with a bit of meat on their bones. Would it be so terrible to see them in a more natural way? I’m not saying no make-up or hair-styling whatsoever, but something a bit more everyday.