We were thinking about this topic for a while now, gathered and read some articles about size 0 and underweight models. But what we found out, is that most of the people (especially on social media) only raise the problem and discuss about it for a certain period of time and then it is silent again until the next “scandal”, no matter, if it is a skinny mannequin in our shops’ windows or a real model on on a runway. How come we are so shocked every time and why nobody is interested in taking real action to prevent it? Or maybe, someone is working on it, but nobody is interested to speak about, because “shocking” news always pay off better? In the end, we believe, such constant unhealthy body projection harms our minds and perception of a “perfect body” (especially the young girl generation) and it is time to dig a bit deeper in what’s going on.
We were lucky enough to find out, that one of our friends has recently started to run a model agency in the UK. She has agreed to share her experience and opinion about this issue with us.
Who: Skaiste, Head manager of a rising model agency in the UK*
Where: The UK
What: Model agency, health and size O
*Asked to stay partly anonymous because of the company politics
Our modelling agency is the UK based agency and we have models on our books from various different UK cities. At the moment we only have two modelling categories: fashion and commercial, because we are a “young” company yet but rapidly growing. We are also not only a modelling agency but a model management as well as our aim is to grow a company that could be trusted, and we seek to establish a long time relationship between the company and its models by looking after the models and being supportive during their modelling careers.
With teen models, we take it slowly and go step by step as their bodies keep changing during their teen age, and it is very difficult for them to watch every centimeter. For instance, if a female teen model has everything to be a fashion model but needs to lose one or two kilograms, we do not ask her to go on a diet when she is so young but we do ask to eat healthy food and, for instance, forget about the fast food and soft drinks. We want our teen models to understand how important it is to eat healthily and how positive healthy nutrition can be when aiming to have a beautiful body and skin.
This is why we have the seminars about the healthy lifestyle in our agency’s future plans and want health specialists to be talking about healthy nutrition, metabolism, eating disorders and etc. We do not want to be a modelling agency that sends a young girl home saying that she must lose some weight and come back with the results. In these kinds of situations, girls lose their body confidence and start getting eating disorders like anorexia or bulimia. We are a modelling agency that seeks to help potential models to break into modelling but in a most health-friendly way by working with them, spending our time and providing with guidance of a healthy lifestyle.
In my own personal opinion, a size zero model can only be that model who is genetically that thin with no diets or eating disorders.
If a model does not meet high fashion standards or is not a size zero model, we do not encourage the model to go on a diet straight away and lose some weight. I simply could not let myself ask a model to eat less or not to eat at all simply because all kinds of directions related to health and weight must be taken responsibly and guided by professionals otherwise you may be getting someone in danger of harming health and making ill since different people have different metabolism which is very important and should be taken into account when discussing weight loss.
The Fashion world influences our perception of the “perfect” body everywhere in our daily lives.[/caption]
I believe that “size zero” models can influence our perception of a “perfect body” because in terms of fashion, anything that is in fashion industry and magazines can have influence on women and young girls. But like I said before, size zero should not be an aspiration for girls and women that are not naturally that thin.
However, there still are many young models that do “everything” to be very thin, have eating disorders and etc., and there still are many agents that encourage their models to lose more weight without taking into account their models’ state of health. But if we start having more modelling agencies and models that understand how important healthy, balanced nutrition and healthy body are, then we will have changes in a modelling industry and have less stories about models that harmed their health during their modelling careers.
A different modelling category is a commercial modelling where there are no limits for age, height or measurements. Commercial modelling industry needs various kinds of models: a girl with a glowing, healthy skin for a make-up commercial, a girl for petite clothing catalogue, a boy with great white teeth for a toothpaste commercial, or somebody from “real people” category for a Christmas commercial.
In terms of an example, I think Tyra Banks could be a great example. When she was a runway model, she was very thin and did meet the fashion standards but when she switched to lingerie modelling where curvier models are more welcome, she gained some weight that she needed to feel better and healthier and then she got even more famous. I think there are no questions if she has made a career or not..?
The reason why I used Tyra Banks as an example is because when she did runway, she was not naturally that thin and did everything to become thin enough to be a fashion model, and when she realized she cannot make her body suffer anymore, she got her natural weight back and she could still do commercial modelling and I believe many women are inspired by her!
So here it is. Some diligent bees as our friend are working hard to make models’ lives better and support them in guiding with a healthy lifestyle.
Embrace the healthy bodies and guide the ones who are struggling with it.
Remember — everyone can make a difference and it all depends on you . We invite you to join the movements, discuss it online and offline and let the fashion representatives know!