The Myths of Modelling - published in Quench magazine



Working in the fashion world involves many jobs and roles, one of the main ones being the face behind a fashion/beauty brand. As a part time model myself with previous experience in this field, I was happy to be asked by Quench magazine to write for them about this topic. In my article, I uncover the myths and common stereotypes surrounding the fashion and beauty world and reveal the true nature of the industry.

Click the image above to read the original article or simply continue reading below :)


Due to the powerful influence of the media, certain people's highly popular, publicly broadcasted lifestyles are now becoming the Bible of others, acting as a guide to what is and isn't considered cool in our society nowadays. Somewhere among these unwritten rules (that are, ironically, often written out), the idea of working in the fashion industry has earned itself an ultimately trendy reputation.
It can be argued that the most desired people in the industry are the faces behind the big fashion campaigns - models. Take for instance the Victoria's Secret Angels, the most 'beautiful' faces in the industry. Their lifestyles (as we know them) have lead us to believe that working as a model in the fashion world is the golden ticket to achieving the perfect lifestyle for ourselves.
But every now and then, I'm sure we all wonder what reality hides behind the exaggerated media headlines and the pretty filters of Instagram. What does working as a model in the fashion world really involve? What kind of lifestyle does it really provide? Allow me to give you an insight by uncovering a few of the myths that come with working as a model in the industry.

Myth #1 - You get stopped on the street and offered to become famous.

No, not unless you're Ashton Kutcher. For those who don't know, he became known to the public eye after being 'discovered' by a talent scout and asked to model for big fashion brands such as Calvin Klein and Abercrombie & Fitch. Kutcher accepted his modelling offer and his career has since blossomed into the fields of acting and more. Now that is what we can safely call the modern fairy tale of models. Yet we all know that fairy tales are often far from real.

Myth #2 - One minute you're plain Jane, next minute you're on the cover of Vogue

This is the dream factory type of rubbish that people get told in many different forms these days. No, you cannot become 'famous' overnight. While Kutcher was lucky enough to break into the industry somewhat like this, most models have to go through several stages of a selection process before they appear on billboards for big fashion brands.
This process is often long and takes a lot of time, effort and work from the model and people involved. It involves being represented by an agency that puts you in touch with brands and clients to begin with, then making a portfolio of images that you can show to clients. Once that's done, you're ready to attend castings which are the equivalent of interviews in the modelling world and if you're lucky enough to have passed that stage, you attend the photo shoot that will then get you in the pages of a shiny magazine.
Note that whilst you might think that this selection process is quick and easy, it is often a case of 'being in the right place at the right time'. As you wait at a casting, holding onto your little number 48 card with sweaty palms (meaning that there are at least 48 models competing for the job), all you can do is hope that they will love you like they loved Ashton Kutcher.

Myth #3 - Being a model is easy and requires no 'real'/hard work

One of the biggest demands of working as a model in the fashion world is to be flexible and prepared to work when needed, be that day or night, sun or snow. It often involves early starts, late finishes, working overtime and having to adapt to new environments and 'unique' demands on a daily basis. For example, if your job is for a brand that wants to get a photo of you in the rain, you're gonna have to stand in the rain, be professional and keep going until you get that one shot the client had in mind.
These 'unique' demands I speak of can of course benefit you in many ways as well, especially in the case of extreme weather photo shoots where you might need to be on the beach or in the snow. Modelling can involve travel to beautiful locations, even abroad where you get to experience sights and places that you'd otherwise be having to pay a lot of money for. But just note that at the core of it all, it does involve working and working hard, just like any other job.

Myth #4 - "It's all Photoshop"

Photoshop is so frequently brought up in relation to models that it seems to get all the credit for a good photo, underestimating the model and the team's efforts on the day of a photo shoot. Models are required to look after their bodies, skin, hair and general appearance in order to look good. Extra attention spent on your appearance will come with results. Candice Swanepoel most likely doesn't achieve her toned body by living an unhealthy lifestyle and not exercising. So whilst Photoshop can do wonders, let's not give it all the credit.
I'm also sure you've all seen one or two fashion adverts that were a little crazy and unusual. For instance, Cara Delevigne's i'D cover with a spider on her face. For the fashion industry, that's great, craziness brings more attention. They want their campaigns to stand out from the crowd. For the models on the other hand...not so much. Although you might be led to think that things like this are achieved in post production, they are not and surprisingly enough, models often have to pull some stunts that aren't quite a part of the 'job description' to achieve the desired outcome.

Myth #5 - Modelling is not a job, it's a luxury

Ultimately, the main thing to note is that working as a model in the fashion industry is indeed just a job out of the many other jobs that people can do to make a living at the end of the day. Yes it involves an emphasis on appearance, being photographed and attending glamorous events - elements that usually make for a desirable lifestyle, but there's a whole other side to it that counter balances all of this and can be recognised when looking at the bigger picture, not just the ideas that the media feed us. Once recognised, you will have a peaceful mind knowing that the job and lives of the people on billboards and the cover of Vogue are much closer to 'reality' than we seem to think so.

Originally published in Quench Magazine, Issue 152

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