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Darker side of the modelling industry

Naomi Campbell. British born supermodel


The world of modelling, runways, fashion designers and glitzy parties seems as glamorous and beautiful as ever. With a huge admiration for the modelling industry people are always on toes for the next big model and the next big event. From the high ends of Paris catwalks to Milan to New York, it is endless. You have to admit it’s a multi million pound industry, however anyone with a grain of common sense knows the modelling industry has a dark side to it. Mostly which is brushed under the carpet. Where on top its fashion money beauty and glitz, in reality the foundations that feed this industry are drugs, alcohol, bullying, rape and suicides. You might say cut a little slack it happens, to become the next big thing there are certain lines that people will be willing to cross just to walk on the catwalk and have their face on the Vogue cover. In other words its known as one big bitch of an industry. Harsh isn’t it.
The industry preys on the dreams of young people in order to make themselves rich and the victims are left with nothing, be it the agencies promoters or the photographers. It’s a man eat man world out there. All young girls and young men come into this world thinking it would be easy, if they have the tools of the looks, but that’s not all because not only do they deal with body size pressures, empty wallets and hard work, these people become an easy target for the darker sides of the business.

There was an insider saying that It’s almost like a secret society, you get paid based on your quality of what you can bring to the table, this can be interpreted in many levels.
It is easy to admire a beautiful model throwing a million dollar smile without giving a thought of the immense pressure she/he had to be put under just to get that one click. To say these models are barely strong enough to stand for shoots is an issue itself, as more time is spent on drips than ingesting food and eating tissue to stave off hunger. Is this what they want for their outlook careers, in matter of fact it isn’t. they are probably starving for food. But its work, what the boss says you do right. Where is the moral in denying the body food. I think the model health guidelines should be rewritten. Whose says curvy isn’t sexy?but of course if your not under a size zero as a model, you can hold the exist sign right now. Its as simple as that. The media is a powerful tools that harbours its energy from puppets on display to have the exact image and weight as if in an assembly line defying the line to its term in whatever needs to be done to be justified in order to make the end product which is display and show.

You even had Kate Moss saying, ‘Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels’ She’s the “most iconic model” of all time, and has graced the covers of more than 300 magazines over the course of her 25 year career. Its been engrained in her since she was young, it’s a bit obvious she will say that. But in another sense statements like this from supermodels encourage the aspiring model who look up to them to follow their every move. It’s a bad saying because body image campaigners say the supermodel who is a pioneer of the waif in fashion is encouraging eating disorders and eating disorders exist, the problem is that they are hidden. However, this is still an industry where unrealistic expectations of beauty abound. You have to be very grounded within yourself to allow harsh comments to pass by you and not to affect you. There will be comments about your physical appearance from the very beginning. These can be quite demeaning which is why the industry has been plagued with issues related to eating disorders.

However to make it big, you got to take bigger risks. I’m not talking about food now, but the other thing that is essential and a norm to the industry. Drugs and alcohol. Models can be exposed to very adult problems at an early age, which is perhaps why some end up with drug and alcohol problems. This dark side of this industry is always blasted in tabloids but hushed over overtime. Models are given and have free access to all manner of illicit substances all in order to control and keep check. Sometimes these are used to keep weight off, though vary rarely. Sometimes they are used to stay awake and alert for shoots or shows that occur at all times of the day and night. Sometimes it is the social pressure to party and fit in that causes young models to try these damaging narcotics. But whatever the reason is, it is widely accepted and applauded by higher peers.

Naomi Campbell also had drug abuse problems. The British-born supermodel spent years as an addict of cocaine and alcohol. It might have affected her emotionally but it definitely didn’t affect her career wise. Some say it even gives a boost to your career. One model even stated that taking cocaine for example, was seen as an essential part of fitting in particularly with your model agent, the person who secured the jobs and effectively held your future in their hands. But when you see models being blasted for rampant drug use, you simply think blandness, beauty, brainlessness personified all in one. Models are branded as a product and not a person, so we forget to think that they are humans as well, they too have feeling. We tend not to think of the social pressures they go through just to have a glimpse of their dream. I want to stomp out any notions that skinny models on drugs are glamorous. It will a long time or if any for it to lead to a healthier industry.

Besides the drugs and isolation, models are preys to predators which leads to constant sexual assaults and regular rapes. Insiders of the industry state that it is a pressure cooker populated by a nefarious cast of self-serving agents, promoters and photographers. It is impossible to say how common assaults on models by people in the business are because so few are reported, it doesn’t surprise me partly for the usual reason assaults often go unreported, its a sense of shame on the woman’s part, but also because of some factors specific to the fashion industry. Models are often very young, even as young as 14 or 15 so they fear they won’t work again if they “cause a fuss”. And this is a reality in the industry. Parents of younger models just leave them to fend for themselves. Where is the responsibility to your child to see that everything is going okay. This is the dirty little secret that goes unnoticed, the sexual abuse of young girls and boys, It’s sickening but unsurprising that the fashion industry would be a potential breeding ground for sexual abuse, considering that the majority of models begin their career as inexperienced teenagers who are thrust into a highly sexualised industry fuelled with predators. Fashion models beginning their career so young is wrong in itself as their lack of worldly knowledge in such a cut-throat and superficial industry can lead to poor self-esteem which leaves them susceptible to drug abuse and eating disorders.

Young models often become victims of fashion world parasites. Before the eyes of the world we see a world of glitz, glamour, money and beauty that is filled with an industry fuelled by illicit drugs, prostitution, forced anorexia and mental and physical abuse.

Published article by

Maria’m A S (editor)


About Mary S (39 Articles)
Author, editor, publisher and researcher.

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