You know the term ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. 

This is what I think of whenever I read an article where a model is complaining about the unjust, unfair unimaginable standards of the fashion industry. “They called me fat, and told me to loose an inch off my hips!” –Show yourself anonymous model!

As an ex-model myself I know the pressures and self-esteem blows all to well. I was even told I had an attitude problem, but I guess thats already clear from theses few sentences.  

Anyway the point I’m trying to make here is, anonymously shaming model agencies and whining about it isn’t going to change anything. Any guesses why? You’re a model for god’s sake, you work in an industry based on looks not language, no-one cares what you have to say.

I remember sitting in the makeup chair trying to read the news about the conflict in Crimea. In between getting jabbed in the face by pointy brushes I tried to start a conversation with the makeup artist on the issue, she undoubtedly had no idea what I was talking about and instead asked “Do you think we should go with the pink or the red?”

Its not some big secret that models are pressured to loose weight, I mean come-on have some common sense, we all know this. I'm not trying to justify the lame comments from agents who are mostly just jealous of these incredible women, but you joined this line of work, and you can easily leave it.

Well It’s not fair you might say... what’s not fair?

Its not fair that they think your hips are too big? Or that your agents are criticizing you? 

Well put it this way, would you stay with a partner or friend who criticized you about your weight? Fuck no.

I did fashion weeks all over Australia and travelled internationally for jobs, unlike many of the other women I was working with, I had the impression that modeling is just a JOB it wasn’t something I considered a long-term career.

However as I began working more and more, I started getting comfortable and as I got comfortable I started to notice myself changing. I became disinterested in my creative pursuits and I got lazy. I could feel my brain falling away like pieces of wet cake. 

So I quit. 

I packed my bags, went home, enrolled in University and started a bachelor’s degree.

When I talk to my friends some of which are still models, it’s not their physicality that I’m worried about, its their mentality. Modeling creates so much unnecessary anxiety. Imagine never knowing where your next pay check would come from, when and where your next job will be, not to mention the stress this puts on a relationship.

Many models have to have another job on the side but as soon as you get called to an important casting the agency expects you to make yourself available immediately. Which leaves you looking super dodgy to your other employer, who will most likely fire you. 

Modeling isn’t a difficult job to do, in fact you don’t need any talent at all, but u do need a high stress threshold and for most women whining or venting is a stress release.

But what if instead of venting you just got the balls to change the situation all together, you are obviously smart enough to see the holes in the industry, so why not just ditch it altogether?

This is 2015 and we have the power to change the way women are represented in media, but we need to be the ones in charge not the ones being manipulated.

My quote reads a little differently.

‘If you want to see change in the world, stop whining about it, and start making real changes!’

Use that brain, rise to the top and BE the executive who makes the calls, not the beautiful young grouch waiting to receive them. 


By Greta Chesterman

Greta ChestermanComment