How problematic is the fashion industry? In today's video I explore why 94% of all fashion models are underweight. The implications this has on body image, who are the ones responsible for so many fashion models being underweight and why does one of the largest industries in the world believe that the ideal female body type is that of an underweight woman.
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See the thing I disagree with in this video, and I feel like is not often taken into consideration is that some individuals are naturally underweight. I am 19 years old and my BMI has always been in the underweight category. I have always been very self conscious of how skinny I am, but I cannot help it because I eat more than enough and it is just my body type. Not all models are starving themselves - and I feel like people really need to become aware of the fact that some young girls are just naturally underweight.
I took a fashion class and my professor answered this question. From my understanding, in the past fashion designers didn't want the girls wearing their clothes to stand out, they wanted the clothes to stand out. Models were meant to be "walking hangers." But its different in modern times because models are basically the new socialites in society that everyone looks up to, leading to women wanting to look like those models.
I would argue that what would drive the industry to value underweight and young looking models comes more from the trope of the "creature and the creator" (does it have a name ?? kinda like girl born yesterday, where the male can mould the girls as he wants her to be) than from paedophilic tendencies, bc looking childish makes you look malleable ? Also, not having a lot of weight is associated with willpower. We've all called foods that are more caloric "guilty pleasures"; and as a young girl I've personally felt ashamed of eating more than a friend sometimes, so I guess in a certain mindset being really skinny proves you're superior, which serves the fashion industry's fantasy. Love the comment section as well as your video btw.
Another thing the modelling industry does (I haven't watched the video yet so i dont know if shes touched on it) is that they normally try to get younger girls in their mid teens who are crazy skinny to model and walk the runway because it fits them and how skinny they want them to be because teenage girls normally arent the size of full grosn women because puberty.
At modelling agencies no matter how better looking you are than the other if you are not stick skinny your chances are slim to none unless you've got lots connections or you're already quite popular like one time one of the girls in my agency who was absolutely gorgeous was denied from a shoot because she weighed around 60 kgs (she was still slim with a healthy body and "curves") and her body didn't fit what they were looking for even though it was mainly a face type of shoot with body pictures the girl who got was very underweight and she's weighed around 40-45 and look prebuecent or just recently starting puberty in general that seems to be the look they go for and after I that I dead ass couldn't take the industry seriously any more and of course I was still asked to loose weight, and I'm not saying this from an outsiders point of view I'm saying this from somebody who has been in the industry
I have only ever heard one reason why the fashion industry hires underweight models: they want a "blank canvas". They don't want people to be distracted from the clothes they're showcasing, apparently curves are just too distracting.
Does this really justify making every teenage girl insecure about their body? Hell no, but I thought this was interesting.
In my opinion 'healthy' is beautiful. Anyone who exercises regularly, eats healthy and takes care of themselves looks great to me :)
You can tell the difference between someone who is naturally skinny and someone who is starving themselves, I really don't find that attractive.
The topic is interesting to me, but you seem like expressing it in a very lengthy way, which make it incoherent and derailed a bit from what i expect to hear. Anw, i appreciate you brought this up and show us a sphere we might have just never ran into.
The BMI scale is not correct for everyone. And you might feel your healthy but your not where you should be for what they need. Being underweight but not anorexic does not mean your not healthy? If you don't want to keep yourself to their standard then don't. But you are wrong to say this.
Aren’t a lot of models so skinny so that the clothing hangs off them like clothes hangers or something, so the clothes are what people focus on instead of the model. I’m not saying this is right or anything lol but I think there is a reason to why a lot of runway models and stuff are so skinny.
In my opinion, another influence on the appearence of the models is that many designers are gay and therefore drawn to an "edgy" looking bodyshape which is not typically "female". We don't have to wonder why many models rather resemble (young) men than women.
i watch so many of these videos but i don't think that this give us a proper idea of the modeling industry. They are looking for special people who are hopefully naturally skinny, if you need to torture yourself ro remain in the industry....
I have a theory that most well known and influential designers are gay men and they are not attracted to the female form and therefore want their models to more look like clothes hangers or even masculin, with less curves. Also just a theory.
One reason for having underweight/skinny models is that on camera we look flat since pictures/videos are 2D and not 3D like what we see in real world with our own eyes. Because pics are 2D, we look flatter and in consequense ”fatter” than we really are.
Still I’d be great if we had something in between underweight and plus-size, because that is where most women are, in the middle.
as a model myself, i can’t quite grasp how common it is for agents to be cruel to their models and make them starve? mine are very very kind and have never told me to lose any weight, in fact they encourage me to eat well and take care of myself. i feel absolutely awful for the girls out there who are being pressured by their management. also i’m not sure how reliable bmi is, i’m underweight on it even though i’m very muscular and have a healthy amount of excess fat. it doesn’t take into account body composition or frame which is an issue
I personally feel like in many cases the BMI scale is not accurate for a lot of people. Everyone has different body types- I am 6’0 and am a teenage girl. I have always been considered underweight using that scale simply because of my height. I am naturally pretty thin with a quick metabolism. I have played sports but I generally don’t work out regularly and I eat quite a bit lol. I can’t help it. It’s just how my body is. And I am healthy. My height makes it so the BMI scale doesn’t accurately represent me. I know there are actually a lot of models who are in the same kind of situation as me. Not all of them are, there are definitely unhealthy underweight models in the industry. It is accurate for some, but I really don’t think it can be used as a universal show of wether someone is healthy or not considering we all have very different bodies.
of course it is. i've been working in this industry for 12 years and i will say categorically most of the adults working in this industry are extremely problematic, they will throw children under the bus to make a buck and are not looking out for their best interests at all, unless their best interests include prostituting them to creepy photographers in the hope it might afford them some career opportunities. they are normalising paedophilia cos most of the elites are trafficking children for their sick rituals so they're trying to get the rest of the public to see this behaviour as normal too through socially engineering our consciousness.
I agree!!! but still the BMI not always the indicator of good health. We just have to love all types of bodies and accept the fact that everyone is different and everyone is beautify. But again the media and brands are the ones to blame for making us believe that one type of body is the right body!! :)
you are spot on! a lot of people in powerful positions get there with exactly this in mind! they need the power to get away with their deviant behavior. it is ludicrous. something must be done about these people. they get away with doing so many things and the justice system has let so many victims down. the media hides all of this. it is disgusting!
thank you for spreading awareness!
To me, as an in-between model myself, who lives a very active lifestyle and eats very healthy, I love seeing how the industry is changing and slowly including more sizes. I hope to be part of that change and to be a healthy inspiration to women world-wide.
With that said, the underweight body you are referring to is a normal and healthy body for some women. I think I read that around 10% of women have that body naturally because of hormones, so let's not attack that either.
But yes, an industry where ALL SIZES and ALL women can feel included would be amazing. I am working hard for it myself and am very grateful that you put focus on this :) Thank you!
You have to consider the fact that when a client hires models for a show they do not design each piece of clothing individually to fit a specific model, they usually make them the same size so that if a girl is no longer available last minute they can easily find a substitute. That is why the girls need to be a specific size.
Moreover, it is a matter of proportions. Slimmer models look good from every angle, and are more likely to get a good picture in the most challenging shoots, while curvier models are sometimes unable to strike certain poses because of the camerawork.
Models need to be versatile and to be able to work with different concepts, and a good model should be able to manage both the catwalk and photoshoots.
People seem to forget that a model's job is not to represent a certain category but to sell the designer's clothes, and if the clothes look bad no one is going to buy them and the client is not going to be happy.
Furthermore, the idea of the unattainable is what drives us to follow these models and to be fascinated by them, they represent the extraordinary, and that's what the designers are looking for as representatives for the brand.
Some girls are like that naturally, and that's what the designers are looking for, girls who are extraordinary without having to starve themselves or work out 24h a day.
This is the harsh reality, but then again I guess modeling is not supposed to be for everyone
HEY great video, i think u made some great points, but u refer to bmi a lot, which i understand is detrimental to ur point, but u use "unhealthy" when refering to people with a below average bmi and "normal" when refering to someone with an average bmi and while it is slight and ur proving a point and ur close to this topic but i dont think u should refer to it that way, its hurtful.
As a designer and a model, I have to lay down the line lol. The only reason we use size 2 girls is because of the money it takes to produce the garments. When it comes to runways shows, we don't have the money or resources to produce clothes in all sizes. We have one template to go off of, and every single inch of fabric cost money. The clothing used for photoshoots are often also used for the runways which explains the sizing again. Also, the BMI scale that we use online is completely inaccurate. The only real way to know is to go to a doctor and have your bone mass, body fat, water weight, and actual weight all in account. You'd be surprised how high your BMI is when it's compared to the online calculator. I'm 5'11, weight 120 pounds, workout every single day and eat extremely healthy and still have an 'underweight' BMI. A majority of models are training at a gym almost every single day, and eating high protein because we are trying to gain weight. It's hard for long tall girls to do that. It's equally as harmful to say that most of the girls who have this body type are underweight and not healthy. That being said, I completely agree with what you said about the media not showing enough diversity. It most definitely hurts so many women and girls and leads to eating disorders!
I’ve been modeling my entire life and I had to stop traveling because I had to have a 23 inch waist to go anywhere. I physically can’t have that waist measurement anymore at 28 and now I’m just doing local stuff mostly. I was 5’8” and I weighed 105 lbs. I’m 119 lbs now, which is still SO tiny, and it’s not enough for the modeling industry.
I actually disagree with you in few ways. It is wrong to say people are underweight or overweight. It is about health not about BMI or how you weight. It is wrong to starve to reach your perfect figure it is wrong to over eat. But you slightly insulted some women saying it looks like teenagers body as I know a lot women who cannot put weight and forcing eat which is not healthy too.. However I agree that issue to bring only slim girls is due designers.. and pushing to think it is only beauty to other women.
Ok. I’m genetically an Ectomorph, I EAT meat, carbs, chocolate and still very skinny. People think I’m a vegetarian and diet. Most girls who are naturally skinny are GENETICALLY SKINNY. A lot of Models are genetically Ectomorphs. Get over it.
Hey! I am a model, i am working wordwide two years ago. This question is so complicated, really hard to answere... since in the mid 90ies the “heroin chic” appeared, this form of beauty is still in. Sometimes i think it’s might because in fashion the genders mash up a lot, and in a body without any female curves, it’s better to represent. Also having a huge number of gay fashion designers, who are not attracted by a very female body is maybe a reason... also sometimes they just don’t focus on females body cause some collections message is that the inside is more important (like céline last year)
people use underaged models often be cause actually this is the time when girls can be naturally skinny. Later when your hips and boobs start to show is really hard to keep your body under the appropriate measurements. I think everyone model has a way how to keep their body in shape. Watching the portion, not eating certain foods or/and exercising a lot...
Just for everyone who is straggling to accept himself or herself. We do have insecurities, bad days, body parts what we don’t like, bad skin and often we are far not as confident as you think. None of us. Not even Gigi or Vittoria or Taylor.
i watched something on it and i believe the reason that was explained was that the company wants to showcase the clothing not the model and so with a small model the clothing drapes on the body and the body doesn't take away attention but i think its kinda just a bullshit excuse the whole industry is so bad for everyone
I think it's how you see peoples anorexia stories and they have the same protruding bones and weight of top models. This needs to be stopped! They encourage all the girls to loose as much weight as possible by any means necessary. If you're a healthy weight they'll laugh in your face and tell you not to come back until you've lost 20lbs!
I'm the perfect weight for fashion modelling, all my dimensions are right and I am naturally like this. My BMI is underweight because my bones are brittle, so you want me to lose my modelling jobs because my bones aren't as dense as yours...
WTH im reading all these coments saying that the demand for underweight models is bcs of machism or pedophiles, but that is just wrong. Before the high fashion industry, people wanted women to look fuller bcs that meant that they had money for food instead of looking like a skinny peasant, the same for wanting women to have a really pale skin (it meant that you didnt have to work in the fields under the sun bcs you were wealthy). The fashion industry completly changed this when they started using skinny models. They WANTED "ugly" models for people to look at what really mattered, the clothes. They wanted HANGERS, not women. People thought that designers were used skinny people bcs they say them as the most beautiful people to represent theyre clothes, so they started wanting to look like the models... IT'S NOT MACHISM, THEY WERE JUST LOOKING FOR HANGERS
People shouldn’t base their body expectations on that of models. They’re just hangers for clothes. Designers only have time to make sample sizes, (similarly to making a scaled-down demo or prototype) since fashion is such a fast-paced industry. They can’t make “normal” sized clothing in the time-frame, so they hire people who fit their sample sized clothing. I understand that people dream of modeling as a career bc it seems so glamorous, but if you don’t naturally fall into the weight category of a brand and agree to lose weight so that you do, that’s completely on you. Models don’t make that much money, so I don’t see why someone would see it as a way of making ends meet. The fashion industry never said models were the epitome of beauty, the public just saw them on billboards and in magazines and made that assumption for themselves. This of course is just my opinion. I’m not saying you didn’t make some very valid points, because you definitely did, especially about there being prevented people in the industry. I like your video format, and the way you express your opinions! :)
Girl, if you are feeling hot, put your hair up. I get it, it's hot. It's totally fine to be in a bikini in a video. But, being in a bikini and not putting your hair up is like wearing fur coat on top of bikini and complaining that you are hot...
A completely confident female doesn't need anything to complete her so every mall would eventually go bankrupt.A simple tshirt, skirt,Jean would do...barely any make up and just a simple smile. Insecurity brings money in...when you're insure,you're easy to fool.you can just tell the person they're ugly, and thn they'll believe whatever you tell them to do to fix it.
Your video is concerning for 2 reasons. 1) you say anyone thinner than you is underweight and you can just tell by looking at them which makes no sense cause they could just be taller or leaner or that could be healthy for their body type and its not good to just judge someone based off of physical appearance alone. 2) You act like bmi scales are the most accurate for tracking ones health which isn't true at all because you can't look at muscle mass, water retention, etc. When I was an athlete I would have been considered overweight on the bmi scale but it was due to all my muscle mass and had nothing to do with being unhealthy.
Models are extremely thin because they are literally clothes hangers. When it comes to clothes advertising, designers aren’t selling the models, they’re selling the clothes. So they’re gonna want their ads and fashion shows to be clothes clothes clothes with as little model as possible, while still keeping that human figure to their looks. Models are just clothing hangers, that’s why famous models aren’t as common as famous celebrities unless they’re Victoria’s Secret models. It’s because the models aren’t supposed to be the center of attention, the clothing is. So why would they get bigger curvier or normal looking models who “take up more space” when they can just get skinny coat hanger models.
I could not agree more. I personally have always’d struggled with self love and self image as in our society, you can’t have love handles, have to have a thigh gap, toned muscles, abs, arms,etc and it’s just sad that the industry has campaigns about including all sizes yet the campaign leaders r people who r size 0-2.
Thinner models mean that the clothes won't need adjustment when being worn by different girls. Also, since each woman puts on weight differently, that means each body shape has its own character (when the model is at a normal weight). Fashion designers don't want that, they don't want each body type to give a different character to their clothes, and they don't want the cloth to flow differently than it is on the mannequin. So the easy solution is to demand that every model you hire is underweight (or underage, since they aren't yet fully developped). They also want their models to have an essence of youth and innocence. That's why they lean towards younger, whiter, thinner, hairless models, which represent an ethereal, innocent kind of beauty. They believe that we all wish to be a little bit thinner, a little bit younger, a little bit fairer. People also see the clothes in a different way, when a fragile, innocent young woman is wearing them. It's something subconscious we feel when we see such a girl, which is very difficult to change, because the only way to change people's subconsciousness is through constant projection of the opposite.
tbh I think Europe centuries and centuries ago was on a better track than us now. they drew and painted women who were curvier and did nothing to hide their true natural bodies. Yes there was clearly a preference for thicker women because that meant that they had enough money to eat well, but they didn’t hide a woman’s natural body. They showed literally everything and painted women’s bodies.
I read that it had something to do with seeing models merely as hangers for clothes, and the skinnier the better because you won't have to tailor too much or use too much fabric. Someone also suggested that it had something to do with many of the designers being gay and not caring about the female silhouette, plus exclusivity brings in the cash from the richer and the poor will struggle to get that one brand bag.
Just want to point out that while you make a lot of good points, this is a great video a lot of young girls and teens should see, you CANT tell someones bmi that specifically from their visible fat/body shape. Not that bmi should matter, when its a very inaccurate measure of health, but thats besides the point. Just wanted to make sure people know that you cant judge weight like that just by looks, its so varied what people look like at different heights and weights
Child marriages are common:
On a recent day, eight community elders sat in a [refugee] camp, some chewing khat, the narcotic leaf favored by most Yemeni men. Seven have married off their girls this year.
Even Salim, the elder who worked at the charity, is preparing to marry off his two daughters, ages 13 and 14. "I want to feel secure of their futures, if only for economic reasons," he said.
Mohammad Ali al-Ansi married off his two girls, ages 13 and 14, in April. "My heart is bleeding inside, but I was forced to do this," he said. "I have no job. Its difficult for me to feed my 10 children." He received $1,600 in dowry for each of his girls, he said. But after paying for their weddings and meeting other debts, the money has nearly run out. "If things get worse, theres no doubt Ill marry off my 12-year-old daughter," Ansi said.
More on Ansis 14-year-old daughter Fatma, married to 21-year-old Zaid:
Fatma spent her day cooking and washing clothes for her in-laws. When asked the name of her husbands family, Fatma didnt know it. She remembers her father telling her and her sister, Amal, that the family needed money. She remembers that Amal was in tears because her new husband was taking her to another region. The two sisters have not seen each other since their weddings.
"I am too young to be married," Fatma said. "I want to study. I want to learn how to write. I have sacrificed for my family," she continued, her voice dropping to a whisper.
Minutes later, her husband arrived at the tent, and Fatma went silent. He said Fatma was "at a good age to marry." When asked if she could attend school, he shook his head no. "Shes a little too old for school," he said.
Female sexual freedom among the Tuareg : Flora Drury has written up the sex habits of the Saharas Muslim Tuareg people based on the work by Henrietta Butler. Some excerpts:
Their men became known as the blue men of the Sahara because the dye from their distinctive indigo scarves rub off onto their faces giving them a mysterious air. The Tuareg evoke images of a long forgotten and romantic age.