When the issue of Sports Illustrated Swimsuits dropped last week, it was essentially a report on the state of the modeling world.
“Now the industry is all about body positivity and acceptance,” said Craig Lawrence, 31-year-old Ford Models director and industry veteran. “Look at the four guys he’s put on the SI cover: [influencer] Kim Kardashian, 70-something Mayy Musk, Ciara, a singer, and Yumi Nu, an Asian curves model. SI pushed the envelope and went to places before it happened [popular], Now, of course, people are on the bandwagon. ,
For decades, the modeling world was defined by glamorous exclusivity: impossibly skinny models in designer couples, the consumption of designer drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes. They were seen and certainly not heard.
In the new issue of British Vogue, Gisele Bundchen opens up about her early career and her diet of wine and cancer sticks.
“From the outside, it looked like I had everything and I was just 22. Inside, I felt like I’d hit rock bottom. I was starting my day with a Mocha Frappuccino with whipped cream and three cigarettes, then drinking a bottle of wine every night. Imagine what he was doing in my mind. ,
And in 2013, former Vogue Australia editor Kirsty Clements wrote a tell-all with stories of hungry models, especially catwalkers eating paper towels to get thinner. Kate Moss’ 2005 cocaine scandal hit the headlines for weeks, and Naomi Campbell talked about ending her addiction to Coke and alcohol.
Bündchen, of course, cleaned up her act to eventually become one of the world’s most insanely disciplined wellness couples — alongside Tom Brady. She saw a naturopath who suggested she eliminate sugar, grains, dairy, caffeine, alcohol, and cigarettes from her diet.
This time-current model Bella Hadid told InStyle in January that she’s sober now. “I loved alcohol and it got to the point where I even started canceling nights out, I felt like I couldn’t control myself,” said the 25-year-old. attack.
Health, not hard-partying, is now the norm.
“There was a time when heroin was part of the chic business,” Lawrence said. “My first agency, we represented Jaime King, who was very upfront about his drug problem. And then it was glorified.”
He continued: “Years ago, you used to see models partying, not following a healthy lifestyle. Now you see all models doing yoga, fitness and healthy eating.”
Lucy Beatrix, 33, is one of the former. Living in a NYC model apartment, the St. Louis native, who modeled for a decade, survived on a cigarette for dinner and a bottle of wine so she could easily pass out.
“I learned from my roommates,” said Beatrix, who has graced the cover of Elle Mexico, among others. “The thinner I was, the more money I made. It was appreciated.”
But social media and social justice have changed our society. The ever savvy industry has rolled out a welcome mat for many sizes and ethnicities, and encourages models to speak up on their pet issues.
“I remember when I was getting out of the industry, I was excited to see body positivity. I was glad to see that the big girls were being hugged instead of scolded,” said Beatrix, who is now a calm and competitive runner.
“It’s like going to a fast-food restaurant. In the beginning you only had a burger. Then they added a turkey burger. Now they have a burger, a veggie, a turkey, and an impossible burger. That’s the way of the industry.” There will always be customers who want a size two or a size four, but what we’re seeing is that you can’t just cater for one thing,” Lawrence said.
The agent has noticed the changing nature of the curve industry, noting that while Ashley Graham was at her agency, she was not an overnight success. “It took a while,” he said. “I remember Victoria’s Secret saying they wouldn’t use curve models because VS is about aspiration. Personally, I think the doors to the millions of girls who wouldn’t have thought of themselves as models and prestige are open. Ten years ago, Yumi Nu couldn’t be considered.”
He added that having high social media followers is now as desirable as it was a size zero waist 10 years ago.
“A lot of these brands are looking at algorithms. Influencers have become what actors were in the 90s when magazines started replacing models with actors,” he said.
And brands are no longer about blue-eyed blondes.
“I have friends in business all over the world and everyone wants an ethnically ambiguous girl. It used to be about a girl who looked like Christie Brinkley. that message [of ethnic ambiguity] louder than ever before.”
Beatrix notes that models are encouraged to be open about their issues — even issues and magazine covers or campaigns for their radical transparency.
“When I lost weight to maintain my end of the contract, I became extremely thin, and it was appreciated left and right. When I came out and said I had a problem, my surroundings were Everyone nearby told me not to talk about it. Now it is completely different.”
Or as Lawrence noted: “Models are navigating their journey.”