MODEL PERSPECTIVE Modelling Under Fire By Insta Account Exposing Truth About Size Requirements
Social media is an interesting place at the best of times, and it just got a whole lot more interesting in the modelling Instagram community. Shit Model Management, a.k.a. @shitmodelmgmt, is an Instagram account run by a “model exposing the truth” according to the account’s bio.
Usually the account posts modelling related memes and general “funny stuff” that models tend to experience, particularly about agencies and relatable minutiae of the industry. But recently, the Insta account has brought a few issues to light which are definitely worth discussing.
Most recently the issue of the health and wellbeing of models has become a focus, and although models’ physical health has been an ongoing topic throughout past years, it seems like a lot of the concerns have been heeded by the industry only at surface level. It seems that concerns about models’ health and wellbeing size-wise has been swept under a glamorous rug, with much of the dangerous thinking and expectations being forced underground for fear of (well-deserved) retribution should the shocking expectations come to public attention.
Shit Model Management has recently initiated a petition titled “Change Fashion’s Shitty Standards”, which more than 16,000 people have signed at the time of writing. According to the petition details, out of a poll of 4,481 of the Instagram account’s followers “65% said that they had an eating disorder as a direct result of modeling expectations”, and “84% said that at their body’s natural and healthy weight, they have been told that it is too big and they must lose weight in order to work.“
The petition details go on to say that the required measurements for a high fashion model are 32” bust, 24” waist, 34” hip, with height ranging from 5’9” to 6’0”. For a person of this physical stature with such small measurements, they would weigh 110 pounds, or roughly 50kg. Worryingly, a major reason that these measurements are considered the “norm” for modelling is “because using less fabric for the sample collections cuts costs for designers“. Such measurements, and especially the reason for those measurements, is neither a healthy nor humane expectation to place on models in order to work.
The petition proposes a new standard of sample sizes, aiming to pressure the industry to lift the sample size from a 0-4 to a 6-8. It’s a self-styled “model uprising” in the hopes of preventing other models, colleagues, and friends from developing eating disorders which can cause infertility, organ failure, heart attacks, and death.
From a modelling perspective, it’s heartening to see the way that other models and people throughout the fashion industry are pulling together online in order to protect those who dedicate a major part of their lives to bringing fashion to life. An armada of models from all over the world, with varying experience and degrees of notoriety, are coming together in an assertive rejection of the horrific expectations and inhumane treatment they face, while also rejecting the stereotypical competition and cattiness that is generally thought to define the modelling industry. It’s an empowering sign that models aren’t just mannequins, that their voice is important, and that they should be considered as ambassadors for and a direct representation of the values of the fashion industry.
While the size, weight, and height standards are definitely some of the more disturbing aspects of the industry, it’s not all doom and gloom. Shit Model Management’s original Instagram post advertising the petition now has over 50,000 likes, which is a hopeful glimmer that perhaps people out there are listening after all.
You can also sign Shit Model Management’s petition here.
What do you think? Should the modelling industry change the sample size standard? Leave your thoughts below.
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