New model standards: myth or reality?

Absurd reality

The fact that model standards of the modern fashion industry, promoting unhealthy thinness, continue to give birth to entire generations of girls with low self-esteem is no secret.

In France, for example, in April of this year, they took the first steps to solve this problem at the legislative level by prohibiting designers from engaging models with a body mass index below 18. A little later, in the summer, a new scandal erupted due to a snapshot of an advertising campaign Saint Laurent, which poses 18-year-old model Kiki Willems. The British authorities considered the girl anorexic thin, and therefore banned the fashion house from distributing advertising photos, at least in the open spaces of their country. I must say that the public supported such radical measures.

Saint Laurent Ad Campaign with Kiki Willems

Nevertheless, despite widespread criticism, most brands are in no hurry to release models on the podium whose body mass index exceeds that critical level of 18, trying to balance on the fine line of what is officially considered healthy and that is beyond the scope of this concept . Moreover, in some cases, designers are not satisfied with the appearance of the model, even with a small "underweight".

So, in August, a YouTube hit was a video where the Swedish model Agnes Hedengard complained that she did not go through most of the castings because she was considered too large to show any clothing. Moreover, the girl’s height is 180 cm, weight – 56.7 kg, and body mass index – 17.5. “They do not give me a job, because in the industry they consider me too large. They think I have a big butt and my hips are too wide. By model standards, you should not look like this. You must be thinner, ”the girl says indignantly, showing off her body in a swimsuit, where you can see, of course, that blaming her for being overweight is simply absurd.


Agnes Hedengard

What dreams come to

The fact that modern fashion standards are too divorced from reality is also proved by the models themselves. They can keep their “ideal weight” in adolescence (the abundance of girls 15-16 years old, even on the Ukrainian podium, is another proof of this), but after 20 years, they poor people have to torture themselves with diets and workouts to save their body in the right settings and stay in demand in the business.

How exactly they do recently told fitness journalist Poppy Cross, who took part in an unusual experiment – for four months she was training for the annual Victоria’s Secret show along with its famous “angels”. About what these four months were, Poppy described in detail on her blog.

Despite the fact that models with a slightly more appetizing shape are usually chosen for the linen segment than for other shows, the requirements for them are put forward rather stringent. So, in order to claim a place in the ranks of seductresses from Victоria’s Secret, girls must be no less than 175 cm tall, with a waist no more than 61 cm, and the total percentage of body fat should not exceed 18%. And, of course, these figures are pushing for health-controversial actions. After all, the percentage of fat in a healthy, slim and even fit woman varies in the range of 21-24%. Only professional athletes have a smaller one – from 14 to 20%. Usually, such a low percentage of fat is required for athletes only during the competition period, and they achieve its so-called “drying” of the body – a set of special exercises and a calorie deficit in food that help to “burn” the fat layer and focus on muscle mass – the shape of the body. But a low percentage of body fat is unnatural and therefore dangerous to health. Those girls who try to keep him constantly, risk, among other health problems, to find hormonal failure and even infertility.

To achieve a wow effect, VS models do strength training four times a week under the supervision of a trainer, and four more times a week, girls practice at home, alternating between interval sprints, Pilates, ballet or boxing. According to Cross, the classes were held on an empty stomach, which was not difficult – after all, the nutritionist VS also cut the diet by eliminating any carbohydrates, even fruits, and focusing on fats and proteins, as well as vitamin supplements and protein shakes.

New generation of models

Despite the severe restrictions on the parameters of models that have been entrenched in the industry over the past few decades, the fashion seems to be ready to loosen its grip a bit and expand its boundaries for a wider range.

This is evidenced by the new type of models, which over the past two seasons has reached the peak of popularity – girls next door, the bright representatives of which are Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid. The audience warmly received their pretty faces precisely because they seemed incredibly familiar, like neighbors or classmates – in general, ordinary earthly girls, and not those celestial women of the 90s who, according to the legendary Linda Evangelists, "did not get out of bed for less than $ 10,000 a day. "

But the most remarkable thing about girls next door is that not only the faces of the models, but also the figures become easier. Although the girls remain slim, they no longer worship the cult of “heroin chic” from the time of Kate Moss.

But here is the paradox: as soon as hints of normal parameters appeared in the fashion world, embodying a healthy mind in a healthy body, the audience turned out to be unprepared for them, who for years criticized fashion for the love of excessive thinness.

At the end of the last world fashion weeks, where Gigi Hadid took part in ten fashion shows, part of her six millionth army of Instagram subscribers delivered the verdict to the girl: “Large for the catwalk!”. To which Gigi answered in an open letter, where she agrees that she is different from many of her colleagues and does not consider herself better than them. However, she is proud of her forms and worked hard to get the support of those designers who are not embarrassed by her butt and chest.

Gigi Hadid

It is hoped that this trend will not end only on Gigi Hadid and a pair of her friends. Today, fashion is no longer the privilege of the chosen and the rich. Today it is successful where masses are tearing – what record lines at H&M say at the start of sales of the Balmain collection there, which, by the way, were the same Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner. Therefore, today is the time to change model standards, get away from any canons and learn to love your appearance. What do you think?

Tags: Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Fashion, Models, Model Standards

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