The kind of life that others imagine, a fashion model living would be a world filled with beautiful things and beautiful people. You imagine that they get to travel the world, wearing the latest fashions, rubbing elbows with the powerful and making a lot of money for just simply being pretty. It is a profession that is hard to imagine at having a dark side – but it does. It can be dangerous – especially with these many youths that begin their career at such a young age. When the glamour is lifted away, the standard that this industry has put on their models is most often outrageous and downright scary. It is not the lucrative, glamorous career that is often times imagined by the young girls hoping to break into the fashion industry.
Back in February 2012 a Model Alliance was formed as it was becoming increasingly aware at the abuse and dangers that many of these models are faced with when going on jobs and/or looking to get hired. Models started to speak out to the surprisingly harsh work conditions that they were being faced. These stories showed the harsh reality that these models face.
A harsh reality is the unreachable standards that the industry has placed on models. Many times models start out in an age that is so young their body has not yet developed into the curves that women are expected to have. Whether it is the controversial standard set by society or by the industry itself, an agencies expectation is that although these girls will grow into their womanly bodies they are expected to still have the waist size of a little girl- a ridiculous standard for models. Stories of withholding paychecks that they have already earned until pounds or inches are lost is dangerous to a girl’s physical and mental health. This has led to extreme dieting and eating disorders such as anorexia among these young women.
There is a need to bring an organization together to protect these models rights. The Model Alliance is a non-profit labor group for models that work in the American Industry to help ensure that they are getting the same rights and protections that the rest of the U.S. workforce is entitled to. With the help of a united front within the model community and designers willing to set different standards, the fashion industry is hopefully on its way to protecting the face of their industry rather than exploiting them.