Diversity is the need of the hour in today’s world. As a result, people are on the lookout for individuals with diverse backgrounds in any industry, whether culture, gender, language or ethnicity. The modeling industry is not far behind. We see models coming from different countries and cultures to showcase their charms on the runway. Another factor that includes having diverse models is age. We see models as young as three months old, as old as 80, and every other number in between. But, nothing is as easy as a cakewalk for the young and old models. They face their own set of problems in the modeling industry. While some face harassment, others face negligence.
Representation of young models
When it comes to the modeling industry, designers usually prefer young models. Statistics show that the average age at which models start their careers is sixteen. The big models started their careers in their teens. Models who start their careers in their mid-twenties find it challenging to take off in this field. However, the industry has faced a lot of flack regarding how the media portrays young models. The fact that media represents girls below the age of 16 as adult women to appeal to the adult masses is questionable.
Many young models- especially girls- are overtly sexualized. This is because the outfits that they wear are not age-appropriate. It is a common belief that young models sell. In this way, the media objectifies young models. In addition to this, many have also been sexually harassed by designers and photographers when they are left alone. Dangerous situations like these may hurt the models physically and psychologically. Therefore, to tackle this problem, many companies have included stricter policies for treating their young models. For example, Vogue has a policy that restricts photographers from photographing minors under eighteen without supervision. However, if the model is the subject of the article, they should be dressed age-appropriately.
Measures like these will help young models feel comfortable in their skin. Being a model at a young age is a dream come true for many. With measures that guarantee their safety, it will not be long before they start truly enjoying their profession.
The plight of older models
However progressive it might be, the modeling industry still has the idea that young models are best suited for the job. Likewise, there are preconceived notions about older models not making it big in the industry. Many also believe that the careers of models come to an end when they reach the age of 30-35. However, this is far from the truth. Ageism in the modeling industry is far from gone, despite continuous efforts to remove it. However inclusive designers maybe, most of them tend to look for models who fit their image of a young and sleek model. As a result, they completely ignore models over 40, even if the older models are a great fit to model for the brand. The industry seems to be resistant in acknowledging the potential of older models.
Fortunately, debunking this myth is exactly what models over the age of 50 are doing right now. It is the 21st century- the world is all about inclusivity now. Therefore, designers are incorporating more and more older models to accomplish the goal of diversity in the modeling industry.
After all, age is just a number
Fashion is a universal form of expression. It has got nothing to do with age. People of all ages wear clothes, and they have their style that makes them unique. Therefore, in today’s day and age, it is beautiful to see the representation of models of all ages in the modeling industry. However, eliminating these issues and giving models a safe space to represent their style is a massive step towards inclusivity and diversity. Furthermore, a model’s age should be a hindrance in them showing their art and grace on the runway or in photoshoots.
To read more on the topic of fashion and modeling, head over to World Model Hunt India’s website.
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