Former Model Reveals The Darkside of The Modeling World. Is The Plus Size Modeling World Much Different?
Former model Carre Otis was a top model for many years and worked with top designers and magazines for nearly 10 years. Her beauty was undeniable, but at what cost? In this month’s Australian Vogue, Carre opens up about maintaining her figure by vomiting, using pills and starving herself. Magazine’s used photo shop to cover up her unhealthy hair and skin due to dehydration and lack of sleep.
After her recovery, Carre came back on the scene as a plus size model and worked for many designers including Marina Rinaldi and was scene in MODE Magazine. Which brings me to the plus-size modeling industry. Can the industry that was created to market to plus-size women also encourage and accept this type of behavior? Sadly, the answer is yes!
In my position models open up to me about their experiences all the time. The sad truth is that there is a lot of similarities between what Carre Otis experienced and what some models are still going through today in our industry.
Models are being asked to lose weight! I’m not talking about size 18, 20 or 22 models. I’m speaking about size 14 and 16 models! Why? Because the clients do not want to use models larger than a small 14 or 16. Models are working out excessively, starving themselves and taking b-12 shots hoping to lose weight and inches. Some are being asked to go under the knife to fix natural lines and wrinkles on the face and we have seen many plump up their lips and botox their face so much that they have been sent home by their clients. Smoking, drugs, over the counter and illegal drugs are all being used because of the pressure to be smaller in the plus-size industry. We talk about diversity, but the numbers are not going up, they are going down! Size 6 and 8 models are working for plus-size clients while the plus size customer is asking for images they can identify with.
Very popular model in the 90’s Megan Garcia wore a size 18
Now that “in-betweenie” models are taking the place of plus-size models, will we even have a plus size modeling industry to even talk about?
What can we do? We must support our plus-size models and encourage them, believe it or not they are just regular girls with feelings and reading nasty comments does not help them or their confidence. We also must impress upon the brands and designers (with our spending dollars and voices) to market to us with visibly plus-size models. If they want your plus-size dollars they should be representing you. Write letters, emails and post on their Facebook page and twitter accounts. The numbers do not lie, 65% of American women wear a size 14 or larger and there are millions more around the world. If we come together we could not only help these models from feeling this pressure, but also save the plus-size modeling industry from certain extinction.