Ten years ago, you can only be a successful model if you fit the strict criteria of the “perfect person”. Imagine this: 6-foot-tall, size 8, clear skin, strong bone structure, Anglo-Saxon background, and stick-thin. If you didn’t fit the criteria, not only would you not be as popular, your chances of making it big in the modeling and fashion industry were slim.
How unfair is that?
Imagine your dream was to become a model. If you were born on the shorter side, you can’t become a model because of strict height requirements. You can’t change your height; you were born that way.
If you are naturally curvy, how can you satisfy the expectation of being stick-thin?
What if you don’t have clear skin, a pointed nose, or struggle to fit into a pair of size 8 jeans?
These ideal standards are creating an unhealthy perception of perfect beauty to the everyday person. With the rise in social media, we are constantly comparing ourselves to models with more than 100,000 followers, perfect hair, skin free from imperfections, slim body, perfect everything. Not only is that unhealthy, it creates an unrealistic perception of the “perfect person”. When you see someone that reflects the idea of perfection, you want to look just like them, but what if you can’t?
Body image is a huge issue in society. Body image is how you see yourself when you look in the mirror or when you picture yourself in your mind. It has driven people to starvation, eating disorders, depression, and even suicide, because they feel the need to conform to the perfect image portrayed by mass media.
The idea of the “perfect person” has negatively influenced people to do all sorts of things in order to fit into the criteria. Many people have stood in front of the mirror criticizing their features and wondering ‘why am I ugly?’ or ‘why am I not skinny enough?’. Some have even bought a pair of jeans that is smaller than their size so that they can exercise more or even starve themselves in order to fit into the jeans. As a result of the unrealistic perception of the “perfect person”, these harsh psychological and physical implications are increasingly becoming an issue in society which needs to be addressed.
There is no one standard of perfection. Everyone has individual beauty but the stigma of the “perfect person” is cemented into our minds as a result of mass media idolizing the perfect body image. These characteristics shouldn’t define a person’s individual beauty but, they do.
At least until now.
The idea of the “perfect person” is changing for the better.
In today’s modelling and fashion industry, there is more diversity amongst models. Flip open a page of a fashion magazine and you will find models of all different ethnicities, ages, and body types. If you watch a television ad for a fashion company, you’ll find plus size models and disabled models. Watch a runway and you will find Asian, Indian, and African models. Hop onto an online store and there will be models of different appearances showcasing the latest fashion trends.
It is evident that the modelling industry has opened their eyes to different types of beauty, and this is revolutionary. The industry is more accepting of uniqueness, individuality and racial diversity, which is a big step, not only for everyday people but also for models. Models are treated more humanely by not being pressured to go on strict diets, making them less likely to succumb to eating disorders, or making sure that their appearance is perfect all day, every day.
At Cornwall Models and Promotions, we are huge advocates of positive body image, equality, and diversity in the modelling industry. We are an equality-based agency that strives to celebrate human nature to make sure that every individual gets a fair chance to demonstrate their unique beauty.
In order to boost awareness of body image, equality, and diversity, we host multiple awareness and fundraising events a year in order to break down the barriers of the “perfect person” in the modelling and fashion industry.
Why do we do this?
We don’t have a vision of the “perfect person”. We believe that everyone is beautiful in their own way, which is why they should not be subjected to such unrealistic and unhealthy standards of perfection. Body image is an important concept in our agency and we believe that there are serious implications if the image of the “perfect person” continues to be idolised in mass media.
What are your thoughts about the “perfect person”? Do you think the modelling industry is changing for the better?