Photograph by Simon Deiner/ Copyright owned by Abigail Keats (Designer)/ via Wikimedia Commons

We all know that runway modeling creates unnecessary standards of perfection for girls to meet. Girls everywhere are harmfully influenced by this fabricated industry that causes false perceptions of reality to be installed in girls’ heads — which was proven after a study showed that 69% of girls in grades 5-12 felt that magazine pictures influenced their own thoughts about themselves. However, a frequently unstated problem is the effects of this industry on its own participates: the models.          

The cycle doesn’t end with the general public. The pressure put on runway models to maintain the proper image is a whole other issue in and of itself. Remember that little girl who told you she wanted to be a model? I would tell her to think again. The “glamourous” life is riddled with deceit and misery. Victoria’s Secret models go on liquid diets 9 days before important shows, and they work out twice a day; 12 hours before a show, they stop drinking entirely. This diet leads to nothing but irritability and crankiness. The shocking — or maybe not so shocking — thing is that a majority of models are underweight, many even meeting the criteria for anorexia. If more body types were “acceptable,” these women wouldn’t feel the need to do this to themselves; however, runway modeling currently only asks for those who are tall and slender.

It’s a shame that these girls who are supposed to be represented to society as “the most beautiful women in the world” don’t even feel beautiful themselves, causing them to resort to these crazy, unhealthy methods of trying to maintain their model status. This is sickening, not amazing. British models Lucy Clark and Tamara Czartoryski both said that at fashion events, they’ve witnessed cocaine being brought around on silver platters.

Some modeling agencies suggest to their girls to try cocaine, and hundreds of them succumb to it. Cocaine suppresses the appetite and increases the functioning of the central nervous system so these models can work out at higher intensities for longer periods of time. The fact that addiction is more appealing to these girls than the possibility of judgment or humiliation is outrageous. The mental and physical effects that come with cocaine use are lifelong. These girls are digging themselves a hole of misery out of desperation to meet someone else’s standard of “beautiful.”

Model Arisce Wanzer, in a letter to Kendall Jenner, revealed the harsh realities of being a runway model. She talked about living in an apartment with a bunch of girls who all want the same thing: to walk in a fashion week show. These girls make very little money at first, have to work out whenever they’re not going on a casting call, and are almost always exhausted. To make matters worse, very few of them actually reach an extreme amount of success in the industry.

The pressures shouldn’t be this high. The job of modeling shouldn’t require such a physically and mentally detrimental upkeep. No one should have to practically kill themselves to match some façade. If the industry included more body types, the stress and pressures would drop instantly. A change in this industry could be a change in our society.

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