Mental Health in the Fashion World

The modeling industry has been criticized for its unrealistic standards of beauty and the ideal body type. We see tall, thin models strutting down the catwalk with effortless style and think, “they have it all” or “they have the perfect life.” Recently I came across a video posted to Vogue's Youtube channel that discussed mental health in the fashion world. It surprised me because these A-list models were sharing the harsh truth about the fashion world, but they were doing it in such an empowering manner that I had to keep listening. 

Rihanna on Vogue magazine Photo by Charissie Kenion from Unsplash When I thought of the modeling industry, I did see fashion models as perfect. I saw them as people who were living their best life and they didn’t really have worries. How can their problems be like ours? They make millions of dollars from walking across a stage or posing for pictures. But that wasn’t a fair judgment, because, like us, they are human too. They are being blasted with unrealistic body imagery and being told that their feelings and their words do not matter. 

Just to give you an idea as to how raw and unscripted this interview was, Nigerian model Adesuwa Aighewi began with “As a model, you have to literally have this separation of yourself where you don’t even belong to you anymore. What it does to your brain is so messed up.” The models repeatedly used the word “disposable” as an identifier for themselves. They explained how in the fashion world, it is like an hourglass that is draining the sand each second. They are constantly hit with this fear of being replaced and the term “five-year modeling career” becomes closer each show they walk. Kaia Gerber wrapped up the video by saying, “It is okay to not be okay sometimes. It is okay to be sad. It is okay to have bad days. But it is not okay to let someone change who you are.” 

You were made to be different. You were made to be unique. The body standards today that we have set for women, men, and non-binary individuals are quite ridiculous and are not realistic. Even the model industry has slowly come to the conclusion that there needs to be more equal body representation in the media. Just know, you are beautiful and you were made to stand out.