Lexi Black: Perfectly Imperfect in the Modeling Industry

As a fashion design student, I am constantly surrounded by some of the most creative and motivated people I have ever met. These two words are so perfect when talking about sophomore design student, Lexi Black. 

I first got to know Lexi through class and as we became closer friends she told me something about her that I found very interesting. She is not only one of the most dedicated students I have ever met, but she is also a freelance model. This did not shock me as I know how strong and confident of a woman she is, but what did impress me was that she acknowledged that she knew she didn’t have the NYC high fashion model body type, and she simply didn’t care.

I was so interested in the idea of such a young woman stepping out and trying to break barriers that I had to know more about her thoughts on modeling. I asked her what first what led her to want to break into such an intense industry. She replied by telling me that she was always interested in fashion and design and that she started designing clothes at a very young age.

“I always watched the Victoria Secret Fashion Show and other large shows like it, which is what made me realize that I also wanted to be the one who got to show off the designer clothes.”

She kept up with big models such as Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner to keep her updated on the modeling world. Watching such highly praised girls has been thought of as toxic as it can be intimidating to young girls who are impressionable. The stereotype of a high fashion models’ body being the only accepted body for a model is a concept that was not accepted by Lexi. She didn’t care about the body types seen in Fashion Weeks across the country. She tells me that it was hard for her originally going into agencies while they told her that she wasn’t thin enough or that her lips weren’t big enough.

“It was hard because as a young girl, I already had a low self-esteem issue, so hearing these things didn’t help much, but I am a go-getter, and I knew I could do it if I just kept trying. So, I kept auditioning and auditioning and once I finally got it I felt like everything I had been through was finally worth it.”

These types of body image issues that many young girls today deal with are very dominant in today’s society. Just the very term 'model' is associated with high fashion models who tend to have a very thin and tall physique. I asked Lexi how she felt about this image that goes with the word. She replied with “I think that there is a fine line between high fashion and commercial modeling because high fashion is going to be a size zero, 6-foot-tall girl. I enjoy modeling in Columbus because there are designers that are looking for all shapes and sizes. So, if you are curvy like I am, and they have an outfit that will accentuate a woman's curves, it is perfect!” 

Lexi mentions that high fashion and commercial modeling are simply two different things. A lot of high fashion models are the ones with the body type that goes with the connotation, which is perfectly fine! Designers of high-end brands have a one-size-fits-all line when it comes to showcasing their work. But when you have designers who want to showcase their clothes on a curvy girl because for that garment, that body type is what will make it look its best, that is also a great way to go!

I asked Lexi what she has to say to young women who want to get into the modeling industry but do not think that they have the body for it, and her answer was inspiring. She says, “I think if you want to model, and it is something you are very interested in doing, anyone can.”

She continues by saying “You just need to find the right designer and the right show for you. Work with someone who is looking for a model with your body type and start there. My best advice is to keep auditioning over and over again. Casting agents will see you are serious and persistent, and they will admire you for that.”

She talks about how there are plenty of girls who will have different body types that will all be auditioning for the same job, but just because someone may appear to have a different physique than you, doesn’t mean that they are more qualified.

Lastly, I asked the question I had been dying to ask. When you model does it empower you? She immediately responded with a firm “Definitely." She says, “Modeling definitely empowers me. I am asked all the time if I am nervous walking in front of a bunch of people. I always answer with ‘yes, but only backstage. When I walk on the stage it is like I am owning it’." 

She describes the atmosphere backstage as crazy, but once you step foot on to the runway, it all goes away. She feels like she is owning it and that is like no other feeling. “I love the act of modeling and getting to go out there and show off these amazing garments that are so beautiful that amazing people have created. They are so full of awesome ideas, and I get to be the one that shows the world what this person has thought of.”

My final question to Lexi was “do you see yourself doing this in the future?” Again, I got a fast answer of yes. “I would like to do this as long as possible,” she says with a smile. “I think that everyone should be comfortable in their own body no matter what body type they have because everyone is beautiful and made in God’s image, and I think modeling can contribute to that.” 

With that, I concluded the questions, while being even more amazed by her. I am very proud of all of the positive things Lexi has to say to women all around and how amazing she feels while doing what she loves. It is truly inspiring, and I encourage everyone to follow their dreams, no matter what fears might be in the way.