Getting discovered--as a model, as a market

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Posted by HSG on July 25, 2004 at 15:19:18:

In Reply to: Re: Lane Bryant's five finalists posted by M. Lopez on July 22, 2004 at 23:16:39:

The model with the long hair does appear to be truly gorgeous--at least in this photograph--and is understandably an early favourite. And kudos to the stylist for giving her a chance to show off her beautiful arms. It would be nice to see her win the grand prize, especially since her look is very different from that of the other Ford girls, and her presence would give that board some variety. More often than not, however, Ford opts for girls with harsher facial features, so she may be passed over. And that would be a shame, because if her other images are equally prepossessing, she would do very well as a candidate on our own survey page.

At any rate, let's hope that some agency signs her, even if Ford does not. For now, we will simply have to wait for Lane Bryant to update its site to see more images of the finalists. In the meantime, is worth a visit to see a number of exemplary new images by Crystal Renn--particularly this lovely fall cover:

The maple leaves are a nice touch, and Crystal's expression is gentle and wistful.

Further to the topic of model searches, we still find it regrettable that these contests give so many women the false hope of realizing careers as plus-size models. But one can also look at these competitions in a more positive way, because they undoubtedly help many full-figured women appraise themselves more favourably. The very idea of a "plus-size model search" helps women realize that beauty and thinness are not synonymous, because while models are generally acknowledged to be beautiful, plus-size models are not required to be thin. Ergo, whether they win or not, contestants still come away with the understanding that it is possible to be full-figured and beautiful.

And that is the first step towards size celebration.

Model searches are also beneficial from a purely strategic point of view (i.e., strategic in the sense of, "devising strategies to make the media more size-positive"). One of the excuses that advertisers offer to explain their use of underweight models is that their market research tells them that thin women spend considerably more on cosmetics and clothing than full-figured women. But if more plus-size women take an interest in the tools of the model's trade (cosmetics, hairstyling, fashion, etc.)--and therefore, become a more attractive market--then advertisers will seek to woo this market by producing aspirational images precisely with curvaceous customers in mind. Once advertisers realize that the size-16 "wannabe models" are just as viable a market as the size-2 "wannabe models," then they will begin courting this market with curve-friendly images--and will end up contributing to size celebration despite themselves.

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