Pity the Models of Fashion Week
Their 'precarious' jobs aren't so 'glamorous' out of the spotlight, writes Ashley Mears
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Sep 15, 2011 1:41 PM CDT
The Proenza Schouler Spring 2012 collection is modeled Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2011 during Fashion Week in New York.   (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

(Newser) – To most of us, Fashion Week is all glitz and glam—but behind the scenes, modeling is a “grueling” job, writes model-turned-professor Ashley Mears. It’s freelance work, so there are no benefits, and models “never know when their next job is coming.” It’s also grossly unfair: While some models may make thousands for a single show, others aren’t paid a dime to walk the same catwalk, Mears notes in the New York Times.

Some modeling jobs “recall indentured servitude,” with models “in debt to their agencies for visa expenses, plane tickets, apartment rentals” and more. On top of that are the “unhealthy expectations” surrounding image; at 19, Mears writes, she was advised “to tell casting agents I was 18.” Some would argue that it’s an easy job, but “confronted with the huge successes of modeling’s winner-take-all market, most people miss the mass of losers.” A new nonprofit group is organizing to give models a unified voice, and “we shouldn’t miss the opportunity to change the terms of fashion’s labor.” Click through for the full article.

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Showing 3 of 16 comments
Sep 15, 2011 6:54 PM CDT
Wait, is someone forcing the models into their jobs? No? Then why should I pity an idiot who's only job skill is looking good in anything she wears? If you wanna pity someone, pity the waitresses of the world who work for tips, and on average, work harder than any model ever does.
Sep 15, 2011 3:35 PM CDT
You think that's hard..... Try being in a store and watch as your wife is modeling dresses for you and asking the classic line "Honey does this dress make me look fat?".......now that's hard!!!
Sep 15, 2011 2:43 PM CDT
No one is making them be there. It's their dream to be a walking mannequin, not ours. They're adults. They made their own choice. There are other options out there.