There is a model who keeps popping up in my NewsFeed. An insanely beautiful, ridiculously hot model. You know how they say ‘she has legs for days’? Her legs reach until about August 2017. You know how they say ‘glowing skin’? Her skin is the surface of the sun. She’s so smoking hot she makes me leer, wishfully, wistfully, blissfully, kissfully… and I’m a heterosexual female. But the thing is, I will never, ever buy the clothes that she is modelling, because I’m fully aware that I will try that blue lace skirt with her six-foot brown pins in mind, and then be bitterly disappointed with the reality.
Before you bang on about me fishing for compliments, I’m not getting out the hook’n’reel. This skin suits me just fine, I’m quite happy in it. It’s just a little problem I have with models, especially the online-fashion variety. They are all so damn good-looking that I don’t trust that the clothes are actually flattering.
|The girl I've been weirdly perving on, and some outfits I will never buy lest she be wearing them at the same time.|
Now, modelling is hard bloody work and requires a lot more skill than some would think. I know this because I had an 0.25 second appearance in a Target ad in a group of ‘models’ (I only use the quotation marks for myself, the others girls were actually experienced models) showing the ‘boyfriend’ look. I learned two things in the two wonderful days of shooting – firstly, I am what is considered to be ‘plus-size’. Good to know. I thought I was size 12, but I guess not. (Is there a minus-size? Or is it a score, like A+?? It’s stoopid.) Secondly, modelling is not a matter of being good-looking. At one point, it was my turn to just playfully model the clothes on film. I had two cameras, thirty crew members, a bunch of professional models and Gok Wan staring at me. I’d had hours of hair and make-up and spray tans and manicures, so I had reached my absolute peak and was looking as good as I ever will. I’d practiced my Miranda Kerr in my bedroom mirror. My inner model was ready. The director called ‘Action!”…. and I turned into Jan Brady, awkwardly swinging my hips and pouting, and occasionally stumbling and getting hair stuck in my lip gloss. The other models had their turns and absolutely nailed it, looking effortlessly sexy and interesting. Needless to say, my shots were not chosen for the final edit.
(In case below YouTube link doesn't come up... http://youtu.be/I3u-xj9eGZQ)
Anyway, my point is – modelling is definitely a skill (that I DO NOT have). Anyone who works as a model deserves respect, and their flawless skin must be thick as hell with all the criticism they’d have to put up with. The top models demonstrate what clothing brands look like at their absolute maximum, and that’s important for consumerism and marketing and all kinds of things.
But I’d like to request a new, sub-brand of modelling. Mediocre Modelling. Someone with no experience, with a less-than-perfect face and a body that’s seen better days, to chuck on the clothes that I’m thinking of ordering and take a shit mirror selfie. Then I’ll be provided with some information I can actually use – I can see how the clothes would look at their maximum potential on a super hot model, and I can see how they’d look on an Average Josephine. Because if the dress STILL looks alright, still covers her cellulite and doesn’t give her a muffin top or bring out the grey bags under her eyes, then I’ll buy it. I’ll buy it with confidence, knowing that I might even look better than the Mediocre Model. It’ll be like admiring the outfit on Marcia Brady, and then seeing how it looks on ol’ Jan. If Jan looks hot too, you’re safe.
I could start an agency and get specific. Someone can email me saying “I want to see how this dress looks on someone with short legs, or wide hips, or with reallllly pale skin”, and BOOM*. I will call one of my many mediocre models and toss them into the questionable outfit, revealing to the client the real potential of the clothing, underwhelming as it may be. I myself would’ve been saved $60 on a green silk wrap dress that looked phenomenal on the slim, olive-brown Italian goddess ASOS model, but makes me look malnourished in complexion, yet overfed in silhouette.
I don’t want to put models out of business. And I appreciate that ‘plus-size’ (there’s that stupid word again) models are getting more utilized. I just think it’d be a smart move if they chucked in someone a bit average to make more women (and by ‘more women’… I mean ME) feel confident that they could also wear those clothes. How ’bout you, Victoria’s Secret? Love your parade, but usually I’m too busy admiring the models abs and tans to actually notice your fancy designs. Chuck in just one woman with cankles or man-ish shoulders or a wee bit of post-baby flab, and if SHE looks and feels good, then we know Victoria has a Secret that is actually worth paying for.
|What's missing from this leggy line-up? A Mediocre Model.|
Sometimes my Mum says “She’s so pretty, she’d look good in a brown paper bag”. (I’d actually quite enjoy testing that theory… ) My idea for Mediocre Modelling is sort of the opposite. “That brown paper bag is so pretty, it’d make anyone look good”. So, Hello Molly, Victoria's Secret and other brands, keep up the great work with the stunning models, they deserve their careers. But if you want me or anyone from my potential agency to come and do some mediocre, Jan Brady-inspired, tan-free and cellulite-full modelling, you might get more customers buying clothes, and less customers just stopping to stare at the models’ legs.
…And if you see that Hello Molly babe of a model, give her my number. No one will love her like I do.
*Please note that I am NOT saying that anyone with short legs, wide hips or realllly pale skin is, in any way, mediocre. My warm and friendly modelling company** is more about representing a cross-section of women (perhaps I should call it ‘Median Modelling’ instead?) than distinguishing between what is/isn’t attractive. Hugs for all.
**I do not have a modelling company, and probably never will. I’m far too lazy to actually implement this momentous idea. But if anyone is interested, feel free to use this idea and send me a Mars Bar and a size 12 blue lace skirt as payment.
By Lucy Gransbury. Follow her on Twitter @LucyGransbury. Or follow her in real life. She is probably staring at some legs.