From a model backstage: Why we all need to stop comparing ourselves to perfection on the TV screen

Sitting backstage at L.A. fashionweek, a man with purple hair held a brush to my face. Waving it around like a magic wand, he poked and proded relentlessly. This magic spell took Two and half hours to cast. He stood between myself and the mirror against the wall, so i couldn't see the final result of his magic. "Are you ready?!" He excitedly squealed. I smiled, nodding my head. As he stepped out of the way, my jaw dropped. It was not myself in that mirror. I literally looked like a different woman all together. This man was a wizard... I stood up to see how the other wizard's spellcasting was coming along. All the girls who showed up barefaced, tired, and average that I sat with before, were now glowing and beautiful seductresses.

Okay, so maybe these people are not Harry Potter, Harmoine, and Ron. Maybe they are just makeup artists.

And perhaps when I say that these women are not really supermodels, except for the five seconds that they run down the runway, are average human beings like you and I, you should take my word.

I have been a model for a long time. I've seen every kind of societal standard for 'beautiful' women under the sun, live and in person, and I promise you that a models job is not given to her because she is perfectly gorgeous all the time. Models are not airbrushed walking perfection, in real everyday life. Models are chosen on how well they portray that illusion.

From a model backstage: Why we all need to stop comparing ourselves to perfection on the TV screen

All models are illusionists.

Companies know that these models aren't ariving to a shoot or a fashion show perfect in every single way. That is why when I, or any model, shows up for a job a company has hired a model for, they have a whole team of people. My smoke and mirrors if you'd like to say, waiting for me. A hair person, a makeup person, a camera person, a lighting person, a person for wardrobe, and the list goes on.

When you look at an image of a beautiful woman, it instills a jealous feeling. I know this, because I also know that exact reaction we all have, is the goal of that illusionist on the billboard, or the television. It is their job to make you feel insecure, so that you buy a product to improve your appearance which never needed improving in the first place. Its a way to cut down your self esteem in order to get to your wallet. And it works alarmingly well in our society.

To all of you lovely ladies, you are exactly that. Lovely. Believe me when I say it. No matter what special effects and photoshop try to say, your exactly perfect as you are. Now don't get me wrong when I say that models aren't airbrushed beautiful. Every woman is beautiful, they are just not perfect like they are portrayed by their job. And again. Modeling is a job, because it makes money for big companies. It is cruel to play on womens insecurities, but it is a reality that our world is facing because it works, because it pays off. But think about this for a moment. Let's pretend that beauty was no longer profitable, and that women wised up and said "I'm beautiful in my own skin, I do not need makeup or these clothes or those glasses." Etc. Those standards and women on the billboards and TV would be a lost investment. And that form of advertising would dissappear, because there would be no reason to pay a hair person, a makeup person, a wardrobe person, or a model to create those illusions. The key to changing our societies standards of beauty is not by waiting for the media to change what they put out, it is for women in society to learn to be more comfortable in their skin, and be careful where they put their paychecks. Because we control the media, they don't control us. Things that dont sell, don't exist for long.

Learn to stop investing in your looks, because no matter what, they won't last forever. We all get old, and with that we get farther from achieving that ridiculously high beauty 'standard'. Being older doesn't mean you aren't beautiful, it just means that you are farther from the false portrayal of beauty that the media sells to you. Many women who used to put high investments in their looks to achieve those standards when they are young, are inevitably let down in the future when their looks start to go anyway, even with all that work and money. And trust me, when you are feeling your lowest, the media will be there to remind you of how low you feel, and sell you something.

Invest your money in a hobby, in supplies for a project, anything that stimulates your mind and develops your character or your skills. Your oen skills and interests will last you forever, they will make you smile time and time again, and you can actually feel proud, and happy with yourself. They will never let you down. Invest wisely ladies. And be happy with who you are.


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What Guys Said 11

  • I saw a Ted talk from a professional model that talked about this, explaining how they're just normal people with insecurities just like you and me, but they have been photoshopped or put on a lot of makeup to create that illusion, just like you said.
    She felt sorry for those girls who are being picked on because they don't look like models, when even the models themselves don't look in their day to day life like how they look when they're modeling.

    Great take! I recommend people that liked this take to look for the video I'm talking about (I'm on my phone and can't post it).

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  • It is a problem with the media not society. The media continuously lies to the public about what the models and actors actually look like. The magazines are airbrushed like crazy and many people don't know what the person actually looks like. Even with makeup in the TV/movies and magazines these women aren't as beautiful as they are in real life because of the digital touch-ups.
    I think the best thing those companies could do would be to show the before and after photos so that people can see what the person looks like before the impossible airbrush effect.

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  • I'll probably get hated on for this, but I've seen quite a few modelling shows and documentaries so hopefully this opinion counts for something.

    I enjoyed this Take, as it comes from someone on the inside with firsthand experience. But the current popular attitude it reflects - that all women are beautiful and that modelling is 99% makeup and Photoshop - seems designed more to make people feel better than to be factual. This idea that beauty is all fake, comes from technology, and therefore just about anyone could be a model isn't true. If you see Christy Turlington or Karlie Kloss out on the street in paparazzi photos, you see there's a reason they are supermodels. Even without makeup, they outshine most mere mortals. There's a reason modelling scouts pick certain girls and not others. A supermodel is that 1-in-a-billion, rare genetic oddity whose features happened to combine in a fantastic way, something impossible to achieve artificially. Plus, anyone who's watched America's Next Top Model knows it takes some other magical qualities - a certain presence, a unique gaze, a skill in moving and posing - to create a great photo. Some people have beauty but not these other talents and end up failing.

    Not every woman is beautiful. Nor every guy. Some are ugly both inside and out. Some are ugly on the outside but have an inner beauty that shines through. And many have an outer beauty that masks their inner ugliness. People are people. Facial beauty is scientifically quantifiable. No one would claim all people are athletic or all people are intelligent. Likewise not everyone looks that good. The fashion industry is all visual. Just as in radio they pick those with the best voices, in fashion they select the best looking as that's what counts in that industry. It is what it is.

    Comparing yourself to supermodels is like comparing yourself to an Olympian. You're sure to fall short unless you're in the top 1% of humanity. Like the article says, be happy with who you are.

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  • The picture you posted is it half a face or a full face? No answer to that.

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  • This is worthless. In the face of human mating competition it's meaningless.

    What a person "knows" has little effect on what a person "feels" and subsequently what a person "does".

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  • Good take. Hopefully a lot of women will realize this and stop asking questions on here.

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  • Modeling is a crappy industry to get into. You see some good looking person down the runway, but after that they're a nomadic, chain-smoking, bulimic cocaine user.

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    • Haha - yes.

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    • what is the appeal? my sister was a model for maybe 4 years.. she hated it and all of her friends. you won't make it unless you have a connection, or if you happen to be a distant relative of ernest hemingway lol

    • all of her friends did too***

  • Hmmm... Nothing too new or interesting. Feels like a lot of Takes these days are (very) similar and are about (roughly) the same things.

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  • I understand what you're saying but I always see models--and, though, portfolios may but photoshopped, these models are still extremely good looking and in excellent shape.

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  • Agreed for the most part so many of my exes were SO insecure about their looks, and refused to leave the house without a ton of makeup, even thought I thought they looked JUST as beautiful without it.

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  • Good take. I was going to do one similar. When I worked for a certain German fashion company at their Amsterdam location (won't mention any names but it rhymes with Sexx), It was easy to regard the dolling up that takes place. It usually takes a half hour for some garner rep to finish all of the tedious work. AND I'M A GUY. And afterwards, anything makeup can't hit is edited out.

    NOW - is it THAT photoshopped and fake? No, my weight, height and facial structure is all there. It just looks like me on my absolute best day in the entire world ever. Plus the style of clothes one is dressed in are all selected by certain product managers of certain store locations to display a certain taste that is not my own. The pictures therein are not of me, but of the company.

    there's no reason to compare yourself to something that is designed to be perfect.

    Great take.

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    • see my comments above, and I agree - it's an image. Interesting to hear it from both female and male model perspectives.

      Also, I laughed at the "on my absolute best day in the entire world ever" line lol

What Girls Said 10

  • Its because the media has made it look like that is the social standard of beauty. And people should aim to be like that

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  • This is so true! When I was 10 my parents put me in modeling school. Then I got an agent and started working as a professional model. I thought it was cool at first, and everyone seemed to treat me better once they found out I was a model. But then I got to see the dark side of the industry. Not only do we as models make other women feel insecure with the way we are made to look, but we ourselves are also made to feel insecure. I constantly saw girls who would starve themselves to get more jobs. They always thought they had to be the thinnest and the prettiest to compete with all the other models out there. It is after all a very competitive business.

    I remember once, when I was 11 years old 5'5 and weighed less than 100 pounds, my runway coach told me that I had to lose some weight. She said that although I was thin, when I walked my tummy would bulge out a bit and make me look fat. She said that no one would give me a job looking like that. That really stuck with me. I saw so many girls suffering just to try to get jobs. And it got me too. I developed a very severe eating disorder. I spent most of my life in hospitals and I was told by my doctor that my heart rate had gotten so low from starvation that my heart would just stop in my sleep at anytime and I would never wake up.

    This is reality. Both models and the general public are being shoved bullshit down their throats. We are all beautiful and no one should ever let the media make them feel otherwise.

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  • OMG! Please take this picture down. It's really messing with my eyes.

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  • BRILLIANT MYTAKE! BRAVO AND THANK YOU!

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  • Best take I've read

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  • I agree. Nice take.

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  • Hahah typical ugly girls say this to make them feel better about themselves. So, so so so typical ugly girls.. jesus christ. Look, models M-U-S-T be good looking and that's the main reason why they go to castings without ANY makeup on.
    xage.ru/.../...-secret-models-without-makeup_7.jpg
    http://i.imgur.com/HP0mz.jpg
    And obviously with makeup on they look better, but they must have the basic beauty which the majority of girls don't have. Get over it.

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    • The fact that you're saying this and you're under 18 depresses me. You've been brainwashed by society child.

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    • Hahah ''they aren't picked because their beautiful, but for their high cheekbones'' Really, so if you put a ugly girl but she has high cheekbones, she's going to look like a model and people are going to buy their products? ha-ha make me laugh. You have to be beautiful enough so people will buy the things that you wear on the magazine weather it's makeup, clothes etc.

    • Nah I'm not braniwashed, search models without makeup and they look better than 90% of your average girl full dressed and caked with makeup.

  • "Things that dont sell, don't exist for long."

    whoa.

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    • Also - it's funny, I know at least one male model, possibly two (not sure if he ended up doing it), and all I can see is the loud jock from high school PE.

    • Not making fun of models - I just think it's interesting because I know the person behind the photograph and it really is an image - he's good looking in real life but not like that, at least from what I recall.

    • Jocks are cute and all.. some are smart and others just act dumb lol.

  • I laughed when you said every women is lovely

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    • We are lovely... these days we look up to those girls on TV.. but we are beautiful in our own way..

    • Lol not really

    • In our own way. Girls who (supposedly) aren't as attractive could become prettier if they styled themselves differently and were happier and healthier

  • I agree. Been there, done that. Model world is hard and cruel, but most of all, fake.

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    • See a real model explained And you have to eat at a certain time and the makeup could make your skin look older faster.. please correct me if I'm wrong.. lol

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