With modelling, the one issue that always comes to mind is body image. Too skinny, too fat, too short, too tall. I have personally heard pretty much all of them, from all different sorts of people.
I would say my body is 'averagely thin'. My hips are 92 cm on average which is deemed too large by the 'big' agencies and some clients, but I have gotten them down to 88 before which is the 'ideal'. This is the iridescent issue with models and the first thing that happens when you meet a new agency - their measuring tape finds its way loosely around the largest part of your hips and usually resides at 90cm or above, if you are above the age of sixteen. I know it is a huge issue for girls in other agencies, and was something I went through for a long time with a previous agency, however luckily my current one have never explicitly told me to lose weight. I have lost weight myself, for one particular client, but it was because I was very motivated to do so and I did it by eating healthily and exercising.
Personally, I would much rather buy clothes off a girl who is more 'normal' sized - who has a body that will fill out jeans, no thigh gap and who is most importantly, happy. Happy because they aren't being hauled in to be measured every week, suffering under constant emotional pressure leading them to resort to unhealthy methods - happy because they are just allowed to be who they naturally are. As a 22 year old woman, I can honestly say that I love my body despite the fact that my thighs will always touch, that I cannot fit into size zero couture dresses and my metabolism is slowing down. It keeps me going, my bones have never broken, I have the power to walk and run and do anything I want to.
This is such an important issue, and one to remember when you see girls in magazines and wonder why despite all of the green juice you have drunk and meals skipped, you don't look like her. It isn't because you have a lack of self control. It's because the girl in the picture doesn't even look like that in reality - she has been photo-shopped to the extreme, and this is after having her hair and make up professionally done, and being professionally styled and photographed in manipulated lighting.
I think the biggest problem right now is that models are not being accepted at the 'medium' scale that the majority of us naturally gravitate to, There are catwalk models - scarily thin, bones protruding through papery skin - and there are plus size models, who are under as much pressure to stay within their measurement boundaries as the 'thinner' ones. If they are too thin they are deemed 'not plus size' and come under fire. Why can't they just be regular sized - a size 12 is not fat and should not be seen as plus size in any way whatsoever. The average size of a woman in the UK is size 16. Models are ideally a size 8, which is fine for slightly smaller girls, but combined with being six foot tall it can make you look slender erring on the line of ill, if it is not your natural body type. I am a size 8-10 depending on how much chocolate/running I have consumed that week, and I am proud of it. I don't want to be the model that is making others feel bad about themselves, for perpetrating a negative body image that is impossible to healthily maintain myself. I watch what I eat and exercise regularly because of my job, and because it makes me feel good - not to fit in with what someone else is telling me I should look like.
This post is about celebrating the ordinary size of women - whatever that is! If you are naturally skinny, then that is as good for you as being naturally bigger; you should love your body whatever shape it is. Exercise is brilliant, if you are doing it for reasons that make you feel good about yourself, whatever they are. Chocolate is better! Love your body because it is the thing keeping you alive, because it makes you different from everybody else, because you are you and no one can change that.
This is a really inspirational, interesting video by Dove - definitely worth a watch!