In this week’s blog, I am going to discuss my experiences of working in the modelling industry and the pressures surrounding this on a day to day basis. I started modelling when I was 18 years old when I was spotted at university and asked to do a few shoots here and there which I really enjoyed. It was never something serious and I never expected it to be a career or even get paid for it! Consequently, 10 years later I am still in the industry. I have won multiple competitions including Miss British Isles Elegance and Top Model UK. I have been asked to appear in several commercials as well as fashion shoots to advertise clothing brands and new products. As an outsider it sounds amazing, girly and glamorous what is there not to like…
From my experiences, the modelling industry has got a lot better in recent years especially with the recent changes of ensuring that size zero models are banned and to reduce the amount of photo shopping that is done on images in magazines and in the news. But, in my opinion it doesn’t matter how much photo shopping is done the individual will still see the flawless image of perfection and that is the ultimate goal especially for young girls.
I will never forget my agent saying to me to, ‘keep thin’ for the next cat walk that had been prearranged for a few months time. As many of my friends and family know, I work extremely hard throughout the whole year to maintain a fit and healthy physique. I am very sporty and aim to eat all the right foods and for someone to say that comment was a massive knock. If you are a regular reader of my blogs you will know that I previously wrote a blog on my addiction to exercise and I am sure you can imagine the impact that comment had on my attitude to exercise and then the desire to increase that level of physical activity to ensure I was on target even more.
In reality, behind the scenes it is very disturbing with cases of eating disorders, abuse and drugs which is more common than the fashion industry cares to admit. When these facts do hit the headlines, they are often ignored. I do like fashion but I would prefer it it did not come at the expense of people’s health and well being. Many of the photo shoots that I have been to are in apartment blocks instead of a glamorous studio. I guess the actual experience is not that great but the pride of saying, I’m a model’ is still something that gives me butterflies. I truly don’t believe the modelling industry will change much, but it is very important that people are aware of what they are getting themselves into before they start on the modelling journey.
There is a constant pressure from agent’s for you to be your best at all times and if you are having a ‘no make up day’ I feel that I am being judged for not taking pride in my appearance. But the fact is, modelling is definitely a sideline which I am not ready to give up just yet but I know it is important to stay strong and to believe in myself and to not let other peoples thoughts get me down. My name is Kate and I am a model.
By Kate Ball