Models Talk: Racism, Abuse and Feeling Old at 25

Models Talk: Racism, Abuse and Feeling Old at 25


If you are a young, sexually
attractive woman who gets perhaps unwanted attention, you know that
appearance matters. If you are black in America,
you know that image matters. I didn’t see anyone who
had a visible disability in the mainstream media. There are about 2 spots in
a show for black girls out of maybe 50. The conventional ideal
of a beautiful woman is a thin white woman. As I’m getting older,
I’m really noticing how the rest of
society must feel from looking at these
images of 14-year-olds, 15-year-olds as the
ideal of beauty. My understanding of
Fashion Week in general is very limited because
as a plus-size model, we’re never really invited. We’ve all kind of
been brainwashed into thinking like these
Eurocentric Caucasian features are what is attractive. From what I’ve seen in my
career in the last nine years, generally, fit models, most of
the time, they look like me. There are things that I did
to compromise my authenticity in order to get my foot in the
door, such as straightening my hair, changing what I wore. My first agent here changed my
name from Precious to Victoria. A lot of the times,
designers and clients don’t really know
where to put me. They’re like, is she white? Is she black? I know that there is
like a petite category, a plus-size category. But there isn’t, if
any at all, a category for people with disabilities. I think I’m literally the
biggest blackest model at IMG. We need more people that
have more power and influence to open their mind to
different types of beauty. I had one guy who wanted
my nipples to look hard for this shoot to show through. He literally just grabbed my
nipple, and was like, see? We need it to be hard. They would talk about
my body in front of me. Like they’d say, like,
Julia’s very wide . Everyone keep that in
mind, like in a meeting in front of people. One of my first test
shoots in New York, we drove out to the Hamptons. And nobody told me that it
was going to be topless. So I shot topless on
the beach, and the poses he was asking me to do. And I have never felt so
uncomfortable in my life. Let me help you put
lotion on your back. But I don’t need help
with that, because I don’t need you touching me. I had this moment when I
was like 20 or 21 years old, and I was like, I understand why
Britney Spears had a meltdown and shaved her head. And it’s like, you get sick
of people touching you. Some people would say that
people in the industry have confused being new and
having a moment with age. Other people would say
that adolescent girls have sort of a pre-pubescent physique
that is favored by designers. The fashion industry seems
to have this obsession with extreme youth. I was a 16-year-old. I was at Disneyland
on a camp trip, and I had to rush to New
York to shoot an editorial. Showed up to set, and
it was S&M inspired. And it was just this table of
anything you could think of. It was whips, and
cuffs, and various balls for various activities. And oh my god, I was
just like bright red. When I was young, I
shot was someone who went to jail for pedophilia. So that was really
difficult to hear, because he shot a
lot of young women. I was at a casting yesterday
that felt like a cattle call. And I was looking around,
and I felt like everyone must have been 16, 17, 18. And here am I, like past
25, really questioning, am I still beautiful? Do I still hold worth? I think that too often,
models are trivialized, and our concerns are dismissed
because we’re young women. People would not have been
able to turn a blind eye if this were a
male-dominated industry. Fashion is becoming a
little more diverse, but we still have
a long way to go. We have to tokenize
in order to normalize. But I don’t want this shift
to be commodified as a trend. I want it to be a reality. I think that women, they forget
that they have consumer power. And if they stop buying
into the women’s magazines that are always like, lose
15 pounds in two weeks. Why do we have to do that? I believe that everything
starts with self-love, and that’s what the decision
to wear my hair natural really taught me. I’m a model, but I can
also be a role model. Being a role model isn’t
about showing people how to look like you. Being a role model is
about using your freedom to show other people it’s
safe to be themselves. My imagery is my activism. Like, how could
you like yourself? I like myself. How could she wear that? I’m wearing it. In my mind, I’m competing
with the Naomi Campbells and the Kate Mosses
of the world. Just because, why not?

100 thoughts on “Models Talk: Racism, Abuse and Feeling Old at 25”

  1. 100% showing diversity is so important! There’s nothing quite like seeing a similar body type to your own in the media! Such a confidence boost and makes you feel like you’re not alone; and can even feel beautiful too! :)))

  2. I just wish this aesthetic would stop bc when you are built like it, you get bullied. It’s literally genetics.

  3. I love how the white models acknowledged their privilege without dismissing the other model when explaining their own struggles. They didn't derail the conversation.

  4. Orrr if people would just start their own agencies and catwalks eetc and be amazing at it?Why isn't that happening instead?

  5. I hate how they ALWAYS throw Black women’s issues with white women’s problems. It isn’t the same nor will it ever be and it just minimizes the racism in the industry.

  6. Models talk about Racism, Abuse and Feeling Old at 25 but they could easily replace the word Models with Women. Oh yeah but that's right, society doesn't think models are women or humans.

  7. The fact that the average woman, even outside of the industry, feels old at 25 is a direct example of how little human life is valued

  8. As of 2016, America’s population was 61% white, 18% Hispanic, 13% Black, 6% Asian, 3% Mixed race and 1% Native American. Therefor, this should be the ideal representation of these races in our media because that’s the current face of America. But I also think being hyper focused on race and skin color isn’t the best thing because it can often become divisive and the division is one of the biggest problems in our country. We have SERIOUS problems here and we ALL need to come together to create positive change. For God’s sake we have had our entire food supply seized by a chemical weapons manufacturer and our vaccines are loaded with known neurotoxins yet the manufacturers have ZERO liability. None of this would be possible without a highly corrupt govt and an apathetic, clueless population. We need to do a better job of protecting our children because most disease statistics are skyrocketing.

  9. The best thing about turning 30 is that random men stop trying to get in your pants. It’s kind of nice to be left alone TBH. The modeling industry is probably run by men and men like youth.

  10. Oh phuqqing please….. The reason, in America, is that the demographic is white men. As a white man in rural KY I can and do find all kinds of women attractive….except the gal in the yellow shirt….wtf? How is that attractive? I thought "bless her heart" when I saw her…… Also PS….losing 50 pounds is so you don't keel over from heart problems or diabetes.

  11. I a strongly against the racism or sexism of any kind. Let it be known. I this have a biracial family.
    But age and “ feeling old at 22 or so”… oh cut the crap 💩
    They all knew what they are banking for. Just like in ballet, gymnastic etc…. there are 13 years old taking the place of the previous one and those older ones are fully aware from day one that this is what is going to happend. I really don’t like this playing a victim age wise, because the all know that is a very short lived career

  12. Kamryn Nichole the agencies are just looking for fresh faces and looks to keep the entertainment going. That’s what the industry is all about. How about we reverse the situation and ask those teens what are they doing there in the first place? What if we ask their parent ( since the teens are underage) what are THEY doing? Why aren’t they stopping the industry from consuming their children, knowing fully well that is going to be a very short career (if at all), possibly a sexual exploitation and most definitely a huge disappointment by the age of 20 or before

  13. Kamryn Nichole the agencies are just looking for fresh faces and looks to keep the entertainment going. That’s what the industry is all about. How about we reverse the situation and ask those teens what are they doing there in the first place? What if we ask their parent ( since the teens are underage) what are THEY doing? Why aren’t they stopping the industry from consuming their children, knowing fully well that is going to be a very short career (if at all), possibly a sexual exploitation and most definitely a huge disappointment by the age of 20 or before

  14. When I was in my 20s I also had unwanted attention, and understand it was bc of appearance. But, now, I see more than ever that when a woman is past 25, the industry has set labels on women that they are irrelevant unless your sexual. We as women need to break this ideology bc it's not true. The industry is what's destroying most of these girls images. So f them.

  15. In Korea, I felt old when I turned 23 because it is 25 in Korean age! And even worse, I am not a model. The pressure that models are suffering goes directly to normal girls like me……

  16. idk it depends cuz there is beauty modeling and catalog modeling and then there is fashion modeling. you don't have to beautiful to be in fashion. a lot of the times high fashion is the opposite of beauty.

  17. I think the fascination in the fashion industry and just Hollywood in general with prepubescent young girls as models and in movies, stems from men who are pedophiles. Look at Shirley temple, look at Brooke Shields and there stories. It all connects ..there are a lot of gross men behind the scenes of all of this , men in power trying to dominate the industry and it always has been like that and us as woman trying to fight against it. The girl in this video talking about doing a photoshoot with a pedophile pretty much sums it up right there . There is a lack of diversity because they want them young and fresh as can be. When you sit back and look at the bigger picture it's hard not to miss .

  18. Why girls so look up to become a model, aside from being glamorous i don't get it. Maybe they think it's easy job. Maybe they don't know only 1% of them or so are successful.

  19. So you’re going into an industry where looks are 100% why you get your job and why you wanted to pursue this career…and you’re disturbed by agencies/photographers objectifying you?

  20. i mean you all know it is a superficial industry with no true value to the society, yet you still choose to be a part of it hoping you will get rich and famous easily. you should get a real job if you are worried to be retired soon, goverment wont't consider you old even at 65…

  21. I believe disabled people should definitely be represented more in the media like tv & movies but with modeling its tricky cuz it can defeat the purpose of modeling in the first place like if the beautiful woman shown here where to model ,modeling it to show clothing not show the model..

  22. "We have to tokenize in order to normalize, but I don't want this shift to be commodified as a trend." -Paloma Elsesser

  23. "Women need to stop buying into diets and magazines"

    Says the model…. That's on magazines…. Promoting those diets.

    Hypocrisy at it's finest.

  24. Why get involved with an industry that is mainly focused on what they think Is consider "beautiful" besides with this now exceptance of "Diversity" still haven't changed much, the people behind the industry is just ignorant. You can still work but less pay and before it's all done your career is over, they moved on to the next victim to prey on. This industry is satanic with weird sexual advances etc. Once again why bother.

  25. They’re all beautiful I really hope that there is more diversity, more poc that feel comfortable and inspired without expelling white woman. It’s something we should try to achieve.

  26. I feel old at 22. And watching this brought me to a mental space that really made me realize how deeply brainwashed I am along with many beautiful women in thier 20s and 30s . Really makes me sad

  27. I think the main culprit for all these unrealistic beauty standards is the media! Change the media and you change the world.

  28. Whew, I do not envy models at all. My heart goes out to them. It’s not realistic to say a woman shouldn’t be a model cuz we need models. They need to be treated with respect.

    My heart goes out to them cuz that’s not a world I don’t think I would be strong enough to to handle.

  29. I unfortunately don't agree with the beauty industry.

    they are forcing young girls into believing that
    1.) using makeup (toxic chemicals on your face/body)
    2.) obsession with tall and thin
    3.) unnatural poses and the beauty look
    causing girls to want to do plastic surgery or thinking they aren't pretty enough or too old.

    thus..I don't really agree with most of the height model requirements either…of 5'8. Its like saying just because this rat who is tallest out of the average rat isn't tall, just cause he isn't taller or same as the tallest giraffe.

    Their shouldn't be a height standard. Why is it tall and slander…is considered beautiful? why covering your natural pores is beautiful? Its promoting gender harassment.

    like how before I went into a job interview..and the person said to me, " you would look more like a women if you let your hair grow long, wear makeup and high heels."

    da heck. So just because I'm born a women..I need to change myself to look like the generalized women?

    why men throughout history doesn't have to handle any of the high heels, bra/makeup or hair beauty?

    men is just simple…
    professional: suit/tie/ants
    playful: tank top/shorts

    women…
    professional: suit/dress/pant socks/heels/makeup/hair done/nails done/thin look
    playful: dress/pant socks/heels/makeup/hair done/nails done/thin look.

    I feel to this day…women still doesn't realize they are still being controlled by men to look a certain way just because…

  30. I kind of don’t understand the objectification. Objectification to me is when a person treats someone with the intentions of viewing them purely sexual in nature. But if you’re a model, a touch isn’t always sexual. I understand personal space, but you also have to understand that the person is a canvas for the image or clothing or whatever they are selling. It’s just business

  31. People who are ugly and not sexually attractive also know that attractiveness matters probably more than hot people do so the first statement of this video is kinda stupid

  32. idk what to say but companies and business react to the public and their demand. What they show is a reflection of what their customers want, so instead of blaming a specific industry you should swap your products to what you think deserves yours money

  33. Of course these type of bullying is ongoing in the fashion industry…. ironically even the super plus size andre leon tally prefers skinny-young models…..haahaa he should look at himself in the mirror first, which obviously he does not 🤣🤣🤣

  34. im all about diversity, but please do not look down on those women/girls who are defined by "society" as "conventional beauty" like white or blonde or slim women, they look like conventional beauty does not mean they are evils you have to get rid off, i say this bc i begin to see people bringing down these kind of women

  35. Everyone talks about the skinny women or the plus size women but middle sized women are never featured. I'm a 5' 7" size 10 woman with 38G sized boobs and never have I seen someone like me on the runways. It makes me sad because I want to be a runway model but if no one is looking for the average woman I may never get to live my dream. I either have to lose weight and get a breast reduction or gain weight. One day I want to see a range of bodies and features and hopefully I'll be one of the woman the young girls and women can look at and say "oh she looks just like me".

  36. Guys don’t listen to these girls, if you actually watch any high fashion show, there is a lot of diversity!! People forget that poc are I think less than 1/4 of the USA population. And most designers are based the USA or Europe where the majority of the people are white. So it makes sense that the majority of the models will be white women.

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