Whenever I think of Fashion Week, I picture gorgeous models strutting their stuff down long runways showcasing beautifully crafted garments. I tend to forget, as I’m sure others do, that these models have to endure grueling hours of castings, fittings, hair and makeup, etc. Although the finished result is stunning, it’s hard to believe what models go through to walk the Fashion Week runway hoping to land a big campaign. Reading through the Huffington Post, I came across an interesting article about one model who almost lost a job because of her birth control. I repeat: birth control.
A model who walked at Fashion Week from ages 18-21 recently confessed to Cosmopolitan‘s Beauty and Fashion Editor, Carly Cardellino, as to why she quit walking at Fashion Week. Her reasoning was mainly due to the fact she realized that she wasn’t making enough money to pay her $1500-a-month rent and that advertising, catalog and print campaigns paid more money and were less stressful.
The anonymous model tells Carly about a time she almost lost a job due to her birth control:
A designer will see an outfit on you once, wait until you leave the casting, and then call your agent and ask why you’ve gained weight. And all you can think is, Seriously?! Once, while staring at my breasts, a designer said: “Have your boobs gotten bigger?” I said, “Yes, I just started taking a new birth control pill.” This designer then told my agent that I had to switch pills or else I wouldn’t be hired. Luckily I never had any other weight issues, but some of my friends did and they lost out on a lot of work.
Personally, I couldn’t imagine going through this type of scrutiny. I have a hard enough time trying on clothes in a dressing room and listening to my own opinions let alone a panel of designers and casting agents.
The model went on to say how makeup artists wipe off and put on makeup with Q-tips that feel “like a tiny knife after it’s used to straighten eye liner and get rid of smudges for the one hundredth time,” and hair stylists tug and pull hair that end up in clumps on the floor.
Lead hairstylist at Rag & Bone says:
It’s not that we’re out to hurt the girls or anything, but there definitely is an understanding that there is sort of a drama to it all. During New York Fashion Week, most of the girls sit there quietly, especially because they just got off of holiday. But when the girls get to Paris, that’s when the complaints and cries start, because at that point they’re tired of being tugged and pulled. They’re just done.
If I’ve learned anything from reading numerous articles about the backstage horror stories that happen at Fashion Week, it’s that I’m grateful for only being 5-feet-tall, therefore I will never have to endure the prodding, tugging, fittings, castings or blisters these brave models face.