I’ ve been guilty, lately, of not reading the fashion magazines that arrive in my mailbox. What I mean is, I pour over the ads, the editorials and the “5/10/50/100 must-haves for Spring/Summer/Fall/Winter” type spreads, but I flip right past the articles. I tell myself I’ll come back another day to read them, but the truth of the matter is that I have yet to do so. When there’s little time in my day to devote to enjoying my monthly fashion magazines, it’s unfortunately the articles that are sacrificed. Call me superficial, call me shallow, but that’s just all I have time for right now. I like to think that I reserve my time for articles that will truly touch or inspire me, rather than merely inform me of the same old top 10 beauty tricks of celebrity makeup artists that I’ve been reading since forever.
Once in a while, an article will stand out among the rest, grab my attention and refuse to be left unread. When this happens, I’m rarely left disappointed. One recent article that comes to mind was a fascinating profile on Blumarine founder Anna Molinari. Another is model Kim Noorda’s story in the April 2010 edition of US Vogue. The article features excerpts from Kim’s diary, which chronicle her struggle to overcome the industry’s pressures to be model thin and to build a happy, healthy life outside of the modelling world.
She told me that five pounds is not that much, and probably no one would even see it. I told her that people in the fashion industry see every gram of fat. . . .
Today a woman brought something up: “How do you interpret remarks from other people about your appearance?” For instance, you could misunderstand “My, you look healthy” as “You’re fat.” In me, it means the same, due to my job, I reckon. During a show season, when a model is not slim enough, people tell her, “Oh, you look so good, so healthy!” whereas the agencies recommend she lose weight. . . .
At Alberta Ferretti I can’t help noticing or imagining that they think I’m too big. Not what they wanted. I just try to do my best. At Lanvin I get canceled on the second day; they want a blonder girl. Next is Givenchy, with two models who are a lot skinnier. I try, but the shoot does not seem to work.
The other model has some difficulty with weight as well. She seems not really happy and at one point asks me if I am happier “like this.” When I try to speak with her more directly about it, she stops the conversation. I got kind of sad about that.
At work I am very sensitive, and when at Bottega I am offered the choice at seven in the morning to bleach my eyebrows or leave, I just want to go. I am crying: What am I doing? . . .
I was in doubt whether to write this article, thinking it should be a success story. The success is not that food and weight are never on my mind anymore, but that the influence of these thoughts has become a lot less. I watch my weight, but I do not want to compromise my health, or my happiness.
It really feels like my life is getting some more shape.
Reading this article right after Fashion Month and four weeks of admiring the tall and thin glamazons that walked the runways was very impactful. When I look at photos of these models on the catwalk or in their off-duty ensembles, I’m often envious of their glamorous lifestyles. The story of Kim’s journey serves as a reminder not only that models are human too but that, not only for Kim but for all of us, there is life to be lived outside of that which keeps us occupied from 9 to 5, Monday to Friday; we shouldn’t sell ourselves short. The weather in Toronto has been beautiful this week – I can’t wait to get outside and enjoy it. I suggest you do the same!