Speaking of Diversity in Modelling…

Okay, so this whole “We need to re-imagine the entire modelling landscape” argument has really come to the fore-front of my mind lately. Whilst I could blame the fact that I’m reading Crystal Renn’s autobiography, Hungry, for the re-emphasising of this long held belief, I think my resurgence in interest actually came when Company Magazine announced they were going to publish another Reader Issue this year.

In case you hadn’t guessed yet, last year’s Company Reader Issue featured readers in all the places that you would usually find professional models. So that meant the fashion editorials, the beauty pages, the trend pieces… even the bits where stock photos are usually used to show two-gals-having-a-laff, and the like. It was certainly a wake-up call as to how often we consume images of ‘perfect specimen’ women (yes, I know professional models are real women too, but they are a very small, specific and idealised grouping) who are supposed to reflect us.

Of course, it goes without saying that I blinkin’ loved last year’s Reader Issue (and not just because they grilled Gordon Brown about women’s safety). To have a magazine’s readership as models seems a really fresh way to get a representative bunch of women visually represented in the media… and it’s also an interesting tool to open up a publication, in terms of accessibility and personality, to its readers.

Ever the nit-picker, I did want to prod Company into considering choosing some larger sized readers to model for their next Reader Issue (which is why I wrote this blog post on the Company blog). Last year the models only ranged from size 8 to 12, and they were mostly pretty tall and all able bodied too. But hey, beggers can’t be choosers, I suppose!

It will be really interesting to see how this years Reader Issue shapes up… and we shouldn’t have too long to wait; last year it was the May issue, which means it actually came out in April. Only a few weeks to go then! And then, finally, I might be able to get this diversity-in-modelling bug out of my system!

By: Sarah Barnes, 04.03.2010 | Comments (0)
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