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Monday, November 8, 2010

Answering a Reader Question #96

Lady J Wrote:

Hi,

My question is, can models that are my height 5'4 actually have successful high fashion modeling careers and what does it take to get to that level? 


Hey, Lady J, thanks for the question, which I am sure is one that many have on their minds. At this current time in the industry, having a model at 5'4" in the high fashion modeling world is about as close to impossible as you can get. Petite modeling and commercial/print have always been alternatives for shorter models but the high fashion realm continues to be one that has managed to cling to the stringent height requirements for decades.

While some will mention exceptions to the rule, Kate Moss is not 5'4" and even though Devon Aoki is probably the shortest model to successfully strut down a high fashion catwalk, her modeling career was brief and she quickly pursued an acting career instead--not to mention that Kate Moss was her mentor. In essence, unless you are super connected on the Kate Moss level, the chances of being 5'4" and leading a purely high fashion career is slim to none. From agencies to designers and others involved in the industry, there is a lot of opposition in place for shorter models hoping to be taken seriously in this particular field.

Before you tell me that I'm negative and no better than the people trying to keep shorter models off the runway, let me explain. The answer I've provided above is the truth for the industry right now as it stands. However, I am optimistic that in the coming years shorter models will have their turn in the spotlight. I believe in everyone having a shot but that doesn't mean I'm going to sugarcoat what the industry is really all about. It does discriminate in many ways in order to maintain the facade they've come to know and associate with. It takes a long time to change a system and way of thinking. But in addition to sharing cold hard truths, I also believe in challenging the system and tossing out the old ways and welcoming new ideas.

Could things for shorter models change? Of course. The Bella Petite movement in particular is one organization that is making strides to gain public attention for shorter models and break the height barrier when it comes to all types of modeling. Only by drawing national attention and gaining a momentum of supporters, will shorter models have a shot at appearing on the runways and gaining the respect of all in the industry, instead of receiving widespread criticism. I highly suggest visiting the Bella Petite website, if you haven't done so already, to find out how the organization is helping to form a voice for women 5'5" and shorter.

1 comment:

Lady J said...

I appreciate the fact that you didn't sugar coat anything. I know some people have a problem hearing the truth, but please know that it was appreciated.