Monday, June 20, 2011

The Perverse Reality of Fashion

I'd been discussing with a model about weight versus my archetype of the perfect model and wanted to share with you my views.

When I got into fashion photography I didn't sign up for creating body disorder issues. I'm a health-conscious person. I exercise a lot and believe in well-being.

That being said, I can't apologize for the ideals that I adhere to and the archetype of model that I use. And often times these ideals "don't exist"; in other words, in real life the girls I shoot don't look exactly like my images. Whether it be the flawlessness of their skin or the incredible length of their legs or the size of their waist, I subscribe to an archetype that does not truly exist (or does very rarely)... Hence, ideals ;)

To non-fashion people it's a perverse reality to only work with girls that are size 0, 5'9"+, at <115lbs. But with that being said, neither do I try and mold girls into that ridiculous standard. You can only do so much to alter your look. Genetics, bone structure, etc. take precedence. And in the long-run, loving yourself is much more important than ruining your health to create fantastical images ;)

So it's a double-edged sword. On one end I'm only looking for girls that adhere to a certain look. On the other end, I don't want to tell you to lose weight so you can fall into that archetype. It's quite the conundrum. I suppose when I can reconcile these differences, I'll have volumes to say.


  1. Well, Charles, I must say this is one of my main objection to fashion photography and the industry as a whole. To suggest that not all women can live up to the standard of "size 0, 5'9"+, at <115lbs" is an understatement. Women, no matter how beautiful, cannot perpetuate early adolescence forever, and I think that those who do attempt to perpetuate it are in need of some counseling help.

    I suppose when all is said, I'm more of a portraitist than a fashion photographer. I love creating beautiful images and I am, like everyone else, slaves to the Grecian ideal of beauty, but I prefer my models to look more distinctive than pigeon-holed into this one type of physique.

    ... Besides, I think women with natural curves are often more beautiful than the fashion ideal.


    Some interesting words from Crystal Renn about modeling, body size, and health. The bit is at 3:03.