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An Open Letter on Glamour

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Will is off-line
24 April 2012 06:01
WPaul
Photographer
WPaul
Location
United Kingdom
West Yorkshire
Leeds

This letter was written on the blog of glamour model Alex Sim-Wise: http://simwisesucks.tumblr.com/post/21652436199/an-open-letter-on-glamour

Some interesting quotes are:

Quote  ...there is a neediness to glamour models, this need to be wanted, of always being the ugly duckling, the underdog almost, that consumes them and makes them do what they do.



Quote  I realised that while intellectually I was against what I was doing, my moral objection was never stronger than my desire to be wanted



Quote  Why are women selling themselves so short? Giving up their careers for a flash in the pan as a sex object? These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves.



This isn't an industry I feel I have sufficient experience in to have a fully informed opinion, but articles like this only serve to confirm my suspicions. Not that I feel that all models have feelings like this, but maybe a higher percentage than the population at large, possibly? I just wondered what others felt about this.
'A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her.'


JadedRed is off-line
24 April 2012 06:13
JadedRed
Model
JadedRed
Location
United Kingdom
Essex


She should realise that she speaks for herself not models in general.

Maybe it makes her feel better when making herself out to be a fluffy, pathetic, weak moralled women to pretend that we are all like that and so she is just 'normal' but it does the rest of us a disservice. I can't speak for other girls but I know none of this applies to me.


1919_images is off-line
24 April 2012 06:15
1919_Images
Photographer

Location
United Kingdom
West Midlands
Solihull

Quote from WPaul
This letter was written on the blog of glamour model Alex Sim-Wise: http://simwisesucks.tumblr.com/post/21652436199/an-open-letter-on-glamour

Some interesting quotes are:



I realised that while intellectually I was against what I was doing, my moral objection was never stronger than my desire to be wanted

Why are women selling themselves so short? Giving up their careers for a flash in the pan as a sex object? These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves.

This isn't an industry I feel I have sufficient experience in to have a fully informed opinion, but articles like this only serve to confirm my suspicions. Not that I feel that all models have feelings like this, but maybe a higher percentage than the population at large, possibly? I just wondered what others felt about this.



What are you suspicions?


Peter Hague is off-line
24 April 2012 06:15
PeterH
Photographer
PeterH
Location
United Kingdom
South Yorkshire


She sounds bitter because she was essentially, a failure. If she'd have been earning £10,000 a month she'd no doubt have a different outlook. But she couldn't cut it, and that of course, these days, is eveyone elses fault.
"I am the one who knocks" - Walter White


24 April 2012 06:31
TMG
Photographer


That's a good letter. It's written from a perspective I can't hope to ever really understand (being male and not having any trace of that particular  kind of need), but it does shine a light on some things that puzzle me about this whole malarky from time to time.
Thought I'd quote this bit, which relates more to the mundane struggles of someone who actually made it.




"...On the whole I did very well out of modelling. I had a long-running column within one of the lads magazines, shot for Playboy, did Page 3, even worked with some fashion photographers, but I knew I was one of the few. For every girl who made it there was a long list of also rans, and even though I was doing well I wasn’t making the kind of money I’d been lead to believe glamour models were making. For the majority of my career I was living on a basic wage of £500 a month, sometimes less. Unable to pay my rent and living expenses and unwilling to go into the murky side of things to make more, I got into a lot of debt..."

 


Will is off-line
24 April 2012 06:35
WPaul
Photographer
WPaul
Location
United Kingdom
West Yorkshire
Leeds

Quote from 1919_Images


What are you suspicions?




That on occasions, some models model as a boost to their opinion about the way they look. I'm not saying that's a bad thing inherently. Of the four or so models I have shot with, half of them have made derogatory comments about themselves. One nearly cancelled becuase she said she felt ugly. I just wondered if such unhealthy self-opinions were higher among models than in the general public.

Quote from JadedRed
She should realise that she speaks for herself not models in general...

...I can't speak for other girls but I know none of this applies to me.



I'm glad that she's not speaking for models in general. I think she may have some insights for models who could have similar motivations as she did, even if these insights don't apply to everyone.
'A woman drove me to drink and I didn't even have the decency to thank her.'


Iain Thomson is off-linePlatinum Member
24 April 2012 06:52
IainT
Photographer
IainT
Location
United Kingdom
Bedfordshire


I suppose I'm qualified to comment on this, god knows how many hundreds of glamour models I've met and worked with.

As a group of people glamour models are pretty much as described in the opening post.

I guess they fall into several catagories:-

Students/Time fillers. What I would regard as the most well adjusted and best suited people to model. These are often students or girls filling in time or looking for relativelly easy earnings until they embark on their chosen career. Usually they have an interest in modelling but are inteligent enough or streetwise enough to see it for what it is and use modelling as a means of earning decent money whilst studying. Most drift away as soon as they embark on a proper career. Some keep at it, rarely see it through rose tinted glasses and usually have a form of exit strategy. Always the easiest to deal with as they are more realistic and grounded and tend to be comfortable with their looks and are the least insecure. 

Career models - the rarest breed. For whatever reason these girls want to be models and in some cases are actually fairly suited to it and good at it. But often they do  pretty much fit the profile as described in the opening post..although as with anything there are exceptions. Some of these girls longevity is due to the cynicism, charm and people playing skills they develope from dealing with photographers and fans over a period of time and this often now manifests itself as a successfull career on late night chat TV. As a group the insecurities are there, particularly with the more attractive ones, although these tend to lessen as the model gets older. 

Wannabees - Make up probably 90% of all models, glamour or otherwise, I expect. Terminal fame chasers....a bit of limelight for any reason at any cost. I honestly dont know why they subject themselves to it...I guess its insecurity again..."if somebody pays me to get my kit of, then I must be attractive" A confidence booster? Mmmmm..it nearly always ultimately ends in tears. Most of these girls are totally unsuited to being models in just about every respect. 

My advice to most girls would be...

Avoid being a model... unless you can make a career out of it for sure or have a bulletproof exit strategy.  

Avoid being a glamour model full stop.

Avoid being an adult model unless your life absolutely depends on it and there are no alternatives. 

Luckily, most wont take any notice of my advice and I'll continue to make a living, but like a lot of models I also realise that I made a very poor career choice..:-)
I tend to be a modest man, but then I do have a lot to be modest about.


24 April 2012 06:56
Hugh
Photographer


Quote from TMG
...Thought I'd quote this bit, which relates more to the mundane struggles of someone who actually made it.


"...On the whole I did very well out of modelling... For the majority of my career I was living on a basic wage of £500 a month, sometimes less..."

 




She didn't actually make it.

She could have made £500 per month working a 20 hour week at the minimum wage of £6.08 per hour.

20 hours x £6 x 4 weeks = £480.
It's not Fine Art just because it's in Black and White.


Dani-Elle' is off-line
24 April 2012 07:17
Dani-Elle
Model
Dani-Elle
Location
United Kingdom
West Yorkshire
Leeds (can travel)

Quote from WPaul
Some interesting quotes are:




  I realised that while intellectually I was against what I was doing, my moral objection was never stronger than my desire to be wanted



  Why are women selling themselves so short? Giving up their careers for a flash in the pan as a sex object? These are the questions we need to be asking ourselves.



This isn't an industry I feel I have sufficient experience in to have a fully informed opinion, but articles like this only serve to confirm my suspicions. Not that I feel that all models have feelings like this, but maybe a higher percentage than the population at large, possibly? I just wondered what others felt about this.



It is very much a generalisation form one individual and the fact that she has those feelings is unfortunate. The thing is that there will always be a percentage of girls that enter the industry under the pretence that they fancy being the next Katie Price for example. The trouble is such individuals do not have the right frame of mind for the industry and the hard times (part of life) hit them bad resulting in this negative loathing feeling they are left with. I'm sure there also are plenty of statements from glamour models who love what they do not because it gives then a quick self conidence boost but because its always been their dream and they grafted to get where they are.


Quote from WPaul
That on occasions, some models model as a boost to their opinion about the way they look. I'm not saying that's a bad thing inherently. Of the four or so models I have shot with, half of them have made derogatory comments about themselves. One nearly cancelled becuase she said she felt ugly. I just wondered if such unhealthy self-opinions were higher among models than in the general public.



Again only a percentage and the statistics of how many models feel this way are quite hard to distinguish based on only 4 individuals.
I know my feelings on modelling is not even close to that, I generally do enjoy running my own businesses as apposed to being an employee in a typical job because you are rewarded for your hard efforts. And the rush I get following a productive collaboration as the images pop up is just fantastic. I model to satisfy my addiction to creativity.
If a job is worth doing, Is worth doing right.


Iain Thomson is off-linePlatinum Member
24 April 2012 07:23
IainT
Photographer
IainT
Location
United Kingdom
Bedfordshire


Quote from IainT


Avoid being a model... unless you can make a career out of it for sure or have a bulletproof exit strategy.  




I should point out my post above was only in relation to those who aspire to being full time career models, generally in the glamour industry..:-)
I tend to be a modest man, but then I do have a lot to be modest about.



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