It is no secret that the fashion industry is rife and models are often placed under immense scrutiny for various reasons but especially for their weight, so in lieu of SA’s Menswear Week (SAMW) anout a month ago, I’ve decided to highlight the advantages of taking care of your body and why models being lean is not always a bad thing.
It is fact that the fashion industry has promoted itself in a manner of “treats” some of which includes homophobes, misogynists, racists and fattists, just for starters.
Industry critics has floods to say about how “unhealthy” fashion models live and how the “ideal way of looking” is negatively influencing the developing youth especially when the picture is painted to look “perfect” all the time. This notion is consequently misleading and light need to be shone on the perspectives of so many people.
A lot can be said about how this billion dollar industry operates, but let’s be frank about it; the industry does not focus on inner-beauty, hence models having to take good care and look after their appearance.
Fashion designers create their garments primarily to fit the size 2 mannequin and fashion models emulate that look in order to promote the clothing well, and to fit the clothing properly.
Models receive a profusion of backlash – often too much; they’re either too skinny or they’re too fat. They’re either sleeping too little, or ingesting too many carbohydrates – whatever the flack it is that they’re receiving, the number one aim for them is to maintain a healthy body in order to do their work. At the end of the day, for some models this is their sole form of income.
As much as we would like to challenge the ideologies of a fair society, we have to confront reality and admit that there are great advantages of taking care of one’s body and because models use their bodies as their canvas for work and many of us may not, perhaps understanding why they do what they do will shed a different perspective on the stigma often shared about them by society.
Living a healthy, balanced lifestyle can and will be beneficial to everyone. Here are tips that would help you feel as if everywhere you go; you’re on the catwalk too:
Eating healthy for the right reasons
South African born international model, Eugon McNeil that is signed with the renowned Q Model Management in New York City told Health24 “I always watch what I eat. This is how I manage to stay lean”. The hunky model who has literally been all over the world and that now resides in New York City swears that eating healthy for the right reasons aids in feeling healthier.
The life of a model can be extremely stressful with the constant running around of castings and shoots, and if the body is hungry or malnourished you tend to be more emotionally reactive to stressors which could have terrible consequences such as eating disorders i.e. Anorexia as well as other medical conditions on long term.
Ensuring that you eat the right foods, in the right quantities and at the right times will allow the body to boost your energy level and keep your system running smoothly.
Making sleep a priority
Because of the unusual hours that models are working, they do not get the average eight hours of sleep at night. Some designer parties can continue to the early hours of the morning or models could generally just be out on gigs while the rest of the world is sleeping. Therefore, when models get a chance to sleep, they make it a very pivotal priority.
McNeil says, “It's a top priority for me to get at least 6 – 8 hours of sleep in before I start my day and it’s vital for my body to recover. People often underestimate the power of sleep.”
Rory Tobias says, “I do Calisthenics so sleep is a big priority for me. Rest is essential for muscle growth and recovery, especially for high intensity training sessions. Getting adequate sleep aids us in being more productive, we are mentally sharper and otherwise less prone to the effects of stress.”
Finding a fitness routine that works
We have to face the fact that as we get older we have to schedule an exercise/fitness regime as we would an important meeting, because essentially it is an important meeting, with yourself.
To fashion models, working up a sweat whether it be in the gym, jogging around the block several times or doing yoga and Pilates is no strange news.
“Having a banging, in-shape body requires some work and finding a great workout regime that works for you is one of the best kept secrets.” reveals Nicole Madell.
Nicole Amy Madell
Monitoring what goes into your body
There is no point eating properly, and exercising regularly if you’re not going to watch what you put into your body. Excessive use of alcohol, nicotine, and even excessive caffeine can take a toll on your health in the long run.
These substances makes the body feel run down and lousy. Models need untainted energy to go about their daily activities hence the use of these substances are so strongly discouraged.
“Anything that is harmful for the body and to the mind doesn’t carry my approval. If it feels wrong, it probably is wrong” says Sven Aab.
At the end of the day, the world needs to recognise that as important engineers and accountants are to the world, so are models. They’re a great link between the designer and the consumer; showcasing the latest clothing trends and keeping us abreast of what’s happening in the plethora of fashion, and to do this they need to take adequate care of their bodies.
The fashion mogul said it best…
The notorious, world-class Fashion Designer, Marc Jacobs says, “Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them.” and honestly we can all learn a thing or two from this healthy way of living.
- Enzo Leigh Botes (with loads of help from Marvin Wade Borcherds)