The Dawn Chorus

Fresh Australian Feminism

Posts Tagged ‘models’

Guess How Old I Am?

Posted by Cate on December 2, 2008

French Vogue’s most recent edition featured something striking. There is an article which  features a series of pictures with the same model in different ages, everything done with make-up and lighting. It really shows you how images of women can be manipulated…

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Posted in Blog Watch, body image, Fashion, Media Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

“Bully” Demelza Wins ANTM 4; Vogue Forums Explode

Posted by Clem Bastow on July 2, 2008

Demelza Reveley took out the Cycle 4 honours in the Australia’s Next Top Model finale last night, which prompted a near critical mass explosion of outrage on the Vogue Forums’ ANTM4 thread at the result – and rightly so.

The rep that Reveley gained throughout her time on the show has followed her out the other side and into the industry. There has not been a single media piece reporting the news, to my knowledge, that has not mentioned Reveley’s bullying behaviour whilst in the model house.

The Voguettes began a call for boycotts of all the sponsors involved with the show – principally Napoleon Perdis Cosmetics, who will feature the 16-year-old in a beauty campaign, and Vogue Australia, who give the winner an eight-page photo shoot – and for letters of complaint to be sent to Fox8 to make a statement about their perceived support of bullying by way of allowing Reveley to stay in the competition, let alone win it.

The issue at hand is that AusNTM is not real life; a model in the real world who behaved as Reveley did would likely not be booked for long. But by broadcasting her behaviour and then allowing her to continue to be celebrated implicitly sends a warped message to the – largely young – viewers of the show.

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Posted in Fashion, Media Watch | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 42 Comments »

ANTM: Demelza Unwittingly Highlights The Problem With The Australian Modelling Industry

Posted by Clem Bastow on June 27, 2008

The finalé of Australia’s Next Top Model is next Tuesday, so both finalists are working the press in the rush for last minute hits of Foxtel’s big red remote control button. Naturally this means both girls are having a go at each other (because it just wouldn’t be interesting if they were encouraged to support each other), and this is what 16-year-old Demelza Revely has to say about her rival, 21-year-old Alexandra Girdwood:

“I guess I’d be a little more concerned if I was her,” Reveley said.

“I mean, she’s 21 now, so she’s kind of running out of time to do this and to make it in this industry.

“There is a short shelf-life being a model and that’s just the way it is.

“I’d feel worried if I was in her shoes.”

The worst thing about all this is that she’s probably right; even if Alex wins, the Australian fashion industry does seem to be possibly even more obsessed with age than its European and American counterparts. It seems that overseas, if you have the right look, you will work, whether you are 15 or 28. And when you combine the need to be a certain size with the need to be of a very young age, you get into decidedly dangerous territory – just ask Demelza, she might be the right age, but she’s had to lose 10cm from her hips.

(Incidentally, if you want incisive and hilarious commentary on AusNTM, head to PetStarr’s hysterical blog, Bland Canyon. There’s only one wrap to go but there’s an afternoon’s worth of archive to trawl through.)

Posted in Media Watch | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

‘Britain’s Missing Top Model’: Enlightening Or Othering?

Posted by Clem Bastow on June 26, 2008

Britain\'s Missing Top Model

BBC3’s ‘Beauty Season‘ programming (for July) features a number of shows dedicated to exploring and exploding the myths of “beauty”. One show features Mis-Teeq’s Alesha Dixon shining a light on airbrushing and retouching, another sees ex-Blue Peter presenter Konnie Huq taking a ‘when beauty treatments go wrong’ angle, but perhaps the most compelling of all the shows is Britain’s Missing Top Model, a six-part reality/documentary series that will track eight women of differing abilities in their attempts to convince “industry experts” that they can cut it in the modelling industry.

It’s not the first time the fashion industry has tried to pushed the boundaries of how we see “beautiful” – photographer Nick Night and designer Alexander McQueen collaborated with double-amputee Paralympian and model Aimee Mullins (amongst others) for their 1998 Dazed+Confused shoot, Fashion-Able. And on America’s Next Top Model, Cycle 3’s Amanda (who is legally blind) and Cycle 9’s Heather (who has Asperger’s Syndrome).

But I guess what I find slightly uneasy about Britain’s Missing Top Model – apart from the title, which surely flies in the face of what the show is trying to achieve; if they’re trying to show that these women still have what it takes, why focus the title on the things they don’t have? – is wondering, in the end, to what extent these shows do help broaden the average viewer’s horizons.

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Posted in Media Watch | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »