Every day, the fashion industry continues to push the envelope. The creativity that designers, photographers, and models express is amazing. But, along with innovation, other boundaries are pushed out further as well. This places amateur and professional models alike into compromising situations that force them to either give into the industry or make a stand for their convictions. In most cases, pressure from the industry makes it seem as if giving up their dignity is the only way they can pursue their dreams.
This was the purpose of our appearance on the Janice Dickinson Modeling Agency Show, titled "Of Models and Morals", which aired in January of 2008. Although much of our time there was completely edited out, we know that a true stand was made that day. However, the pressures of the fashion world prompted the two models we defended to eventually give up their morals and participate in risqué modeling jobs just a few episodes later. It made us sad, but also woke us up to the reality that no matter how strong you think you are, its a lonely road when no one around you holds the same convictions.
If you want to be a model, the reality is that you will have many opportunities to get naked. Nudity - full, partial, and implied - are definitely part of the modeling business, especially in the high fashion industry. But, most modeling jobs don't ask this of you at all. There are plenty of commercial, fitness, lifestyle, and print assignments that will never ask you to take your clothes off for money. In many cases, clients will arrange for private dressing areas and female stylists to keep the talent comfortable. But, this is not always the case either.
If you are looking into pursuing a modeling career, you must first determine what your boundaries are and how you will deal with requests to cross them. Discuss them with your modeling agent, who should filter potentially compromising requests for you, in honor of your standards. If they are not willing to do that, dump them. A talented model can find representation anywhere, so do not let an agency bully you into either getting naked or letting go of your dream.
The bottom line is that there are many models, actors, and entertainment professionals that lead successful careers without ever getting naked. If more of the talent would dare to make a stand, the industry would be forced to stop asking. Besides, what sense does it make to use naked bodies to sell clothing!
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