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8 Ugly Facts About How The Fashion Industry Creates Beauty

Whether you're a woman from the U.S., Brazil, Japan, or elsewhere, every day you see images of "beauty" that probably look darn different than you do. Turns out the fashion industry isn't all that good for a lot of models either.

      Superstar models can be among the most powerful women in the world. But here are eight not-so-pretty facts about the seamy underside to an industry that needs oversight and cleaning up:

      1. Models start young.Really young. Cover model Thairine Garcia was 14when she appeared in the February 2012 issue of Harper's Bazaar Brasil. The Council of Fashion Designers of America recommends only using models older than 16, and child models in New York have brand new legal protection, but the industry is mostly self-regulated, and there is no broader oversight. Designers continue to employ models as young as 13.


      2. Modeling can take a high emotional toll on young women. A 2012 Model Alliance survey of 85 female fashion models in the United States revealed that almost two-thirds of them were told to lose weight and that almost 70% suffered from anxiety or depression. Georgina Wilkin shared her story to call attention to the prevalence of eating disorders among young models. Many girls recruited by the international fashion industry are leaving home for the first time, often unaccompanied by family, and are emotionally unprepared for the pressures of the industry. Isabelle Caro, Ana Carolina Reston, and Hila Elmalich (below) are just three of a number of fashion models to die of complications related to anorexia.

      3. Modeling careers are really, really short. Young women typically model only about three seasons. Every new runway show features about 70% new faces.

      4. It may look glamorous but the pay is not. The median salary?

      5. The financial picture can be even bleaker for young women recruited from other countries. After paying for visas, flights, accommodations, and tests (expenses they aren't always notified about in advance), even before their first casting call, these girls can be

      6. The more prestigious the client, the less you get paid. The glam jobs, like Vogue, can pay far less than commercial clients, like J.C. Penney.

      7. Fashion models are WAY skinner and taller than three decades ago. Marilyn says it all:

      8. The fashion industry projects an ideal of beauty that just doesn't match reality. While over half of Brazil's population is black or mixed race, only 28 of São Paulo 2008 Fashion Week's 1,128 models were black (that's about 2.5%). In The Real Truth About Beauty, a survey commissioned by Unilever, a global study of 3,200 women aged 18 to 64 found that only 2% of them thought of themselves as "beautiful." In one startling example, 52% of women in Japan describe themselves as overweight while only 23% actually are. Almost 60% felt that female beauty was too "narrowly defined."

      Here's the trailer for the POV episode on The International Model Supply Chain. Just a couple minutes of this, and you'll see why the fashion industry needs to clean up its act.



    Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

    How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

    The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

    Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

    The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

    Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

    As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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    This article originally appeared on 12.10.15


    Imgur user "mollywho" felt her life was falling apart. Not only was she battling clinical depression, but she had her hands full. "I've been juggling a LOT lately," she wrote on Imgur. "Trying to do well at work. Just got married. Couldn't afford a wedding. Family is sparse. Falling out with friends, yaddadyadda." She was also upset about how she treated her new husband. "I've not been the easiest person to deal with. In fact, sometimes I've lost all hope and even taken my anger out on my husband."

    When she returned home from a business trip in San Francisco, mentally exhausted, she collapsed on her bed and cried. Then she noticed some writing on the bedroom mirror. It was a list that read:

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    10/10. The Mayyas dance.

    We can almost always expect to see amazing acts and rare skills on “America’s Got Talent.” But sometimes, we get even more than that.

    The Mayyas, a Lebanese women’s dance troupe whose name means “proud walk of a lioness,” delivered a performance so mesmerizing that judge Simon Cowell called it the “best dance act” the show has ever seen, winning them an almost instant golden buzzer.

    Perhaps this victory comes as no surprise, considering that the Mayyas had previously won “Arab’s Got Talent” in 2019 and competed on “Britain’s Got Talent: The Champions.” But truly, it’s what motivates them to take to the stage that’s remarkable.

    “Lebanon is a very beautiful country, but we live a daily struggle," one of the dancers said to the judges just moments before their audition. Another explained, “being a dancer as a female Arab is not fully supported yet.”

    Nadim Cherfan, the team’s choreographer, added that “Lebanon is not considered a place where you can build a career out of dancing, so it’s really hard, and harder for women.”

    Still, Cherfan shared that it was a previous “AGT” star who inspired the Mayyas to defy the odds and audition anyway. Nightbirde, a breakout singer who also earned a golden buzzer before tragically passing away in February 2021 due to cancer, had told the audience, “You can't wait until life isn't hard anymore before you decide to be happy.” The dance team took the advice to heart.

    For the Mayyas, coming onto the “AGT” stage became more than an audition opportunity. Getting emotional, one of the dancers declared that it was “our only chance to prove to the world what Arab women can do, the art we can create, the fights we fight.”

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