Modelling in the digital age – fame, fortune and instagram followers

Originally featured here on tmrw magazine. 

because of instagram, anyone and everyone can be a model. as long as you can afford the clothes, have the latest trainers and know someone who owns a decent dslr and is willing to give up some of their time to take some pics of you against an edgy backdrop – you’re sorted.

it’s like a way to build up your portfolio before you’ve even been signed to the agency. there have been so many guys and gals who have entered into a super successful career in modelling after going viral; be that becoming insta famous, or having your (painfully beautiful) mugshot spread through all forms of social media. if you don’t want to commit a crime, perhaps the previous route is the way to do it.

how to become instagram famous in 3 easy steps’ – is one of the most searched for ‘how-to’ on google. apparently it’s all in the hashtags, if you were wondering. models have to be so much more than just a pretty face now. it’s a trifold business – face, personality and a massive social media following. it’s a new age for the industry. the scouts are searching insta for the next face and not scouring the streets with a polaroid cam like in the days of yore (like five years ago).

even those who are established models are no longer famous for just being a model but for many other elements, including millions of followers. take the hadid’s and kendall jenner. models.com just announced bella hadid as the industry’s choice model of the year and kendall jenner as reader’s choice model of year. both of these women are from privileged backgrounds, would jenner of been able to get her foot in the modelling door was it not for kim kardashian’s – risqué – vid? of course, she is probably the most symmetrical woman on the planet, but there’s still no denying at the beginning of her career, her status aided her in securing her first jobs.

and the same with hadid, when your mum is a supermodel, is it just in your dna? written in the stars? your destiny, to follow in her footsteps? these are the worlds biggest and most successful models, they’re basically the face of victoria secret, but that isn’t all they are. they’re tv personalities and have been on red carpets since they could walk. when it’s so intertwined into your life like that, it becomes the norm, and you have access to opportunities that many can only dream of.

is the ability to become a model now all about who you know, what clothes you can afford and how many insta followers you’ve got? sadly, it looks that way. but does that mean the industry is pushing genuine models out of the equation?

the modelling world is more diverse, accepting and beautiful than ever, and i suppose the industry has to move and develop parallel to the growth of social media. hopefully, it isn’t limiting genuine models who may not have a huge following and there’s simply new ways for the next generations of pretty people to start a successful career in the modelling business.

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