On Saturday, as I waited for my plane to start boarding, I observed one of the top models of the moment, Freja Beha Erichsen, as she was killing time, waiting for the same flight. There it was, embodied in this girl, the difference I have known was there, the difference between models of the days past like myself and the girls who are in the business now.
Monday, 13 December 2010
I have known for quite some time that times have changed in the world of modeling. I used to be considered very thin even by modeling standards, but in today's world I would be too big in the hips to do runway. Despite being aware of this, for several years I have occasionally seen models here and there, and thought that they were somehow like me. I have held onto an odd sense of affinity with the awkward, tall, thin models even if I haven't modeled professionally in almost eight years.
Freja Beha looked stunningly photogenic. Her hair was fashionably messy, and she wore black skinny jeans and a black leather jacket. She looked effortless, very cool, and her face was beautiful despite clear signs of fatigue and sunken cheeks. She was tall and so tiny I felt I could have probably knocked her over just by touching her. Her thighs looked as narrow as my calves. From behind, she looked like a teenage boy.
I have always been critical of people discussing models' weight. I have comforted myself by thinking that the nature of the world of modeling is what it is, and that most models are naturally thin anyway, just like I was and still am. The industry adores and promotes thin girls, and it is not up to these very young women to change the world. But there is thin, and then there is the type of thin that makes you wonder how thin can a person get, and what is that person's responsibility over her own well-being.
As the plane was finally ready to board and Freja Beha sneaked quickly into business class and I lost the visual of her, I got to my seat on the plane and spent a good portion of the flight thinking about my past in modeling and all the things that have changed in me since I quit. For the first time I fully realised that I no longer feel affinity with other models. This realisation might have arisen because of the frail figure of Freja Beha, because of my reaction to her body: I saw myself look at her the way "normal" people do, with a mixed sense of admiration and horror. I don't know what that means. Maybe enough time has passed, finally, for me to see past as something that has truly passed.
Dress: H&M, Tuuli's old