“In this [modeling] world, I found, many people were hungry too, but for different reasons. They wanted their bodies to look a certain way, whether their bodies were meant to or not. They chose not to eat. Today, I live in the U.S., where restaurants serve huge portions on even huger platters, and people are tempted to eat too much … I always ask for a doggie bag, to bring the leftovers home. My ex-boyfriend suggested more than once that I cut this out, as he found it embarrassing. (Perhaps that’s why he is no longer my boyfriend.)”
– Sudanese supermodel Alek Wek, on living in a modeling culture of starvation, and an American culture of overeating. [The Daily Beast]
Princeton University’s campus is about to get fierce! According to The Ink, the blog for the university’s press club, a class on fashion models is among the New Jersey school’s offerings in the spring.
It is the Ivy League, so don’t expect a class discussion on the latest season of “America’s Next Top Model” (sorry, Tyra). “Model Memoirs: The Life Stories of International Fashion Models” in the Comparative Lit and African-American Studies departments, will focus on “American, African, and Asian women in the fashion industry as a launching point for thinking about race, gender, and class.” Required texts include the life stories of famous models Alek Wek, Waris Diric, and Irina Pantaeva; students will discuss the constructions of femininity and ethnicity and relate their own ideas on beauty ideals in their assignments. Keep reading »
However, four scientists from Tel Aviv University think differently. They recently unveiled a new computer program that contains a “beautification engine,” which uses a mathematical formula to alter a face in a photograph to a theoretically more attractive version. According to the programmers, the program maintains an “unmistakable similarity” to the original. The software program is based on the responses of 68 German and Israeli men and women, age 25 to 40, who viewed photographs of white female and male faces and picked the most attractive ones. With this data and an algorithm involving 234 measurements between facial features, like the distance between eyes, scientists trained the computer to determine which distances were the most attractive for each individual face and choose the ideal closest to the original face. They have not developed a program that will be a “beauty estimator” for nonwhite racial and ethnic groups. Keep reading »
During Fashion Week it’s easy to forget some of the pretty ladies walking down the runway do more than just act as coat hangers for fabulously over-priced garments. That’s why our girls at Glam put together this list of models who do more.
The (oft over-used) term supermodel gets tossed around a lot. But whether or not these catwalk queens have been officially coined with that status, they’re all super in our eyes. Somewhere between strutting down the catwalk in New York and Paris, and shooting high-fashion spreads at some exotic locale in the South Pacific, these beauties have also found time to become social activists, authors, and aspiring actresses–proving that they’re much more than just a pretty face.
The Writer: Alek Wek — Discovered at an outdoor market in London, Alek Wek’s strikingly unconventional look can be found grazing the catwalks of leading designers across the globe. But what has remained undiscovered, is her unconventional upbringing in the south of Sudan. Published in 2007, Wek released the autobiography, Alek, which probes into those youthful years: the bold escape from a home torn by civil-war and ultimate climb to stardom.
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If you haven’t heard already, the July issue of Italian Vogue was unprecedented. All the models in it were black. Amidst the buzz that followed, the much-hyped “Black Issue” became such a popular success that distribution was increased by 40-percent, an amazing feat. Some (including me) saw the concept — race as an “issue” — as a gimmick, an attempt to shush critics who frequently point out how little page-time the fashion industry gives to anything other than white faces. But, without a doubt, the issue got people talking about the issues. Now, let’s hope their attention isn’t squandered.
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