Who are « those girls » and what is « whatever the f**k they do »? Models Peyton Knight, Mia Yarborough, Bella Lombardi and the admins of Instagram famous page ‘Shit Model Management’ told us everything.
As you may or may not have heard, Kendall Jenner made some headlines again because of what she had to say to the LOVE Magazine. « I was never one of those girls who would do like 30 shows a season or whatever the fuck those girls do. » It was « disrespectful and offensive» to many in the fashion industry, and has brought the attention of a lot of models like Vlada Roslyakova, Daria Strokus, Irina Juranovic, Faretta, who had a thing or two to say about this.
We contacted the Instagram page Shit Model Management, famous for calling out the real issues in the fashion world, who was the first one to speak out against Kendall Jenner’s statements. We spoke to the ex-model behind the Shit Model Management page, and she says that « It’s hard knowing that you have to work 100 times harder and will still never reach Kendall’s level of success. The fact that she won’t even acknowledge her privilege is frustrating.»
In opposition to Kendall Jenner, it’s been harder for other models who had to be recognized for their potential and not their famous last names. The wonderful 20-year-old Peyton Knight, who agreed to discuss topics of the fashion industry with the Artémis team, explains: « She (Kendall) has been sheltered from the real anxiety of the business. I’ve been at fittings for 12 hours before, spent the night there waiting up, not getting fed at all, then getting 1 hour of sleep before my show. » « There’s a difference between curating an image as far as the clients you selectively work with, and then there’s the mentality that you’re better than all the other girls and deserve ONLY the best. »
Peyton, who has walked for big brands like Chanel, and who was signed with agencies at a young age, also pointed out the sexual harassment and rape that unfortunately exist in the Fashion industry. « I know far too many models who have had terrible experiences outside of work too just because they look beautiful. » She also opens up about the body issues she had to face as a model, telling us that she got extremely skinny because she felt it was required, which has compromised her health.
«Telling someone who’s 6 feet that they have to have the same measurements as someone who’s 5’6 is ridiculous. Bones don’t work that way!». According to Peyton, it feels like «you’re not runaway skinny, but you’re also not curvy.»
In addition, she says she wishes to see more health cover benefits for signed models and artists. Indeed, a lot of models suffer from health problems and mental illness issues because of the difficult conditions and stress they are victims of. « Castings and fittings could be managed a bit more seamlessly ». The health issue in the modeling world is a big problem that is not spoken about enough. It’s an issue noticed by many, since Shit Model Management also informed us about it:
« With being severely underweight; constantly under extreme pressure, mental breakdowns and corrupt agents, there is little room for a healthy mind and body. To me, it’s just a very dark and negative environment. » Shit Model Management wants agencies to be regulated by health coaches and mental health experts, as well as honest accountants.
Another hardworking model who hopes for mental health issues and stress to be reduced in the industry, is Mia Yarborough, who admitted that she finally found an agency that believes in her and that wants to see her grow. Lots of models struggle with finding the right agencies who can make them feel good about themselves. Peyton says that « it feels nice being with a new agency that’s supportive of the way I am built » when talking about finally feeling better about herself and image.
When we asked Mia about the darker sides of the industry, she told us that « There are a lot of creepy photographers who try to take advantage of female and male models, agents who steal money or just don’t pay models at all and of course there’s a lot of racism in the industry as well. » Mia also shared how disheartening it can be to walk in an agency whose models are almost all white: « An agency in L.A once told me that they ‘already had a girl that looked like me’, but when I looked, they only had about 5 black girls and none of them looked like me at all. »
In parallel, Bella Lombardi, a 17-year-old model from Rhode Island, also opened up to us about her struggles as an aspiring model, and her issues with the modeling requirements: « I think the requirements should change, you shouldn’t have to be 5’9 to do photoshoots, if you can serve face you can model. » Bella is one to serve face indeed, since the famous Magdalena Frackowiak reposted Bella’s picture on her own 400.000 followers Instagram page.
Mia Yarborough also thinks that the requirements should change and that the industry should feature more dark-skinned models, trans models, models with disabilities, and overall models « who represent real people ». When discussing the recent Kendall Jenner scandal, they stated:
« I’m not trying to knock her mental health at all because I know first-hand how stressful life is », says Mia, « But I was just shocked by the ignorance of that statement. » « I know models who have been working in this industry since they were 15-16 and they are still nowhere near her level. Kendall didn’t have to go to 10 castings a day and sleep on subways and not eat for a day or two. », Mia exclaims.
Bella Lombardi also explained her view on the fashion shows’ castings: «Kendall is mocking the girls who actually work hard and starve because they can’t make enough money by the jobs they’re trying to get, which are being stolen by the same nepotism models constantly.»
According to the Shit Model Management, the industry is constantly changing, and brands nowadays want celebrities instead of models. Bella Lombardi thinks so too: «Designers only care if you have 2 million instagram followers or a famous parent unfortunately. » And Peyton Knight explains that’s it much harder when you are not born famous: « I was no one. I didn’t have rich parents or live in a fancy city. » Mia also talked about non-rich families: « Kendall doesn’t have to send most of her money back home to her parents who live in a small town or a small village in the middle of nowhere. »
Overall, the modeling business is another place of struggles, hard work, and sacrifices if you want to succeed. In this article, we wanted to share the truth of what it’s like being a non-nepotism, exhausted model in today’s industry. We would like to thank the amazing women who have collaborated with us for this project, and without who this could have not been possible. We wish them a road of success and happiness as they continue to work hard every day; and we hope we managed to honor them in this post, with our will to create a positive change in the Fashion industry.