’90s supermodel Stephanie Seymour recently slammed models like Kendall Jenner, Gigi Hadid and Karlie Kloss, saying they should not be called “supermodels.” She noted that these women have gained a following at a much faster rate than possible in the past because of social media, while the supermodels of the ‘90s had to put long hours of work in before booking gigs for fashion shows such as Chanel, Versace or Calvin Klein.
While Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell became supermodels by spending countless hours on the subway traveling to major cities such as New York, London and Milan- working, networking and trying to be seen, Kendall Jenner became a supermodel by taking selfies and posting them from the comfort of her own home in Calabasas, California.
So is she really a true supermodel?
Although they may have not had to work as hard as supermodels in the past, it is hard to say that these women aren’t supermodels. I gawk at Kendall’s giraffe-like figure, gaze into Gigi’s icy blue eyes and gush over Hailey’s perfect Instagram pouts. It’s safe to say that these supermodels have elicited the same response in me as Gisele did for women in the early 2000s.
The newbies may have risen to the top in a different way, but fans love them just as much.
However, it’s obvious that it’s becoming increasingly easier for women to gain success in the modeling industry. Take Alexis Ren, for example. The 19-year-old model from Santa Monica, CA has almost reached supermodel-dom after becoming Instagram famous the past couple years for her gorgeous photoshoots with her then boyfriend, who is also a model, Jay Alvarrez. The couple was famous for posting pictures promoting skimpy swimwear to their millions of followers. Alexis has literally made a fortune on Instagram likes.
Is this a problem? In some ways, yes. It is now harder than ever for women to not compare themselves to these stick thin models. It’s as if the line between reality and media has blurred. We can no longer “blame the media” for photoshopped models and unrealistic beauty standards when “everyday” models upload Instagram selfies regularly.
Not to mention some of this Instagram “modeling” is borderline pornography. If you’ve ever seen the Instagram accounts of Barstool Smokeshows or TFM Girls, you’ll understand.
College girls clad in skimpy bikinis bare it all on these accounts, only for a few thousands likes and the sometimes disgusting comments of frat boys. If Hailey Baldwin’s Instagram is the new Harper’s Bazaar, Barstool Smokeshows is the new Playboy. Even if not featured on these sleazy accounts, it’s hard for me to not scroll through my Instagram feed without seeing a picture of a girl I know posing on the beach in a cheeky bikini running her hands through her hair. It seems that virtually anyone can be considered a “model” these days.
I do not think this Instagram model craze is all negative, however. I am not here to say I have never posted a selfie or a picture of myself in a bikini on Instagram. I think that in a way, this is a major confidence booster.
Like all things in life, there must be a balance. While it is fine to post a gorgeous selfie or a picture of you on the beach during your trip to California, it is important to remember to not become so obsessed with the way you look, especially through a filter. Unless you have serious intentions to become a model, brains, a sense of humor and personality win over looks any day. So go ahead, post that beautiful #snapsawitfirst selfie you took the other day-but don’t forget to throw in a sunset pic every now and then too!