Former model and American television personality Tyra Banks has lashed out at the fashion industry for putting immense pressure on models to perform in various fields. The 42-year-old producer of “America's Next Top Model,” wrote a lengthy post on her Instagram account about how various models are expected not only to remain thin and always look good to stay employed, but also to be social-media savvy at the same time.
“Models have so much pressure today. They have to look good on AND off the set,” writes Banks, who also became the first black woman to appear on the cover of Sports Illustrated's annual swimsuit issue. Banks said models are expected to be dressed up even when they arrive backstage at a fashion show.
“They have to be slimmer than slim. Skinnier than skinny,” complains Banks, who has been a regular on the fashion scene since 1991. The former model was a hot favorite at Paris Fashion Week in the 1990s and also represented brands like Victoria's Secret and Cover Girl.
But Banks believes that the fashion industry has undergone a sea change ever since. Now the models are now expected to be active on social media and also compete with other celebrities. “They [models] have to compete with actresses, recording artists and reality stars for magazine covers and ad campaigns. They have to have tons of followers on social media to book top-notch jobs,” writes Banks.
She added that models also are expected to post selfies on social media “that make them look relatable, but not TOO relatable, because then people may comment that they don't understand, 'Why the heck is THAT girl a friggin' model?'" Banks writes. She also reminisced about the days when she was only expected to pose in front of the camera or walk a runway to earn her living. But it is not the cast anymore.
"When I was a young model, yeah, we had to think about our weight, but not like today. I think I was size 6, not a size 0," she reveals. She ends her lengthy post by sending “love and hugs to all working, aspiring and super models worldwide who have a lots to live up to.” She also asked the girls to “stay strong.”