I came across this today as I was perusing my Facebook. It was written by my friend Paul Fisher. Paul is a model agent in Los Angeles and is the host of the reality show about model agencies called "Remodeled". It is a good read. Enjoy.
Time to Choose: Social Responsibility and the Modeling Industry
We see it happening all over the world: huge multi-national corporations changing their practices – and their public image – in response to the pressure to become socially responsible. In the past decade, as environmental awareness has increased exponentially and anxiety about global warming has grown, major industrial companies have realized they have a choice: change their practices in response to the growing outcry, or cling to an outdated and destructive model. Airlines like Virgin Atlantic, energy companies like BP, auto manufacturers like Ford: all have chosen to make major changes in how they do business. They have chosen the path of responsibility, and are discovering that being good corporate citizens doesn’t mean forgoing profits or their responsibility to their shareholders.
The modeling industry, however, remains stuck in the past. Though some old agencies have folded and new players have emerged, the essential dynamic remains unchanged: beautiful, young – very young – girls are brought into a world which has little regard for their vulnerability, and little regard for the colossal impact that the images they produce have on women across the globe. Once considered an isolated and rare phenomenon, eating disorders and body dysmorphia (distorted self-image) are now a genuinely universal phenomenon, affecting girls as young as six and seven and causing incalculable social harm. For too long, the modeling and fashion industries have either ignored the problem, or paid lip service to “being part of the solution” without making any enduring and substantive effort to bring a sense of social responsibility to the business of beauty.
It’s time to choose. The choice is not between doing the right thing and making money. As other good corporate citizens have shown, a willingness to undergo an ethical makeover can enhance rather than diminish profits. The choice is between remaining stuck in a business model that is unsustainable and destructive or embracing a new and responsible way of discerning, cultivating, and marketing beauty to the world. The Network has the vision, the program, and the tools to help modeling agencies and those whom they serve to transform an industry, to transform lives, and to transform our world.
It’s time to choose.