Celebrating Evolution of Modelling: From Runways to Role Models to Activism

The Australian Supermodel of the Year Blog: The Evolution of Modelling: From Runways to Role Models to Activism

 

Modelling to Role Models and Activism 

My journey in the world of fashion has been a winding path, one that has traversed the realms of design, photography, branding, education, entrepreneurship and activism. I have been a part of and witnessed the transformative journey what I refer to as “From Modelling to Role Modelling to Activism.” It’s not just just a concept but a vision for the future of modelling. 

The Modelling World – Then and Now

The world of modelling has undergone significant changes over the years. It used to be primarily about showcasing garments and beauty. While aesthetics are undoubtedly vital, I’ve come to realise that there’s much more to modelling than meets the eye. It’s not merely about how someone looks in a photograph. It is about the story they tell, the values they represent and the impact they make.

Modelling: A Platform for Role Models

The transition from modelling to role modelling represents a shift in perspective. I’ve always believed that models are more than just faces on a runway or in a magazine. They have the power to influence, inspire and drive change. This belief led to the creation of initiatives like the Australian Supermodel of the Year (ASOTY) Program.

The ASOTY Program: Nurturing Role Models

ASOTY is a testament to my conviction that the future of modelling lies in nurturing role models. It’s not just a competition but a transformative journey for aspiring models. It’s about instilling values like authenticity, kindness, brilliance and sisterhood alongside the essential skills needed in the industry. Through ASOTY, I’ve seen young talents blossom into compassionate, confident and socially responsible individuals.

Yours Authentically

Authenticity is the first pillar of the future of modelling. It’s about being yourself, both as a model and as a brand. It means embracing one’s unique identity and using it to tell a genuine story. In an era dominated by filters and photo manipulation, embracing one’s flaws and imperfections is not only refreshing but also liberating.

Kindness as a Virtue

Kindness is the second pillar that elevates modelling into role modelling. In a competitive industry, it’s easy to forget the importance of treating others with respect and compassion. Yet, I firmly believe that kindness is the true currency of the modelling world. It’s about supporting fellow models, designers, photographers and everyone involved in the creative process. Kindness fosters collaboration and paves the way for a more inclusive and harmonious industry.

The Brilliance of Creativity

The third pillar, brilliance, celebrates creativity in all its forms. Modelling is not a one-size-fits-all endeavour. Each model brings a unique perspective, style and creativity to the table. The future of modelling lies in embracing and celebrating this diversity of talent. It’s about pushing boundaries, challenging norms and creating art that leaves a lasting impression.

Support: The Power of Sisterhood

Sisterhood is about creating a nurturing and empowering environment for models. In an industry often marked by competition and high expectations, sisterhood offers a vital support system. It’s about models coming together, celebrating each other’s successes, offering a helping hand in times of need and collectively advancing the cause of inclusivity and positive change. Sisterhood transforms modelling from a solitary pursuit into a collective journey where models uplift and inspire one another. Together, they can redefine the industry, making it a place where kindness, collaboration and brilliance are the guiding lights.

Activism: Using Influence for Good

The final phase of my journey – activism – is a natural extension of role modelling. Models have a platform, a voice and an audience. With this influence comes a responsibility to advocate for causes that matter. We have all witnessed how models can use their prominence to support social, environmental and humanitarian initiatives. From raising awareness about sustainable fashion to championing diversity and inclusion, activism is the embodiment of the values of authenticity, kindness and brilliance.

The future of modelling I envision as authentic, kind and brilliant. It’s a future where models are more than just faces. They are role models who inspire positive change. It’s a future where the industry is characterised by transparency, compassion and creativity. Models have the power to shape not only fashion trends but also society’s perceptions and values. 

Together, we can make a difference, one runway at a time.

Models to role models to activism with asoty
ELLA CORBETT, MODEL & MENTOR, SPEAKING AT A WORKSHOP DURING ASOTY 2023 RETREAT IN BALI

FAQs on Modelling, Role Models and Activism by the Australian Supermodel of the Year

1. How has the field of modelling evolved over time and what defines it in the present?

ASOTY: The field of modelling has transformed from a focus on mere aesthetics to one that values narratives, representation and societal influence. Today, it’s more about telling compelling stories, promoting diversity and making a positive impact.

2. What does the transition from modelling to role modelling entail?

ASOTY: Shifting from modelling to role modelling signifies a change in perspective. It means understanding that models are not just faces but also influential figures who can inspire change, advocate for causes and set positive examples for their audience.

3. Can you explain the Australian Supermodel of the Year (ASOTY) Program and its significance in the industry?

ASOTY: The ASOTY Program is an initiative designed to nurture aspiring models, imparting values like authenticity, kindness and sisterhood, alongside essential industry skills. Its significance lies in shaping a new generation of models who are compassionate, socially responsible and committed to positive change.

4. Why is authenticity considered a core element in the future of modelling?

ASOTY: Authenticity is fundamental because it encourages models to embrace their unique identities. It is about telling genuine stories in an era dominated by image manipulation and filters, fostering a sense of liberation and truth.

5. What role does kindness play in the modelling world and why is it considered a virtue?

ASOTY: Kindness is pivotal in fostering a supportive and collaborative environment in the competitive modelling industry. It is recognised as the true currency that can create a more inclusive, respectful and harmonious atmosphere among models, designers and creatives.

6. How does the future of modelling celebrate creativity and why is this important?

ASOTY: The future of modelling celebrates creativity by valuing the diverse talents and perspectives that models bring to the industry. It encourages pushing boundaries, defying norms and creating art that leaves a lasting impact, adding depth and uniqueness to the field.

7. Why is sisterhood emphasized and how does it transform the modelling industry?

ASOTY: Sisterhood creates a nurturing and empowering environment for models, providing vital support in an industry characterised by competition and high expectations. Models coming together, celebrating each other’s successes and collectively working towards inclusivity and positive change redefine the industry, making it more collaborative.

8. How does activism align with the journey from modelling to role modelling and what is its role in the industry?

ASOTY: Activism is the natural extension of role modelling. Models have a platform, a voice and an audience, which comes with a responsibility to advocate for important causes. They use their prominence to support social, environmental and humanitarian initiatives, embodying the values of authenticity, kindness and brilliance.

9. In what ways can the future of modelling influence fashion trends and societal values?

ASOTY: The future of modelling has the potential to shape fashion trends and societal values by inspiring positive change. Models are influencing perceptions, values and the direction of the industry by advocating for diversity, sustainability and ethical practices.

10. What is the collective vision for the future of modelling?

ASOTY: The collective vision for the future of modelling envisions an industry characterised by transparency, compassion and creativity. Models are seen as role models who can make a difference, one runway at a time, promoting positive change in both the industry and society.

Modeling agencies act as intermediaries between models and clients. They help models find job opportunities, negotiate contracts and provide guidance in building a successful modelling career. Working with an agency can help you access a wider range of opportunities and professional support.

There are several types of modelling careers, including fashion, editorial, commercial, runway, fitness, petite, street, modest, plus-size and activism modelling, among others. Each category has its own requirements and target audiences.

To start a modelling career, you should begin by creating a portfolio with professional photos. Attend open casting calls or send your portfolio to modelling agencies. Building a strong online presence on social media platforms like Instagram can also help you gain visibility.

Fashion models typically need to meet certain height and body size requirements, which can vary among agencies and markets. However, the fashion industry has become more inclusive in recent years, with opportunities for models of diverse body types.

While professional training and modelling classes can be beneficial, they are not always necessary. Many successful models have learned on the job. However, training can help you refine your skills and improve your chances of success. It is also a great way to network and create a sisterhood.

To avoid scams, research modelling agencies and individuals thoroughly before signing contracts or paying fees. Be cautious of anyone asking for upfront payments or promising unrealistic success. Seek advice from experienced models or industry professionals.

Personal branding is crucial for models in the digital age. Models can use social media platforms to create and promote their unique brand, connecting directly with fans and clients. A strong personal brand can lead to more opportunities and endorsements.

A healthy lifestyle is essential for models. This includes a balanced diet, regular exercise, sufficient sleep and effective stress management. Maintaining mental well-being is equally important, so seeking support when needed is encouraged.

Models may encounter challenges like intense competition, rejection and inconsistent income. Maintaining a positive attitude, resilience and adaptability are key to overcoming these obstacles.

The modelling industry has become more diverse and inclusive in recent years, embracing models of various ethnicities, genders, sizes and abilities. This shift reflects a growing recognition of the importance of representation and inclusivity in the fashion world.

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kal-kalim

About the author: Kal

Kal Kalim is a fashion photographer, brand strategist and communication designer based in Melbourne, currently working on fashion, beauty & educational projects in Bali & India. He has been working on projects creating strategies, campaigns, content and communication for fashion and beauty brands in Australia, India, Indonesia, Italy, France & South Africa for the last two decades.
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