Reality TV Killed the Supermodel
and all of us in succession
Rebecca Romijn: via People Magazine
“They are not true supermodels,” she continued. “And the thing is, I have always looked to Vogue magazine to lead the way, not be a follower. … So I have been disappointed that fashion magazines have been supporting this trend of social media stars to set our style standards.”
After reading what model Rebecca Romijn bravely and perfectly stated — I felt a sickening feeling in the pit of my stomach.
It is amazing what we’ve become as a society — as a people. Social media and the science of numbers has become our favored gauge and with good reason.
TV shows are solely reliant on the translation of fans that Tweet their pleasure or displeasure as they follow every move of their favorite characters.
This has coerced show runners of highly rated shows to seriously consider the lifespan or potential love interest of the people they created without the input of the outside forces they’ve allowed to infiltrate the caged creativity that should never be subjected to the wiles of popular demand.
But this is what happens when we run amuck.
When we are given the level of power we neither deserved nor earned. This is what happens when we finally adhere to the standards of perfection based on our warped sense of reality. This is what happens when bullies get the final say and overrun the system to the point of extinction.
This is what happens when we base our value on how much or how little we factor in — as we summon the listicles of relevance that salute the numerical codes of likes, retweets, and reactions that forevermore prove our level of awesomeness.
During the heady but coherent era of the eighties — fashion magazines like Vogue, Cosmopolitan, and Elle — kept me entranced and alighted as I took in the reverie of the stunning girls splashed all over the pages with authoritative vibrancy.
I wasn’t privy to the fact that these were “supermodels” — all I could comprehend was that they looked unreachable and yet remarkably viable. I could stare for hours and be convinced that perhaps I could grow up and be just like them.
Maybe — I would walk the shores of Bar Beach — and set my sights in the direction of the wind while gazing with the assurance of a youthful teen. Happy in thought — but restless in the mode of an uncertain future.
And then suddenly the appearance of a scout disguised as a tourist — deflects the rays of the sun — as she spews out all the reasons why my flight to London is paid for — if only I agree to be beautiful forever.
This is how models were built back in the day. But so many things that ruled our basic existence have melted away and the larva has been reworked to sculpture the figurines that currently rule the universe.
Cindy, Linda, Naomi, Kate, Stephanie, Christy, Helena, Elaine, Laetitia and Claudia.
They just needed to be mentioned without surnames because it was obvious what league you were referring to.
And there was plenty more to add to the pool of genetic magnificence that catapulted them to revered status — without the throngs of misguided theories annoyingly dependent on who’s sister fucked who — when and where.
They were just born to intercede on behalf of mere mortals because of their super powers and ability to beautifully play the role they were ordained to perform.
The Supermodel era was a good time. It inspired prototypes that tried and succeeded in the quest to emulate and protect the brand of seamless perfection.
It’s wonderful to flip through vintage formulated magazines and recall why those days of long ago were special and celebrated.
These models were so dope that even George Michael had to pay homage. Rockers like Axl Rose from Guns N’ Roses and singers like Billy Joel and Chris Isaak serenaded the audacity of being linked to the most sought after women in the world.
This brings me to the harried present times. The regulations that determine the talents in specific departments have been revised to accommodate an itinerary that reeks of hopelessness and sheer desperation.
Reality TV has become the global measurement of what sells and what tanks.
You need enough of us to like you and even more to love you for no specific reason other than the fact that you represent what we wish we could encompass.
In a lifetime.
Rebecca Romijn was more than fair in her assessment of the fashion industry at large.
The fashion world has become an autoplay of the recycled fodder based on the fancies of mindless robotic users who subscribe to the idiotic notion that followers make the world go round.
Perhaps, they aren’t as unscrupulous as we think.
Kendall Jenner, younger sister of Kim Kardashian West — who became a global phenomenon after her eldest sister’s sex tape, circulated and concurred the web, is now a bona fide supermodel.
She looks like a normal twenty-something with all the dues intact — but supermodel?
Her equally branded cohort — Gigi Hadid at least has the residue of her mother’s former modeling days to help champion her cause — but supermodel?
Not even close.
And yet — based on the disturbing allegiance from an industry that used to be known for its astute religion of unveiling the blueprints of futuristic stamps — we have to abide by this newly minted regimen that is anything but sacred.
Reality TV devoured the very notion of what defines a supermodel or even fashion for that matter.
It is no longer about that girl who stands out amongst the throngs of beach goers or subway hostages after a long and tiring day.
It’s about the sex of things and the Instagram slaves who stay up all night to watch how their obsession of the month puckers her overblown lips and saturates her almost dead strands into attention.
Kendall Jenner received an invitation to the White House Correspondents Dinner.
How can we not entertain the notion that the world is ending when President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle Obama — dutifully agree that this young woman who is nothing more than a pawn in her family’s very expensive scheme gets to see The White House for free and sit amongst noted accomplished folk.
It’s incredible how much we’ve succumbed to the pressures of lunch time battles as they evolved into more sophisticated entries that track how much we want to kiss asses or burn them.
Kudos to Facebook and Twitter for the brilliant display of understanding of just how messed up we are as humans.
We’ve been taken for a wild ride.
Our drivers are richer and we are pathetically bleeding from our inability to save ourselves from mental extinction.
So, keep coding in your likes and comments. The world is a stage and we are its disgraced players.