No, it’s not a typo.
Yesterday, waiting for a coffee-to-go in busy Gisborne, I flicked through the local rag. I saw an article ‘Brands Waking to the Appeal of Real Women’ about recent research into fashion marketing.
[I don’t use the word ‘real’ myself, because all women are real women, regardless of size. I prefer the term ‘regular’].
The studies focused on the relationship between the type of models brands employ and people’s buying behaviour. The specific focus of the research was the use of diverse models. The article referred to these recent entrants into fashion circles with the slang term ‘nodels’ as in, ‘not-models’. Pictured was one of the most iconic plus size models in recent years, Tess Holliday.
Research uncovered a desire for brands to promote images that reflected greater diversity and signalled that they felt this would lead to greater brand trust and longer-lasting consumer relationships. The media and brands are waking up to this…
from Suzanne Winfield, New Zealand Herald 26th December, 2016
‘NODEL’ stuck in my brain. I didn’t consider the ‘nodel’ label offensive; it’s just another nonsense word. But I mused for a bit about how I must be a nodel, and about how close the word nodel is to nodule, a very unattractive thing, or to noddy, something I am, often!
The word also made me think about the modelling work I have done. Was I ‘not-modelling’ during those shoots? Was the photographer ‘not-shooting’ and the makeup artist ‘not-making-up’? Was the job ‘not-selling’ clothes? No.
So the ‘not’ part must refer to the industry aesthetic attached to the word ‘model’. To how I look, not what I do.
I don’t look like a typical straight-sized (ie. size 6-8) model, I look like a regular woman. I’m grateful to, and I don’t think nodels like me need a different label. Can we not all be models if we do modelling work? A simple thought to thunk, as my friend Pooh would say. A mannequin is a mannequin regardless of it’s size. Come on fashion aesthetists, get with the program. We all buy fashion, all sorts of bodies, it makes perfect sense that we want to see fashion modelled on bodies like our own.
Today when I got home from our long Christmas road trip I was greeted by a package from Euphoria Design (thank you Monique and crew).
This beautiful New Zealand fashion label design clothes for women size 10-24.
Earlier this year they ran a model search called ‘Confidence is Beautiful’. You may have seen my post all about it. The shoot was about showing the relationship between inner confidence and beauty. It was about people like you and me. It was such a great concept! I was lucky enough to be selected along with nine other gorgeous kiwi women. We were from all over the country and all walks of life, we were many variations of ‘woman’. I made some wonderful friends that day, was spoilt rotten and enjoyed a glamorous shoot in a new season Euphoria Design dress.
Today, in that parcel was a cute framed shot from that day and a memory stick with all my photos, I’ve been waiting for them since our shoot and it is so cool to be able to at last share them properly on here! My Nodel Life! Haha! Seeing the pictures again brought back all the fun of the day and made me feel proud to be a nodel/model (whatever!) and a regular female of the human species. I couldn’t be happier about being part of the movement for greater visibility in fashion media. We need to see more regular bodies. Our daughters need to, too. Desperately.
PS. How gorgeous is this print? The photos are black and white and don’t show the Navy and Milk white print in it’s true form, but it is such a fresh summer print. I love it, and unlike most ‘nodelling’ jobs, this time I got to keep the dress! I know! Lucky!
Do you like seeing bodies like yours in fashion media?
If you do, let your favourite brands know!