I saw a T-shirt when I was 15 or 16 with the phrase “Please Don’t Feed The Models” em blazed across it. I thought it was pretty funny and kinda wanted one just so I could binge on fast food and laugh hysterically in it. Unfortunately, I never got round to doing it.
This blog post is just about my own experiences I have encountered about my size/weight in the industry and how I dealt with them. Whilst I was still doing my A-levels, I sent some photos to a couple agencies just to see how far I could get and hopefully take it further once I left school. I sent one email to a very established agency in New York and within an hour a very camp american man rang me. I don’t remember the conversation word for word but it went something like this:
Booker: hi is that Sophie?
Me: hi, yeah it is
Booker: oh honey, I’m so happy you sent us your photos, we’re very interested. Are those eyebrows natural? They’re amazing! I read in your email that you’re still in school but you’re available to travel next year?
Me: yeah I am
Booker: awesome! Ok so you’re 5″10. What are your bust, waist and hip measurements?
Me: oh I’m not sure I’ve never measured myself. I’m usually size 8 clothing.
Booker: size 8? oh what’s that in America….a size 4? oh we need to get that down! How much do you weigh?
Me: um 8 stone
Booker: ok I’m going to ring you back in 2 weeks time, and I want you to tell me you’re 7
Me: haha seriously?
Booker: yes. You can see it in your photos. Your jaw line is hidden behind the fat in your cheeks and it wouldn’t hurt to get those thighs slimmer. I know it’s hard but it’s the only way you will get work over here. Now don’t starve yourself, just cut out all the junk food. No more chocolate!
Me: ok no more chocolate
Booker: great! well let me know how you get on in a couple weeks. It was nice speaking with you!
Me: I will, thanks, bye
I had just finished eating a galaxy bar when he called. I was pretty shocked when I put the phone down. I didn’t say anything on the phone because I was quite nervous and nobody had ever mentioned my size being too big, it was always the opposite! A conversation like that can turn girls anorexic or bulimic and the way he talked to me was not right at all. I chose to ignore his advice and keep living my life, eating exactly what I wanted. I still got a lot of work in England so I didn’t see any problem. A few weeks later I emailed him back. I attached a very recent new modelling photo with the caption “Is this skinny enough?”. He never replied.
When I signed with Next model management in London a year later, they said that my size was just right for the shows. I knew I did the right thing by ignoring that New York booker. However I do still come across comments like that, but you always will in an industry like this. The thing I find really funny when I’m doing castings around London is you will go to one where they say that your body is an inch too big for the clothes, then the next one you go to they say you’re an inch too small for the clothes. When both were said to me in the same day, it just made me realise you can never be the perfect size in fashion. Every client is after something different so the best you can do is smile and go to the next casting until you find a client who thinks you are perfect.
But this is just the fashion world. In the real world the comments I receive are 100 times more brutal as malicious women sit behind their computer screens and attack me for being “disgustingly skinny”. I’ve lost count of the hate mail I receive. The tactic I use which never fails is to just laugh at it. Because it is funny! They tell me to “eat something before you die”. These people don’t know me at all and they automatically judge me. Oh that girl is skinny, she must not eat, let’s shout at her!
Because of this I’m going to write another blog post in the near future detailing exactly what I have eaten in a few days. I have never dieted and I never will. If I wanna cheesecake – I’m gonna have a cheesecake.