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Catwalk model fights back

You would think brands were beyond it by now; that they would be ready to celebrate the rich variety of body types in the world and treasure different ages and stages of development, but catwalk model Ulrikke Hoyer found herself in a position where her weight was criticised by a big brand, and she came out fighting.

The successful model who has appeared in campaigns all over the world was set to appear in a Louis Vuitton show in May, when she says she was told by the casting director that she should ‘drink only water for the next 24 hours’ and ultimately ‘cancelled from the show due to being ‘too big.’

Women with courage of conviction

The story, which has been documented across the international press, came about when Ulrikke took to her Instagram account to name and shame the big brand. Her picture shows her looking slender but not unhealthy at a very lean size 8-10.As an elite tennis player since she was a child, the former athlete has a good understanding of nutrition and training but “I also know that the demands and expectations that are given to the high end fashion models in the industry are often completely unattainable and directly damaging to the human body” she told Women’s Health.

At the grand old age of 20, Ulrikke said that she was glad that she is 20 and thus more self assured than her 15 year old counterparts, who she worried would be even more vulnerable to the pressures of the modelling industry. But while accepting that her role is one of ‘commodity’, she is adamant that she cannot accept the ‘normality’ of this behaviour. It takes a strong woman to have that courage of conviction at any age, but at 20, which is still such a formative time in one’s life, it is particularly inspiring.

Thankfully, Ulrikke is not the first model to speak out about the impossible standards and pressures set out by the modelling industry at times. I skra Lawrence has made a career for herself as neither a ‘plus size’ or ‘straight size’ model, and shot into the wider public consciousness last year with her campaign to build an army against body image bullies.

Paris is making changes

At the same time that all of has been going on, Paris showed itself to rise above it all when French MPs approved a law to ban the use of fashion models deemed to be excessively thin in a bid to make it illegal to condone and encourage anorexia. Under the law, models will have to show they have a Body Mass Index (BMI) of at least 18 (doctors say a normal BMI for adults is between 18.5 and 24.9.and modelling agents that break the rules face fines and six months in jail. Whether this is the right solution or not remains up for debate and it certainly has its critics, but the intent is positive and a proactive move enshrined in law.

While its sad that this issue still continues, it is a wonderful thing to see women with the confidence to speak out against injustice and poor practice within the modelling industry and setting a good example to the rest of us. it’s not about what you weigh, it’s about being healthy and happy.


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