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THE REALITY OF MODELING
By Chioma Okwu

We may ask such questions as; what's modeling? Is it even a profitable career? Why will a parent permit his/her child to go into modeling? Are models not almost equal to hookers? Why will anyone even think of being a model? What's there to work hard for?
   Certain persons or group of persons blindly relate to modeling as the easiest, fun filled and most accomplishing job in all the list of possible careers, while some others say it's a sinful and immoral act.
   But in truth, models are plagued with socio-cultural and economically related problems everyday of their career.  What most people don't understand is that every profession has its ups and downs, it's forward and backward, it's dry and rainy season and so does modeling.
  Modeling isn't just all about the glamour and glitter, the silk and silver, the silhouettes and jewels, the makeup and photo sessions or the magazine covers. Behind all these shine and glory lies a lot of sacrifice; the reality of being a model.
   Irrespective of the kind of model you are or of the part of the world you find yourself, models share a similar challenge that is peculiar to the career path.
  I'm not even talking about the struggle of reducing food intake for the sole purpose of maintaining the required model figure; and the stereotype that most male models are homosexuals, there are other problems models are faced with. Some of which I'm going to briefly talk about:
* Unstable income; this is one of the primary issues models have, especially the upcoming super models. They sponsor their own photo shoots and are mostly paid lesser than they are supposed to; mostly because their agents or handlers take a huge percentage off their initial payment.
* Inferiority complex; female models are expected to cut down on their food intake so as to maintain the perfect modeling figure. Though plus size models have been opportune to take up a career in modeling, most of the modeling agencies still go after slim fit ladies.
  The male models are not exclusive to this. They're also required to have an appealing physique. Body shaming has become a social convention in the modeling industry. Some of them are called fat, too thin, too slender, too broad, too tall, too bony, too old or too young.  
 *Sexual advances; this is one of the major reasons African parents are not particularly excited about sending their children (especially the girls) off to the entertainment industry. No typical cultured African parent want to see their child or children get pulled under the umbrella of immorality, all in the name of modeling.
   Some of these young girls actually look forward to such as long as it lands them in the spotlight.
     While some of these girls just want to be given the opportunity to do what they best know how to do.
*Substance abuse; certain persons find it difficult to perform well without the influence of alcohol or drugs. These persons are mostly shy, withdrawn or reserved but become extra active and sociable under the influence.
   These group of persons are said to lack self confidence. I'm not going to argue on why this boost can be sometimes beneficial.
     In order to swerve these challenges, there are a few helpful tips you should put to practice;
1. Be straight forward about your payment terms before the actual event commences.
2. Find your uniqueness and self worth. Appreciate and love your body statistics.
3. Know your worth and strictly draw the fine line between work and pleasure.
4. Work hard on building your self confidence and people management skills with books and counseling.
 I'm going to end this article with listing out the top 8 African models that have successfully broken the stereotypes and are making the continent and their countries proud. 


10.  Flaviana Matata; Tanzania.

  • 9. Betty-Adewole; Nigeria
  • 8. Ajak Deng;  Australian based model.
  • 7. Fatima Siad for Style Bermuda; is a Somalian-Ethiopia born model.
  • 6. Liya Kebede is an Ethiopia Super Model.
  • 5. Maria Borges, Angola Model.
  • 4. Oluchi Onweagba, the first winner of M-Net face of Africa..
  • 3. Candice Susan; Swanepoelol; South Africa.
  • 2. Alek Wek; Sudan.
  • 1. Agbani Darego; first native sub-saharan Africa to win miss world in 2001..

      Africa is a home to beautiful women from many cultural backgrounds. A large number of these women have successfully changed the way people perceive beauty. 

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