The modeling industry is cutthroat and, the fact is, the men and the women who work in it are strong and resilient people. At first glance, one might think modeling is an easy hobby that just about anyone can pick up. They might even believe that with a few hours of practice and a snazzy new outfit, they could easily become America’s Next Top Model. On top of that, they rarely ever stop to think about the open criticisms and judgments they throw at models. People who know next to nothing about the modeling industry always seem to have the most to say about a model’s walk, body, and face. What’s even more alarming is the fact that no one seems to find anything wrong with it.
Modeling is not easy and the people who do it are not a bunch of random individuals that decided to pick it up one day for lack of anything better to do. Modeling is not easy and the hours of practice, preparation, and laborious wardrobe changes models must go through speak to this fact very clearly. Modeling is not easy and the up-and-coming model Slick Woods is a perfect example of this.
Woods, 21, has gained notoriety after signing onto Rihanna’s makeup and lingerie brand earlier this year. More recently, she has undergone public scrutiny and online-hate after she walked in Rihanna’s Fenty X Savage Show last week. Woods, who went into labor during the fashion show and delivered her new baby boy 14 hours later, was apart of the show’s many diverse and plus size models and brought along some much-needed inclusivity to New York Fashion Week. However, this didn’t stop Twitter trolls from storming the website with nasty tweets about Woods and her appearance:
Slick Woods is ugly. Just because she’s bald, slim, with mountains between us ass teeth, and modeling for Fenty doesn’t make the bitch cute.
— clark kent media (@killiousb) September 17, 2018
The fact of the matter is that no one has the right to declare what is beautiful and what is not. It’s not a matter of “preference” or “free speech”- you just don’t have the right to make someone else feel bad just because you have some sort of problem with the way they look. The fashion industry is known for being exclusive in the type of models it chooses, namely, favoring models of lighter skin tones, with perfect skin and sharp features. However, its turned over a new leaf in recent years as its begun to show models with darker skin and, what used to be, blatant “imperfections”. Models with vitiligo, like Winnie Harlow , freckle-filled faces, like Salem Mitchell, and gap teeth, like Slick Woods, are becoming the face of high fashion and that’s nothing short of wonderful. These people are considered beautiful, yet they have the traits that Eurocentric beauty standards look down upon. This is something we should wholeheartedly embrace, as it means giving a platform to just about anyone that isn’t blonde with blue eyes.
Instead of bashing Slick Woods for her looks and confidence, we should take a moment to remember two very important things. First, is that she is signed to an accredited modeling agency, has modeled for Rihanna and many other high-profile brands and campaigns, and has plenty of runway gigs lined up for when she returns to the industry after nursing her newborn child. Essentially, she’s booked, busy, and doesn’t need validation from the hateful and jobless patrons of Twitter. Second, is a helpful rule of thumb: if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. Our words have much more of an affect on people than we’ll ever know, so, you should always think about what you say before you say it; you’ll go a long way in life if you do.