Alternative Models Are The New Beautiful
While alternative modeling is still alternative, are these models changing the idea of beauty?
When you think of models, what comes to mind? To many, images of Angels, Bunnies or Pets are usually the norm. Or that tall slender girl with the smooth skin and perfectly bouncy hair that you see every day might be your idea of how a model looks. But a rapidly growing industry has been redefining models and what modeling is all about. This phenomenon is rejecting the narrow standards of beauty and celebrates unique and experimental looks across the world. We’re talking about a concept innovative and unique in its acceptance of those on the edge of society’s beauty ideals. We’re talking about people who are too cool to be models, people with real lives. We’re talking about beautiful alternative models.
Alternative modeling is a branch of the modeling industry where models do not conform to mainstream ideals of beauty. Some of the most trending models you may not have heard of are covered in a multitude of tattoos, edgy piercings, eccentric outfits, and bold hair in a variety of colors and styles that give us hair-spiration for days. These models embrace their personal styles, whether that be gothic, indie, underground, punk, rockabilly, hippy, burlesque, fetishism or anything else considered different from the Tyra Banks and Kate Moss look. Most alternative (alt) models hold day jobs, whether that be assistants, writers, teachers, artists, or students, all pulling a Cara Delevingne and using modeling as additional income.
Ten years ago, alt models only fulfilled niche markets; towering, size zero teen supermodels ruled the runways, magazines and television ads. There wasn’t a tattoo in sight. Now, women like Rihanna and Megan Fox are proudly displaying their tattoos, watering down the cultural sensitivity surrounding visible tattoos. Companies like Chanel, Marc Jacobs, and Louis Vuitton are using quirky, cool, tongue-in-cheek connotations, trying to get an edge on each other. Thanks to the rise of magazines like Inked Girls and community-based websites like SuicideGirls, GodsGirls, and AntiPretty, unique beauty and “alternative” lifestyles have been given substantial mainstream media coverage in the last decade. Alt models have become so popular, Iska Ithil appeared in VOGUE. In case you were unfamiliar with Iska, she boasts rainbow hair, pink eyebrows and multiple piercings.
Get Ready For Your Alternative Shoot
While everyone automatically assumes tattoos, some of the most popular alt models are barely modified. Psychara is a gothic girl with shaved eyebrows, no tattoos, and extravagant handmade outfits; Dani Divine has red streaked hair and just few peircings; Audrey Kitching has pink hair and few piercings, and Dita Von Teese has nothing. While Raquel Reed, who blew up years ago on Myspace, has just a few larger tattoos, JoJo Suicide was one of the first heavily modified alt models to get big. Since it’s more of a lifestyle, part of the appeal is that models generally are “alternative”, they don’t turn alt for the photo shoot. For the alt models with all the tattoos, their look is a permanent thing. Even on the days they just want to walk down the street and blend in, they will always look alternative. No matter how casual they might dress, they still stand out. But this is one industry where standing out is the name of the game.
Thanks to the social media boom, alternative lifestyles are now recognized and celebrated across the internet and fashion industry. Alt models have become known for their strikingly unusual look as well as their personalities. They are different to the norm, someone you would maybe look twice at in the street. They come in all different sizes, shapes and ages. Some, like Amina Suicide and British singer Viktoria Modesta, are even missing limbs. Lisa Eagleton lost her leg in an accident and was dumped shortly after. As a result, her confidence fell. Lisa and many other alt models say that modeling has been just what they needed to boost their self esteem. Being beautiful still remains a prerequisite; however, there is a shifting idea on what is beautiful. Alt models have great personality, good style, charisma and interesting hobbies; they are the whole package.
Alternative modeling doesn’t just mean an edgy look though; it’s about an edgy shot. That might mean a photo shoot with Megan Massacre, a tattoo artist and founder of Grit N Glory, a combination tattoo studio and clothing boutique. Megan not only is covered in tattoos, but she also has bright orange hair. While achieving an edgy shot with Megan might be easy, other models flip themselves upside down, fold themselves in half, put themselves in very restrictive garments, allow themselves to be tied up, dress themselves in head to toe latex and 8 inch ballet boots, or nothing at all, all in order to get an intensely radical shot. Often they break into abandoned and condemned locations, get bloody, dirty, and then pose with a totally relaxed expression. Most fashion models are unable to strike such intense and unnatural poses.
Hot Girls Love: Tattoos & Body Piercings
At the end of the day, some alt models have tattoos and some don’t; some make and wear quirky clothes, some buy their clothes at the mall; some rock shiny piercings or wear more mundane jewelry; some enjoy kink, others are vanilla. Other “barriers” separating alternative folks from the normal ones are melting away. The truth is, alternative modeling is not as “extreme” as it once was. What once conflicted with societal norms and expected beauty standards has become common and accepted. Where “alternative” beauty ends and “normal” beauty begins? Is there even a line, or is it just a self-described ideal anyone can ascribe themselves? Regardless, diversity in modeling is important to not only to the alternative scene, but to the modeling industry as a whole. Is the world finally ready to embrace all models? When individuals start embracing themselves, others will reply with overwhelming reception. Alternative modeling will always be alternative; but at Filthy Gorgeous and across the globe, these models are becoming sex symbols, holding a powerful position in an industry revolving around physical beauty.