General Question

fuglyduckling's avatar

Isn't modeling kind of like prostitution?

Asked by fuglyduckling (405 points ) June 25th, 2014

I view fashion models even lower than prostitutes.

Would it be irrational to compare fashion modeling to prostitution?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

104 Answers

Seek's avatar

Well, one allows you to use your body to make money, and the other has you fuck strangers.

Seaofclouds's avatar

I don’t think they are really comparable. If we were to say that just because the models use their bodies (to show off clothes) they are “selling themselves”, then really, any of us that use our bodies (or any part of them) for completing our work could be “selling ourselves”.

I’m curious, why do you view fashion models lower than prostitutes?

Seek's avatar

Yes, ignore my tilde-less sarcasm.

Why exactly do you have such a disparaging view of fashion models and prostitutes?

fuglyduckling's avatar

@Seaofclouds Modeling for fashion seems very shallow. It makes me want to tell them to go read a book and change their values. Prostitutes have more sympathy to me because it is more of a psychological issue than physical, at least to me. Also the fact that absolutely gorgeous people who are 6 ft can only fashion model – that distinction seems ridiculous. Its also saying you can only model if you are stunning, which again is just shallow.

I don’t understand why models model unless they are very poor and need money desperately. But even then after a while i’d expect them to speak out and move on from the bizz and work against it. Values in the fashion industry are very vain…

But the thing is I’m not sure. Thats why I asked the question. I ‘feel’ as though modeling for fashion is absolutely ridiculous and pathetic, but I am not dead sure on why etc.

ragingloli's avatar

I am always baffled by the notion that work that incorporates sexuality is somehow “degrading”.
Is not wading around in shit at the sewage plant more degrading?
What about trash collecting?

fuglyduckling's avatar

@Seaofclouds I think theres a difference between using our bodies and selling them though.

Seek's avatar

@fuglyduckling – Have you ever seen fashion models without makeup? They aren’t necessarily classically gorgeous women. In fact, many designers specifically search out models with odd or unique looks.

And seriously? You’re talking about the fashion industry. The entire POINT of the industry is to look good. I mean, fashion is shallow? Yeah, and in other news the sky is blue and farts stink.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@fuglyduckling Then how exactly are models selling their bodies? To me, they just use them for showing off clothes.

Also, not all models are the 6 foot tall stick figures. There are average sized and plus sized models as well. I can completely understand someone that was really into fashion wanting to become a model. They get to see the latest fashions and get paid to wear them. It’s not my thing, but I can understand the desire to get paid for something you really like.

DipanshiK's avatar

Modelling in no way can be compared to prostitution. Models wear trending clothes to show the glimpse of upcoming fashion and not their va-jay-jay (pardon my language). They walk on the ramp not ride on someone’s pee pee. Whereas prostitutes get paid for showing all kinds of assets. So there is no point comparing these two completely different terminology es.
This is not even a rational discussion, but it sure does have an irrational, ignorant approach.

fuglyduckling's avatar

@DipanshiK The public/private aspect of this showing-off isn’t important?

canidmajor's avatar

Your assumption that models are shallow, vain and/or stupid is wildly off base. I have known women that pay off school loans by modeling, women that are able to support their families by modeling, etc. Rail against the fashion industry if you want, but to judge models so harshly is misguided.
And prositutes? How about viewing pimps and johns lower than models and prostitutes. The people that promote and support the occupations you dislike so are to be held responsible more than the people simply earning a living.

fuglyduckling's avatar

Models scream “hey look at me, I’m so fabulous because I look good and people use me to show the next ‘trend’ (which is another silly concept)’. Prostitution is not like that, they don’t do it for public validation or for fame.

Seek's avatar

@fuglyduckling

No, models scream “Hey, buy this thing because I’m getting paid to tell you to buy this thing”.

They are billboards for clothes and accessories. That’s it.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Absolutely not.

canidmajor's avatar

I have never, ever, ever seen a clip of, or in person heard a model scream “hey look at me…etc”. Please show me where you have seen that.

fuglyduckling's avatar

@Seek Well in the world I live in they’re way more than that. They get recognition and fame and they love it. Models even become role models for nothing. Look at Cara Delevigne for instance.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@fuglyduckling If models were simply out for fame and fortunes, we’d know a lot more of them by name. As it stands now, there really are only a few that make big headlines compared the number of models that are really out there.

Even so, why take it so personally as to hold such strong feelings against all models?

Dutchess_III's avatar

Some beautiful woman do that “look at me I’m so beautiful” thing. Daisy Fuentes comes to mind. They don’t have to be a model to do it.

What is wrong with recognition and fame? And I have never heard of Cara Delevigna, so she can’t be too famous.

fuglyduckling's avatar

@Seaofclouds If I see somethings wrong in the world I question it hence the question :) That’s all. I used to question religion a lot too.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You do seem to be a bit angry about the fact that there are some women who are born beautiful, and who are nice to look at.

fuglyduckling's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes she is very famous.

I love beauty but I am not for supporting beauty for fame or career.

canidmajor's avatar

Being recognized and noticed is good business. The more popular a model becomes, the more contracts s/he gets, the more money earned. Why do you not rail against actors? Or the Kardashians who are famous because they’re famous? I would think there would be so many professions that would be higher on the “dislike” list than models.

Personally, overpaid execs at WalMart are the ones that piss me off.

Dutchess_III's avatar

How famous can she be if I’ve never heard of her? (Has anyone else heard of Cara Delevigna?)

ragingloli's avatar

What I see wrong in the world is the nearly global taboo on sexuality and the condemnation of the use of sexuality for professional purposes.
I see it as wrong that a fundamental property and activity of life is being regarded as something to be hidden.
It reminds me of the Star Trek “Enterprise” (fuck that show) episode, where the aliens that were aboard as guests stormed out in disgust, because humans do not hide themselves when they eat.

fuglyduckling's avatar

@Dutchess_III Pff that’s not relevant. She isn’t God but she is very well known. She has 6 mil. followers on instagram alone.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@fuglyduckling Why is it wrong for someone to use their beauty as part of their career? I believe there is more to being a model than just being nice to look at. I personally wouldn’t have the patience to listen to someone telling me what to do and how to do it in the way they have to. I also couldn’t stand to be in front of a camera anywhere near as much as they are. So their beauty may have helped get them the gig, but they have a lot more to deal with than just looking good.

@Dutchess_III Never heard of her or seen any of her work.

Seek's avatar

@fuglyduckling

Has anyone ever offered to buy clothes that you were wearing? No? Well, happens to models a lot. That’s their job. Fashion designers need to sell their product, and the best way to do that is to demonstrate what their product looks like on a person. Thus, modeling.

I’ve done some minor modeling, as a booth babe at various Renaissance Festivals. Literally sold belts and other gear right off my body. “Oh, you like this? Here try it on!”

There is much more to modeling than just showing up. You have to have a certain kind of charisma. You have to know how light treats your body from different angles. You have to know how to walk in completely absurd outfits and make it look like the most natural thing in the world.

It’s not easy unless you have the skill set.

JLeslie's avatar

As long as they are not modeling for a product they have a deep moral objection to I don’t think it is anything like prostitution.

snowberry's avatar

I have a friend who modeled for several years. She said it was difficult to be married (committed to one partner) because the expectation was that she was an unpaid prostitute. According to her, there is an unspoken expectation that models party hard and sleep with whoever it takes to get what the client wants. That disgusted her, and it’s why she quit.

Edit. She said that her refusal to “cooperate” lost her a number of jobs.

elbanditoroso's avatar

I don’t think they are LOWER than prostitutes, as you wrote, but I would agree that they are selling their bodies for money, which is prostitution.

But they aren’t alone. Athletes do the same thing.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t even know why prostitution is “bad.”

@snowberry I had a very good shot at modeling once. A hairdresser told my sister Lex (who is beautiful) and me about a hair dresser’s conference at one of the higher end hotels in Wichita. All we had to do was be willing to let them cut our hair in whatever style they choose.
We decided to give it a shot…..we stopped the lobby when we walked in. It literally went quiet and still. The next thing we knew some ‘big wig’ was trying to hand us his room key, and told us to go on up to his room and order drinks on him. He’d be up in a bit to….talk to us or whatever. My sister and I Iooked at each other, turned as one, and walked out and went home.

If you’re pretty and have a nice body, people tend to come to certain assumptions about you, without any evidence what so ever.

Seek's avatar

@elbanditoroso And so do construction workers and brain surgeons.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@elbanditoroso would you claim that scientists are selling a part of their body (their brains) for money, ergo scientists are prostitutes too?

fuglyduckling's avatar

@Seek @Dutchess_III that’s not shallow though.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What’s not shallow?

Not all models are shallow. What about the people who got to modeling shows? Are they shallow too?

Michael_Huntington's avatar

@Seek All work is prostitution
Or is prostitution simply….work?
Whoa

elbanditoroso's avatar

@seek – yes, I agree, we all prostitute ourselves in one way or another. The difference is that in my job, I use my brain, as opposed to my body. Where do we draw the line? What is a job?

Seek's avatar

@elbanditoroso

Well, you can’t build a house or sell a dress with your brain alone.

Seek's avatar

@fuglyduckling Do you have moral opposition to other salespeople? Car salespeople? Insurance salespeople? Are you only morally opposed if the salesperson is an attractive woman?

Seaofclouds's avatar

Being shallow is not working using your body, such as modeling, prostitution, or whatever else. Being shallow is a matter of how someone judges other people based on looks.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

And this question is silly. Showing some skin or having sex with random people is a lot better than killing people on foreign soil for corporations

Dutchess_III's avatar

Is it prostitution when you have to act like you’re as dumb as your boss in order to keep your job / make money?

JLeslie's avatar

@elbanditoroso Just because a girl uses her good looks to make money doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a brain. In fact, sometimes it is a very strategic move. Are you saying you have no respect for people who don’t “use their brains” to earn money?

Seek's avatar

I think Shakespeare can help us get to the bottom of this issue:

The policeman who lashes the whore has a hot need to use her for the very offense for which he plies the lash.

fuglyduckling's avatar

@Seek Me breathing right now doesn’t mean im a prostitute. Uhm…

Models aren’t salespeople. Models care too much about the way they look and dwell on it way too much than necessary. That’s basically all they do in life. They get money, fame and they even get idolized for being shallow and used. I think fashion industry should use people not based on the way they look but more based on what they believe in, what their values are, who they like, what they support, or what they make. I’d rather see my favorite writer on the cover of Vogue, wearing a designer clothing than a useless, famous brat.

So I guess fashion shouldn’t be about looking ‘good’. its very subjective anyway. It should be individualistic and personal. And that would work well using real, cool people and not some hot face which stands for perfection (photoshop, etc.).

Seek's avatar

@fuglyduckling

That doesn’t even make sense. I don’t want to see George R. R. Martin in a Speedo. That will not make me want to buy a Speedo for my husband.

fuglyduckling's avatar

@Seek Nobody says George R. R. Martin should model for an underwear company.

He could model for Tom Ford though.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

And why’s that? Because he’s a bit pudgy?
Check your privilege

Seek's avatar

You just did.

You said writers and thinkers should be the people modeling designer clothing.

Unless you think only attractive thinkers and writers should be modeling. In which case you’re a hypocrite.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@fuglyduckling How do you know the models are shallow? Do you know any of them personally? Have you witnessed them treating others badly because of looks? Are they judging other people on their looks? Honestly, you are judging the models based on their looks. What does that make you?

fuglyduckling's avatar

@Seek I didn’t say George R. R. Martin should model for an underwear company. I see no problems for it but you are shifting my point. i said I’d rather see regular inspirational people this could be artists etc. than some stupid brains for fashion. They should do something else as an occupation. I don’t think ‘modeling’ should be a job at all.

@Seaofclouds Choosing to be a model is shallow to me. I don’t care how they threat people.

Dutchess_III's avatar

“Models aren’t salespeople. Models care too much about the way they look and dwell on it way too much than necessary. ” As I said, if you’re pretty and have a good body people tend to make unfounded assumptions about you. The model may not necessarily be obsessed with the way she looks, but her manager might.

If a person has a talent for picking out women who have super-model potential, does that make that person shallow? Or gifted?

Seaofclouds's avatar

@fuglyduckling That’s not what being shallow is though. Being shallow is about how you treat someone and why. Choosing to take a job because you have the natural abilities to do so is not shallow. A lot of us choose jobs based on our natural abilities. Mine lead me to becoming a nurse.

Seek's avatar

@fuglyduckling

You are a hypocrite and if anyone is shifting the goalposts it is you.

Modeling is an occupation. Its purpose is to sell clothing for designers to manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. If one doesn’t make the clothes look good, no one will buy them, and the designer’s hard work and art will be lost.

It is not the model’s job to become a world-renowned philosopher or a bestselling author. It’s their job to sell clothing. If they are doing their job well, they deserve to be paid for it.

“Shallow” could be considered, say, judging an entire industry based on one poorly conceived prejudice.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Make up and other things too. Just sayin’

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I don’t care how they threat people.
Oh yes, I remember the last time I walked through Garment District and I was hassled by a group of models. They told me to sharpen up my sense of fashion or else I’d get a knuckle sandwich.
The only thing prostitutes and models have in common is that they do things for money (i.e. work).
Prostitutes have more sympathy to me because it is more of a psychological issue than physical
That sounds pretty shallow to me.

Seek's avatar

@Dutchess_III Yes, I added “accessories” in an earlier post as well. But seriously, it would just be long-winded to have to say “clothing and shoes and accessories and makeup and hair products and cars and booze and energy drinks and anything really that needs to be sold because arguably anyone that appears in a television commercial or print ad is a model as well.”

canidmajor's avatar

@fuglyduckling: There have been some very good points made here, not only about modeling (and misconceptions that some people may have) but about judging people based on a superficial look at their professions.
Pretty good take away, here. Please think about it the next time you leap to an unsupported conclusion.

Seaofclouds's avatar

@fuglyduckling I don’t think ‘modeling’ should be a job at all. How else are designers going to show off all their new designs? I doubt all the “regular inspirational people” are going to want to take time out of their schedules to spend all the time models do showing off all these designer clothes. It may not be a job you have much respect for, but it’s something that there is a need for in the clothing industry in order to get the word out and sell the clothing.

ucme's avatar

I think the two are totally unrelated, most fashion models are thick as shite.

Dutchess_III's avatar

^^^ Another unfounded assumption people make about pretty girls with nice bodies.

jca's avatar

@fuglyduckling: I am one hour late to this question being posted and there are over 60 responses, so I don’t have time to go back up and pick and choose which I want to refer to, but I did read them all.

You make some incredible assumptions about models and their reasons for doing the work that they do. How can one generalize about an industry’s employees and an individual’s motivations?

You wrote: “Models aren’t salespeople.”

Of course they’re sales people – they’re selling not only clothes and accessories, but an image, a brand (Ralph Lauren for example – they look a certain way and the layouts are around a theme of luxurious Americana).

“Models care too much about the way they look and dwell on it way too much than necessary. That’s basically all they do in life.”

If someone has an employment contract and gets paid to look a certain way, then of course why would they not care a lot about the way they look and dwell on it? They’re going to spend a lot of time getting hair and nails done and working out. They have to.

“That’s all they do in life” How do you know that? How can you assume that each model only models? They have no hobbies? Another incredible assumption.

You said “I think fashion industry should use people not based on the way they look but more based on what they believe in, what their values are, who they like, what they support, or what they make.” That’s not a concern of the model herself, that’s a concern of yours and that is more about the industry itself, not the individual model and her motivations.

“I’d rather see my favorite writer on the cover of Vogue, wearing a designer clothing than a useless, famous brat.” If more people felt that way, then writers would be selling clothes.

Models use their bodies and that’s no different from a fireman or a bricklayer. Are they prostitutes?

ucme's avatar

@pointyarrowperson The point I was making was that prostitutes are far more clued up than fashion models, male or female.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@jca makes great points. And unless they’re going to speechify in the middle of their modeling, what does it matter what their values are? Also, exactly what values would you suggest they have to have? The same one’s you have?

Dutchess_III's avatar

@makingassumptionsperson, how do you know..that prostitutes are far more clued up than fashion models…”?

ucme's avatar

Never claimed to know, it’s just a hunch, as Quasimodo said to the call girl.

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LostInParadise's avatar

I don’t have any problems with models. They are just presenting clothing.
What I do find annoying is celebrities getting millions of dollars for shilling products. That comes much closer to prostitution.

When I see a model, it never occurs to me that the model actually owns the clothes being shown. It may be the case, but that is not the point. When a celebrity advertises a product, the assumption is that the celebrity is endorsing the product due to satisfaction with it. The idea is to get the consumer to think, if it is good enough for that guy then it is good enough for me.

Dutchess_III's avatar

No, I’m sure the don’t own the clothes @LostInParadise. They probably don’t even like some of the stuff they have to wear.

Hm. I’d like to see the inside of a professional model’s personal closet.

JLeslie's avatar

We used to hire models in Bloomingdales for fashion shows all the time. They didn’t own the clothing and they didn’t know the designer. They just showed up and did their thing. We picked out their outfits, or if the designer was present she/he picked their outfits. On extremely rare occassion the designer brought their own models. No one was having sex or partying for their jobs in that situation. Some of the models did it on the side or part time, some did it for a living. Some were women with children and the job gave them flexibility in their schedule. I can’t see anything wrong with that. These models are not the same as modeling for fashion week in NYC, but I still don’t think all those models are sleeping with everyone and doing drugs. Since they are late teens and early twenties very often, that is the age a lot of people party, not only people in fashion. I never assume someone slept with someone for a job. The negative I hear in the industry has been more designers being accused of wanting models too skinny, not demanding sex.

Models don’t only model clothing fashions, I dont understand why a fashion model might be different than other types of models, but since that is what is mentioned in the original post I will just leave it at that.

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rexacoracofalipitorius's avatar

It’s impossible to answer the question “is it irrational to make a comparison between X and Y” if you don’t say what the comparison is. It’s meaningless to say “I think there’s a difference between A and B” if you don’t say what you think that difference is.

Models don’t sell clothing. Models sell an image, and they sell it to photographers, not to you. The image you see on the page is not the one provided by the model; the latter is merely raw material for the former.

There are many issues to be taken with the fashion industry and with fashion models, but I think you need to clarify your position.

pleiades's avatar

It takes talent to model. Not just any pretty face can do it. And not all pretty faces are confident. And not all pretty faces even want to model. I think your sense of generalization is far and beyond. You seem to think there is no hardwork involved in modeling, which is an art form and creates job opportunities for many.

From modeling alone, jobs created are, photographers, make up artists, seamstresses, fashion designers, jewelers, magazine staff writers, magazine articles, video bloggers, and so forth just to name a few!

BTW I know plenty models who are extremely down to earth. Your claim that they are obsessed with the way they look is the same as a major league baseball player who cares about his production on the field.

Honestly your arguments don’t prove anything factually, your arguments kind of come off bigoted and tied extremely to emotion. One thing is certain, your beliefs will definitely not impact the industry what so ever, ever ever ever haha. (no offense)

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FlyingWolf's avatar

@fuglyduckling are you maybe jealous that you aren’t 6’ tall and able to make your living on the runway or in front of the camera? Why do you even care?

We all do the same thing, we sell our time for money. Whether we are designing houses, educating children, or modeling clothes we all prostitute ourselves in one way or another for the mighty dollar. Totally the reality of survival in the world in which we live. There really isn’t much difference between exploiting our brains or our bodies to make a living, we play the hand we are dealt and play to our strengths.

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sydsydrox's avatar

Uhm fashion models and prostitutes are totally different. Prostitutes advertise their bodies and have sex with people off the streets to make money for their pimp. Fashion models wear clothes and represent a statement that the fashion designer is trying to sell. Fashion design is kind of like an art form through means of other people. Its not necessarily 100% the model’s fault if the fashion designer create slutty clothing.

While yes, i do understand your argument and it is not completely 100% irrational; both use their bodies for some type of profit one way or another. It just seems a little weird to me to put them in the same caliber, or even putting the professional option under the illegal/unjust one.

Even so, pre-fashion models get the option to choose whether they want to join the fashion industry officially or not. Prostitution, to me, seems kind of forced. Some cases I’ve seen in the news are mostly women (or men) being kidnapped, sold, or just abused into becoming a prostitute; it happens against their will (in those cases).

Lemme finish up here… Fashion modeling is an optional job and communicates an art form. Prostitution is selling sex for someone else’s benefits.

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RealEyesRealizeRealLies's avatar

@fuglyduckling “If I see somethings wrong in the world I question it…”

When you grow up, perhaps you’ll concentrate more on what is wrong with yourself, and question it. The world doesn’t need another judge.

Dan_Lyons's avatar

Modeling is nothing like prostitution, although many models may have to prostitute themselves to get the job modeling.

I have no idea what clued up means, but somewhere up there someone mentioned prostitutes do a lot of drugs.
True That! And so do models!

How would I know? I used to provide both groups with certain * ahem * medicinal aids as it were, a way back in the 70s.

(Pre AIDS)!

rojo's avatar

One of the definitions of a prostitute is ” a person who offers his talent or work for unworthy purposes”. Of course, society determines what is worthy and what is unworthy and these days in western society using your body for sexual purposes is not deemed worthy. Christianity has really screwed with our heads, giving us all kinds of sexual hangups

Personally, I don’t differentiate between the crotch, hands, brain, or any other body part. I feel that if you offer your body for any kind of services (cook, fast-food worker, construction worker, bank manager, police officer, CEO, etc.) in exchange for money then you are prostituting yourself.

Turn yourself in now.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well put @rojo. I, personally, think prostitution (the sex kind) should be legal. If some foo’ wants to pay MONEY for it, and if a woman is willing to offer her body in exchange, then it’s their business.

jca's avatar

@Dutchess_III: The problem with prostitution is that women may not willingly offer themselves – many are children and/or human slaves. Of course, if a woman is arrested or questioned, she is probably not going to tell the details, or else she’ll get beaten by her pimp.

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hearkat's avatar

[Mod Says] This post is in General, but we’ve contacted the OP to suggest a move to Social. We’ll give it a day to see what they want to do, but if we haven’t heard back by then, we’ll need to start pulling off-topic comments. In the interim, please stay on topic to the original quesiton. Thanks!

Dutchess_III's avatar

OK. No. Modeling is not like prostitution. Models are a form of advertising, to be looked at, not fondled. Models aren’t designed specifically to create sexual arousal.

hearkat's avatar

[Mod Says] The OP has elected to keep the post in General. All comments must relate to the OP’s question. We will be reviewing the post to clean up derailments.

Luiveton's avatar

If something is ‘fun’ doesn’t mean it’s shallow. It’s just part of something we’ve categorized in this world as leisure.
Have you not considered that some people model FOR FUN? Or because they want to? And why the hell not?

The whole point of living is to do something you want and enjoy. If they want to look good and get paid for it then who the hell are we to judge?

Modeling/acting/etc does not mean you’re stupid or have lower values like you’ve previously implied.

People can do whatever they want to do and it shouldn’t be our business. If you like something, you do it. That’s it.

And have you ever maybe considered that people go into the prostitution industry out of force or because they really need the money? You can’t just sit behind a computer and rate everyone’s life based on what you see them do. If you want to judge, you judge individually and look at everyone’s life-story. Because this discussion can go so many ways and there are endless possibilities.
And yes, believe it or not, some people might be part of the porn industry because they want to. Still none of our business.

maybellekim's avatar

of course no modeling is for fashion. :)

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