‘Ex-model’. I tried hard to find a less stigmatized way of introducing a person who just happened to come in a physically lucrative form because they photograph well, but I was unable to find one. However, anyone who knows my blog-or me by now is probably aware of how much I love to bust open stigma, challenge convention and peel the layers off the masks. I’m interested in the voices of those who represent our societal projections and I think Johanna’s lens is worth looking through. The quote below from Johanna is a reblog from Interruptmag.com but Cameron Russell from interruptmag has kindly agreed that I repost and Johanna will be posting something especially for me in the near future (you’re stuck now Johanna!).
“My career (left at 14 for Jil Sander) as a model began at the age of 14 and lasted less than a year. Everything happend at such a rapid speed, I felt burnt out and craved normalcy. I decided to take a break to complete high school. I was told by my agents that such a break would end my career and they were right. When I attempted to re-enter the industry, my body had changed and I didn’t have the same measurements at 18 as I did at 14. I was told that to have success, I had to be either a size zero to work as a straight model or a size 12 (US which is about 16 UK) to work in the plus-size division. At a size 6 (UK size 8-10), there was no place that I really belonged to.
It is hard to say when or how the fashion industry will ever allow for more diversity-not just in body types but in ethnicity as well. Creating a dialogue on these issues and garnering more attention to them is the first step.
When I reflect back on my time working as a model, I have nothing but gratitude. It sparked my interest in photography, and allowed me to meet amazing individuals who inspired me to create as well. As a photographer, I am drawn to women as subjects, whether they be models, friends, or my mother. If I were given the opportunity to shoot for Vogue tomorrow, I would shoot the same array of subjects.
There is no such thing as ‘real women’ because all women are real.”
Self portrait below