Instagram is Ruining Modeling

Being a model in todays in todays industry is a tricky business. Think about it, you can’t talk about modeling without mentioning social media of some kind. In a way, this is a given. Clothing brands and other parts of the fashion industry rely heavily on social media for marketing because that is where all of their consumers live, on their phones.

The advantages are great, models can be seen more as people with personalities rather than just living mannequins, and we also have the opportunity to connect with our followers/fans. The problem in my eyes is that truly modeling for a brand is so much different than what you see on Instagram. Lets be real… There is no direct correlation between being able to take a good selfie and being able to deliver in front of the camera for an actual photographer. From years of experience, a high-fashion editorial or campaign shoot has different demands than an Instagram shoot.

This becomes a problem for models who are modeling as their main source of income or as a career because the more followers a model has defines their importance. I have watched as the focus has shifted from the quality of a model’s work… to their ability to produce likes.

Shot by @bethany.self

Shot by @bethany.self

This has been really difficult on me. Recently I have only felt increased importance as a model when I see an increase in my engagement on Instagram. When I first started modeling, I was taught that what was important was my ability to: walk the runway, know what poses display clothing the best, the different emotions my face displays, which clients want high-fashion, which clients want commercial, etc. I learned the business by being able to introduce myself at a casting without them having any prior knowledge of me from social media. Now, everybody already knows who you are and if you’ve posted anything spectacular enough for them to remember in the past 24 hours.

Selling things has always been a part of the job for me and for other models, but it has never been so necessary for us to constantly have to sell ourselves. In the end… when I meet a client, I want them to look at me and see my potential and my past work in the industry – not how many likes my selfie got.

FashionKari Riley