Monday, 7 May 2012

Girl Model

I recently watched the documentary, Girl Model, which follows the scouting process for incredibly young models in Eastern Europe and Russia as they try to make it out of relative poverty in markets such as Japan where the demand for youth is high. A heart-wrenching insight into the darker side of modelling, this particular film follows young hopeful Nadya as she is scouted and promised a minimum of $8,000 to leave her family and go to castings in Japan.

These poor young girls who line up scantily-clad in their hundreds are eager to be chosen for the promise of a new life for their families, but the reality is that they are given little help and support as they are taken from everything they know and thrown into the fashion world in a country where they cannot speak the language.

The most telling sign the girls are being horrendously taken advantage of is that their contracts are given to them in English when their mother-tongue is Russian. They often return to their homes in thousands of dollars of debt to the modelling agencies while the scouts seem to enjoy a very lavish lifestyle begging the question; where is all the girls' money going? In essence this seems like the most horrible kind of scam, far removed from the glamourous side of fashion we are familiar with. One of the filmmakers, Ashley Sabin, was appropriately quoted as saying "The whole modelling industry and the young girls involved in it are such a recipe for disaster. I feel in many ways we document a disaster."

The clearly damaged and disturbed American scout featured in the film, Ashley Arbaugh, who herself is an ex-model scouted by the very same agency she now sources girls for, almost distracts from the whole narrative of Nadya's tragic tale as you get a glimpse of what may lie ahead for young, impressionable girls who fall into this dark world. Arbaugh, who appears child-like and emotionally stunted at times, alludes to her miserable time as a model and having been taken advantage of by the head of the agency who she says "likes young girls". The film is interspersed by her disturbing video diaries from her time as a model and show the real emotional damage that can be done to girls by the industry.

This eye-opening and sad documentary does well to starkly highlight many questions regarding the modelling industry and it's proclivity for youth such as; do pre-pubescent girls of 12 and 13 have the emotional stability to face the notoriously harsh world of modelling? And also, does the Western industry know or care where these girls are being sourced from and how they are being treated? I hope that in the wake of this documentary things will begin to change for the better but unfortunately I doubt it. I definitely recommend seeing this film and passing it along, a very educational experience about the real dark depths of a world that is usually so glossed over.

More soon.

Snow White & The Huntsman Trailer

It's that time of year again when the summer blockbusters are competing for our attention and one film that I will definitely be taking in is the re-imagining of classic fairytale, Snow White. The first film I saw in a cinema, my mother took me to see the original Disney Snow White film when I was four and I have been entranced and enchanted ever since.

Not one for the kids, this no-holds-barred re-telling looks to be much more fast-paced and action-packed, without losing the magic and essence of the plot with which we are all so familiar. Of course the fact that Kristen Stewart and Charlize Theron look like perfection in their respective roles as Snow White and The Evil Queen is no small selling point. I am really looking forward to seeing the rest of their costumes - never has a suit of armour looked so chic. Check out the trailer below..

As Hollywood tends to do these days another rival Snow White movie was also released this year, but as much as I love/envy/obsess over Lily Collins' eyebrows they couldn't make the silly, more child-friendly option, 'Mirror Mirror' a critical success. Who do you think makes the better Snow White, Kristen or Lily?

I did like this one Spring/Summer '12 Giles-esque white swan look that Lily wore in Mirror Mirror.

Giles SS12

Kristen is rocking some great hair both in the trailer and in the above promo shot.

More soon.