All the alternative models you should be following on Instagram right now because Fashion Week is boring
There’s more to life than Gigi
No offence, but after endless Fashion Week shows it’s pretty clear that if you’ve seen Kendall and the Hadid sisters walk once, you’ve seen it a million times. Why not diversify? There’s a world of Instagram models out there, in all shapes and sizes, and they’re probably more interesting than anything you’d see on the runways during Fashion Week. Certainly from D&G, at least.
Perfectly freckled Emily is half-Malaysian and is based in Brighton and London – and has the greatest, straightest fringe known to Instagram. She also regularly posts about the harsh body standards in the modelling industry and her ongoing journey with body positivity. Her reaction to accidentally being on the cover of a hair magazine for women of colour was also pretty great.
"For I will not burn down my house, because others don't like, my garden" – @soofiya really glad I came across soofiya andrys work today. came at the right time. eczema is burning today and making me wanna rip off my skin ? and had a very indulgent weekend and was feeling a bit rubbish about my self, so it was nice to put on pretty new lingerie and remind myself of how great and resilient and strong and beautiful my body is. if ya want to search 'radical softness' on fb and you'll find a link to Soofiya Andry's Radical Softness collection of poetry ?
i'm gonna be honest, the industry needs to change. man oh man i'm tired of it. on the left is july 2015, my lowest weight. i can't tell you how much i weighed but i can tell you i was size 4/6 and my waist only measured 23 inches. i can also tell you i thought i was fat. i've always had a few body image issues but since becoming a model, they've skyrocketed. at work, i've always felt like i didn't belong, i've always been short, and mixed race. i'd been modelling for just over a year, and going to castings made me feel super insecure. every time i didn't get a call back from my casting i'd start to wonder why. was i too fat? during 2015, i became obsessive with my measurements and clothes sizes. i exercised daily and i would never even look at any carbs let alone eat them. it started making me physically sick, dizzy, exhausted, etc. i ended up getting to a point where i'd have daily panic attacks about getting dressed, and couldn't even leave my bed in fear of catching my reflection in the mirror. at this time, i also started getting the most work i've ever had and travelling all over world. which, instilled in me "the thinner i am, the more work i'm gonna get". my hatred for myself became so overwhelming i knew something had to change, i took some time out and finally got working on loving myself. and today, for the first time in a long time, i felt good about myself this morning. i struggle with getting dressed sometimes, catching my reflection can occasionally hurt still and i have panic attacks now and again but i am getting there. sometimes i forget that self love is a journey. we have to call on this system to change. we need diversity. all bodies, differently abled, shaped, coloured, sized, gendered and aged. diversity is so important. representation is so important. i'm sick and tired of seeing amazing, talented, beautiful women hate themselves because they don't look like that VS model or whatever. too many young women suffer from mental health issues which stem from the pressure of today's media. ✨you are more than your appearance, you are strong and resilient and you are beautiful no matter what and i really hope you remember that✨
At just 22 Ceilidh has modelled for Glossier, Urban Outfitters and had a cameo in a video for The Weeknd. Her name, pronounced Kay-lee, is Gaelic for a type of Irish party, but she’s actually based in America, with parents from Seoul and England. She’s also reportedly dating BJ Novak, that guy from The Office. Who knew.
Based in New York, Barbie works for Whilemina Models and has appeared in campaigns for Teen Vogue, ASOS and Aerie. She doesn’t allow any of her images to be retouched and says: “I really learned quickly how to not care at all. I worked on it, until I became a boss ass bitch.”
Nyané describes herself as a “digital influencer, blogger, model and aspiring fashion designer hailing form the UK, currently based in Berlin, Germany”. She regularly models for O Mighty and has the sharpest highlighting skills I have ever seen in this world.
While Stephanie doesn’t model for any major labels, her photos are amazing and she also sells her clothes on her Depop store.
Described as a “mall-rat Lolita” Bella (AKA Internetgirl) dropped out of college and makes her living selling on Depop full time. She’s been featured in Vogue and hailed as the new Nasty Gal. She told Vogue: “I dress like a full-time princess. Is that not the dream come true?”
Canadian student Elita, better known as Yungelita, designs most of the clothes she’s wears (and she doesn’t wear a lot) on her Instagram. She describes her painstakingly creative 90’s aesthetic as: “Clean, composed, provocative, pink, perverted, sparkly and shiny. But it’s always changing.
“I see art in everything.”
At just 20 Jane, who’s based in Australia, has a massive Instagram following and describes her cutesy manga photo style as “internet curation”. She says: “I spent three whole years inside my house. I didn’t leave; I was afraid to because I was hurt by people. It wasn’t until I started posting online that I found a community of people who were similar to me, who wore similar styles and had likeminded views. That was when I realised I’m not the only person who dresses like they came from a Hello Kitty factory.
“It helps when you find people similar to you, whether that be online or in person.”
This photo was intended as an homage to MUVA's (aka Grace Jones) unapologetic brilliance, but what it ended up as is a rage against imperialism's violent conquest of black Femme bodies, including the origins of this iconic pose. There are barely any words to explicitly honor and celebrate black and brown bodies. We have to wait until the pain wells up in us to figure it out. I am tired but the alternative is erasure so what's there to fear? #GOAT #blacklivesmatter #sexeducation #magicwandisbae #magicwand #GraceJones #checkyourboobs #orgasmsforeveryone #thisbody #blackfemmes ? by @islandboiphotography MUA: @bellisima81
A kinky, poly, cancer-warrior, activist, sexuality educator and performer with a Master’s of Education in Human Sexuality from Widener University, Ericka Hart has taught sexuality education for elementary aged youth to adults across New York City for the past six years. Her work in sexuality education was catalyzed by her service as a Peace Corps HIV/AIDs volunteer in Ethiopia from 2008-2010. Diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer in May 2014 at the age of 28, she realized that neither her identity as a queer black woman, nor her sex life as a survivor, was featured prominently in her treatment.
I'm tired of having to explain to people, to my family, my relatives and their friends that nudity is not wrong. The woman's body is art, sex is art and why is it when the women bodies are painted, people put them in art books, showcase them in museums. But when thru photography suddenly it's pornography, it's indecency. Why is it art when it is painted by male artists all over the world, and people accept it and call it nude photography when its taken by some famous male photographers. But nowadays, when women finally feel free and comfortable to photograph themselves, be in control of their bodies and their image, they get slut shame, get mistaken for being desperate for attention and have people telling them that they should expect harassment. Why people praise me for painting naked women but shame me for posting revealing photos?
Like Nyané, Oanh models extensively for O-Mighty and also writes about freedom of expression and nudity in her Instagram captions.
Model Rhea is best known for her curly ombre hair (which was inspired by Storm from X-Men), has been featured in Vogue and also makes her own music, which you can listen to on Soundcloud.
Described as a muse of underwear guru Creepy Yeha, Jacky also runs Killemretro, a soon-to-launch vintage store.
Paloma moved to New York from LA in 2010 to attend the New School, but quickly became an Instagram muse and plus sized model. In an interview with Allure she said: “I went through my whole life thinking I’m a pretty, chubby girl. I’ve never been skinny, so it’s something that was really born out of the visibility that social media granted me. I’m not supertall, and I don’t have this classic plus-size body, but I’m special in my own way, and I think that story is really inspiring to a lot of girls.”