Rolling with the modelling crowd

Mbabane, Swaziland | 7 May 2014
Bill Snaddon
Is it just me or is every second person you meet these days a model?
Not a role model or model citizen, but a modelmodel — with the hair and the make-up and the fashion.
Though a lot role models and model citizens also seem to be model-models as well.
Male, female or otherwise, the number of models – be they fashion models, hair models, suit models – is undoubtedly on the rise.
I say ‘otherwise’ because of the number of androgynous-looking models that are springing up. You know, the type of model where you’re not sure if it’s a man or a woman.
There is one Australian model in particular who comes to mind. He (or is he a she?) is of eastern-European descent, I think. Either way, when he gets dressed up as a woman he looks like a very attractive woman. I believe it takes a strong man to admit this.
Although it was somewhat embarrassing the day I drove past a billboard of this female-looking model, all dolled up in skimpy lingerie. (I guess there was also some digital enhancement – or de-hancement – on the billboard.)
I was in the car with a group of fellas.
I said, ‘Gee whiz, look at her!’.
To which one smart-alec friend replied, ‘That’s a dude, you know.’
I changed the topic pretty quick after that.
But coming back to the local setting, whether you are speaking with people on the street or just skimming the weekend newspapers, the model population is clearly going through the roof.
It would be interesting to see national census statistics on how many people these days self-identify as models.
The whole thing has got me thinking: either the bar is being set low – not dissimilar to the South African education system where 30 percent, or thereabouts, counts as a pass – or the modelling industry is booming.
I suspect it might be a bit of both. And perhaps a few other economic factors also.
It would be prudent to mention here that my random street survey and newspaper skimming is hardly representative of the population.
For that reason alone it would be wise to take anything that comes hereafter with a large dollop of salt.
Regardless of how much salt where consuming, though, this modelling business has raised within me one question: Could I also be a model?
But what would I model? Clothes? Shoes? Shaving cream? This last one might be difficult considering my laziness with a razor blade. Seriously, though, shaving with a razor blade leaves me with painful in-grown hairs on my neck. True story. I apologise in advance if I have upset anyone’s breakfast. Ncesi.
What about a hair model? No, that wouldn’t work – I hear balding is out of fashion.
In my younger days, when I was on the chubby side of life (also known as fat), I could have been a ‘plus-sized model’. If I was also a role model back then I could have rolled down the hill to school.
But I’m afraid all of these ideas are coming in too late.
So in that case there can only be two conclusions from this column.
One: I am not suited to becoming a model.
And two: let us lobby the national statistics department to include a category for ‘model’ in the next census.
This is the only way we can find out once and for all how many model-models there are lurking amongst us.

This column was published in the Times of Swaziland on 7 May 2015

#21_Rolling with the Modeling Crowd_7 May 2014
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