Everyone has insecurities about their bodies. Whether you think your nose is too big for your face, your stomach is not flat enough, your breasts aren’t large enough, there is always something to complain about when it comes to our bodies. However, unlike models, we aren’t under the scrutiny of other people around us. When 19-year-old model Agnes Hedengård made headlines after posting a video to YouTube in which she called out the industry’s body standards, the internet got to see how unattainable the standards of the model industry are.
As she stood in front of the mirror in her underwear, scrutinizing her body, Angnes reminded us a lot of ourselves. The Swedish aspiring model talked about being rejected by almost every major modeling agency because of the way she looked. Any average person will look at the video and notice the same thing; a thin, beautiful woman. Agnes is 5’11” and has a BMI of 17.5 – the lower limit of the NHS standard of healthy is 18.5. “I don’t get any more jobs since the industry thinks I’m too big,” she explains in the video, “they think my butt is too big, and they think my hips are too wide. According to the modeling industry, you cannot look like this. You need to be thinner.”
The video went viral. Her decision to post the video garnered even more scrutiny from internet viewers. Whether it was comments saying how beautiful she was, how empowered viewers felt after watching her the video, their disgust with the industry, and of course, comments from trolls from who insisted her lack of employment wasn’t only due to the fact that she was fat, but because she was ugly too.
Agnes has what many women crave for; a thigh gap, a flat stomach, and long legs. However, this video just goes to show that despite the seemingly diverse aspects that the modeling industry claims to have improved, there still is a lot that needs to get done. While we wait for those changes to happen, we hope that more people like Agnes shed light on the issues in the modelling industry and the challenges women face regarding their bodies on a daily basis.
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