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The modeling industry is changing, for the better. Even if you do not follow the modeling industry closely, clear changes are being seen in even the least popular advertisements and clothing brands. The media is changing its view on what it deems “a proper model”. Throughout the world in recent months even, many models have grown to “normal” proportions.

Models and the modeling industry have come under fire in the last few years. Models today do not represent the realistic body type of most of the women in the world. The average model weighs about 107 pounds and is about 5 feet 10 inches tall. The average American woman weighs 166 pounds and is roughly 5 feet 4 inches. No wonder in a survey conducted by The Dove® Campaign only 2% of women around the world would identify themselves as beautiful.

Recently, however, there has been a shift in the modeling industry. Many of the industry’s upcoming and famous models are plus size or transgender. Robin Lawley became the first plus size model to appear in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition magazine. Andreja Pejic took time off of modeling to undergo gender reassignment surgery and was greatly welcomed back. Adriana Lima has had a huge career, while being an over 30 of age mother. In addition, the Fall 2015 runways have seen more women of color than ever before. Off the runway, the changes are even greater. There is a greater number of advertisemnts than ever before featuring men and women of different sizes, ethnicities, ages and genders.

“I think the tide is shifting, albeit slowly, in the right direction,” said casting director Julia Samersova, who has worked with many of the most famous brands such as Jimmy Choo and J. Crew.

The biggest reason for change is the consumer. “The industry has now realized that a woman over size 8 also wants and deserves to feel stylish and have access to designer and luxury items,” says Samersova. Consumers have always had the power, but now they, and the industry, is beginning to realize this. While we still have a ways to go, the modeling industry and the media is moving in a positive direction. And it is up to us, the consumers, to keep it on course.

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