As time passes, people’s tastes change. The notion of what is beautiful and desirable now has evolved from what was seen as the definition 50 years ago. But in the digital age where everything is right out there in the open and so readily available to anyone, have we hit our peak? Can we still define beauty?
Looking back at the model trends of the last 50 years, long gone are the groups of the Amazonian supermodels like Naomi Campbell, the heroine chic and waifs like Kate Moss, the androgynous girls like Agyness Dean, and the alien and babydoll girls like Gemma Ward and Jessica Stam, now its about personality just as much as it is about tiny waists and bushy eyebrows, with the models now having channels to promote themselves on social media, this proves invaluable as bonus exposure for brands. But setting aside the female models of today, the male models are even more dispersed.
While male models usually just match up to their female counterparts, male models usually just fluctuate from being skinny to muscular, but now there seems to be a rise in the ‘guy next door’ model just like Brian Lewis. The man’s man, the guys that look regular and ordinary – but when in reality they aren’t with their perfectly polished (naked) physiques. So are we at a stage where we are just looking internally to define beauty or is the notion of exotic just too attainable for us that it is no longer actually exotic?
So as the industry grows, and as customer demand intensifies, just like fashion, can there still be model trends? Is there still a requirement for a ‘certain look’ when there are so many people who want so many thing and have so many different tastes? Ultimately as we push luxury fashion globally, new customers and demographics are exposed to fashion, but if what they are presented with doesn’t represent them, how can they buy into it? Do you buy into Brian Lewis? Maybe Tom Ford hit the nail on the head with his AW14 campaign message – individuality and diversity is the true beauty… Or could it be that individuality is just the latest trend?
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Beauty does change over time and probably always will. The question that always nags at me about it is whether or not we are evolving toward more or less realistic expectations.
Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and attraction is key, but these things are also so easily shaped by society. If we could live in a society where we shaped a distinction between what is natural and what is beautiful to one another, rather than setting a single standard, surely that would be better?