We’ve been seeing a lot of shifts towards body positivity in the fashion world lately, but that doesn’t mean the opposite doesn’t continue to persist. Models who are pretty thin by any normal standards are still being shamed and cast out because they don’t meet absurd body standards.
That’s what’s happening to 19-year-old Swedish model Agnes Hedengård who continues to be told by agents, and casting directors that her hips and butt are “too big” for the fashion industry. However, that may confuse you when you see a picture of her. Hedengård also says that she has a BMI (body mass index) of just 17.5, which is considered underweight by health practitioners.
Isn’t she just enormous? It’s astounding that agencies are telling her she needs to get in shape in order to get modeling work. As a result, this gorgeous, young model has not been able to make a living from modeling because of these agencies’ ridiculous size standards. While the diminished amount of work has been hard on her both economically and emotionally, Hedengård refuses to let these unfounded judgements get her down. Instead, she decided to post a video on YouTube to show the world what the industry considers “too big,” and call them out for continuing to promote a very unhealthy body image.
Her message is clear: A large part of the fashion industry is forcing an absurd (and in some cases, impossible) standard on its models. If you just saw a picture of Hedengård in a fashion magazine, there’s no way you’d think she was too big. In fact, neither would the agencies who refused to work with her — it’s simply that her measurements don’t fall perfectly in line with the model norm. She says bluntly in her video, “I have been in contact with big agencies and clients that really want to work with me, but as soon as they get a hold of my measurements, its a whole other story.”
The sad fact is, if they based modeling hiring solely off of pictures, she’d be working nonstop. She said she even tried working within the industry’s standards for a year, but in order to do so, she basically had to starve herself. She told the Daily Mail, “It’s hard, but if you put all the energy you normally would waste on these eating disorder-thoughts towards instead loving yourself, the bad comments are like water off a duck’s back.”
Hedengård’s message is already going viral, so hopefully the better half of the fashion industry will see it, realize how awesome she is and give her a job without checking her measurements first.