Submitter: I work at an academic fashion library and we have a very small section of books on modeling in the fashion industry. Just last week I pulled this mid-1980s advice book out of our collections. It’s a safe bet our students were not even born when this book was originally published. How to Break into Modeling contains a wealth of detailed advice for would-be models, including:
-Your haircut says a lot about you. It can say, “I’m a professional” or “I’m wild!” or “I mean business” or “I like to party.”
-If you’re wearing shoulder pads for a head shot, make sure they’re lying correctly and not popping up or sliding down your shoulders.
-The body type required for fashion models in the eighties happens to be very androgynous, so breasts, hips, and thighs are “out,” but the standards and politics of beauty are changing all the time. Perhaps very womanly figures will be the trend again. (Me: Wishful thinking?)
-Men aspiring to modeling careers should pay extra attention to updating their look and taking care of their hands—things that don’t come naturally to many men.
Holly: Oh for crying out loud. Glad you caught this one, Submitter. What a ridiculous book for a current fashion library! Also, Submitter and I chatted about how those striped leotards, pictured below, were standard issue in the 80s. They’re in every workout photo of that decade! As Submitter put it: “I’m pretty sure the striped leotards were issued to you when you bought a copy of Olivia Newton John’s ‘Physical’ to dance to.” Ha!
Submitter: One of our student workers [in a university library] found this gem while shelf reading and brought it to us to enjoy. It’s horribly out of date and it looks like it was only checked out once (in 1986). The illustrator is fond of only filling in features for half of the face, which is a little creepy looking, and the illustrations don’t really tell the reader what the style is supposed to look like. They frequently suggest using “magic tape” to determine where to cut, and if you don’t have the magic tape they recommend masking tape or something similar. This sounds like a recipe for disaster. I think our students could probably find some decent YouTube videos to help them cut or style their hair.
Holly: Ooooh, I love hair books from the 80s! And I have to say, I never considered masking tape for cutting my own bangs, but that’s kind of genius. (In a painful-when-you-peel-it-off kind of way…maybe that’s what is magical about the magic tape? It doesn’t pull your remaining hair out by the roots when you pull it off?) This is a weeding double-whammy with its spiral binding.
Submitter: Former Princess Diane von Furstenberg is still very popular today. I found this 1976 book at my local public library. Not so sure how helpful this almost 40 year old book would be to young women now. I have included two pages of 1976 celebrities and a creepy make up guide.
Holly: I’m sure that Diane von Furstenberg’s name is carrying this book at whatever libraries are keeping it. Patrons see her name and assume it must be great…and I’m sure it was in 1976! Beauty books are one of my favorite categories here at ALB. Enjoy!