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: Here is a book from the children’s section with very dated pictures. I just love the sad clown one and I bet Mary will too. Relive 1985 all over again with this book.
Holly: You know what else I can be? A LIBRARIAN WHO WEEDS THE DARN CAREER BOOKS!
Submitter: Just look at the cover. What the heck is she wearing? And what’s up with her hair? Is this high fashion? Was it high fashion in 1991? I have memory lapses at times but I sure don’t remember anything like this. I can’t believe that this was checked out as recent as April of this year. Is that Johnny Depp on page 12? And those kids on page 16? Check out the caption on page 9 which by the way is a terrible picture (irony?): “Modeling agencies look for females who wear size ten or twelve clothes.” That’s considered plus size now.
Holly: I definitely would have guessed 1980s on the publication date. Didn’t the grunge phase start in the early 90s? This book is hilarious. My guess is that whoever checked it out in April took it to school to crack up his/her friends. Or is planning a costume for Halloween. Or has no fashion sense whatsoever and thinks this might be the answer to that problem. (If that’s the case, they’re probably in worse shape after reading the book!) Maybe they meant children’s or juniors size 10 or 12??