What is a model ?
My understanding is that modeling is done to advertise product or service. There can be male or female model but in this article I will refer female models as they are the most sought after (even shaving cream ads feature female models). Wikipedia defines a model as:
A model (from Middle French modÃƒÂ¨le), sometimes called a mannequin, is a person who is employed for the purpose of displaying and promoting fashion clothing or other products and for advertising or promotional purposes or who poses for works of art.
Again from Wikipedia
The British Association of Model Agents (AMA) says that female models should be around 34-24-34 in (86-61-86 cm) and at least 5 ft 8 in (1.73 m) tall.
An user in the forum posted these information and another user argued that British models can’t be compared with Nepalese models. I do agree on the facts, as we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have many tall girls in Nepal. But still there should be a minimum requirement to be a model. I am not aware of any such code or requirements. Even if there were such provision what if Khagendra Thapa Magar wants to do modeling for a product. Can a restrictive requirement cover all prospective or interested individuals?
Whatever may be the case, there should be an official definition of model and that should include everybody with talent and selling potential.
Modeling Trend in Nepal
I still recall film actress Sharmila Malla smiling happily for Everest toothpaste ad, Deepak Malhotra on Sherpa soap and Dolly Gurung munching Wai Wai noodles decades ago on Nepal Television. There were models who model for different products in TV, print media, and hoarding boards. Many were not talked much about and were forgotten as time passes. But with the wide availability of internet and many new sites featuring models as their main attraction models play an important role in success or failure or such sites.
As far as I know, Cybersansar was the first site to feature models in its site. Now it is synonymous to Nepali modeling with other sites like ThikThak, LovelyPokhara, ClickDharan etc. following. It has become a trend in Nepalese website to add a model gallery section in their websites. Even National Daily like Kantipur and Samacharpatra have model gallery sections in their websites.
Although models are supposed to model in advertisements, there are very few such opportunities in Nepal. So, many models in Nepal have used this medium as a step-stone to get acting opportunities in TV, music videos, and movies. With many music videos being produced these days, some get opportunities to act in one or more of such music videos. Hence, modeling in Nepal is a sort of self advertisement rather than advertising product or service. If rumors are to be believed, some models advertise themselves for sex related jobs. It is also told that these models arenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t paid for the modeling shots or even music videos but instead need to pay themselves to be featured (Shristi ShresthaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s said so in an interview).
Even with so many models in limelight, our traditional society still refuses modeling as a decent job. That is why the Maoist government thought Miss Nepal 2008 event was worthless event and was cancelled on the argument that it would serve no purpose to the betterment of the society. At the same time many other similar events were held in different parts of the country without government interference (few examples – 1, 2, 3). Hopefully they did serve some purpose and did some betterment to the society . LetÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s hope same thing wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t happen to the 2009 event.
There are some unanswered questions:
- With so many modeling contests and online galleries it is still not clear what the models do after such events or photoshots. Is it like shooting in dark and hoping to kill the bird in the bush?
- Why are the models paying to be featured in music videos or web galleries?
- Why are they exposing bodies even if they donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t need to?
- What is the future of modeling industry?
Comments will be appreciated.