How to Keep a Positive Mental Health in the Modelling Industry

  • Amy Bebbington

Believe it or not, a lot of fashion models suffer from mental health issues. From the outside they seem happy, living their life to the fullest. Their Instagram accounts full off high fashion photoshoots, partying with friends at exclusive events and being whisked away to exotic locations is not as glamorous as first appears. Many models are left feeling lonely, exhausted, craving likes and worrying where their next job is coming from. Mental health in the modelling industry is a concern. 

Of course, there are a lot of aspects that the models really enjoy. However, it is an industry that can cause anxiety and create insecurities. It is important for young models to understand that it is okay to feel this way and by admitting your feelings you will start to feel much better over time.

Does the Fashion Industry Encourage Mental Illness?

It has been noticed that one in four people in the UK will experience mental health problems each year. Those who work in the creative industry are 25% more likely to suffer from a mental illness. In fact, 40% of fashion models suffer with an eating disorder or depression. The fashion world is fast paced, highly pressured with early starts, late finishes, extensive travel, little sleep and skipping meals, which can certainly affect a fashion models mental health. Around fashion week this hectic lifestyle is magnified and so are feelings of anxiety. The pressure of wanting to do well and to impress fashion companies is tremendous leading to many suffering with depression.

The fashion industry does not openly encourage mental illness yet the nature of fashion world does create eating disorders, self doubt and anxiety. Take a look how.


Constant Rejection

Models attend casting after casting for ready-to-wear shows and photoshoots. The harsh criticism and the large amount of rejection is bound to affect hopefuls leaving a large proportion of fashion models with mental illness of some sort. Young individuals are more at risk with little confidence finding it difficult to bounce back each time.

Remarks on Weight

Many stories have surfaced sharing how models are consistently told to lose weight. Even if they’re tiny to begin with. These type of remarks are damaging creating insecure and self conscious individuals. A fashion models mental health is guaranteed to be affected if they are constantly being told to drop a few pounds. It is very difficult for them to love their body for what it is. A positive attitude to weight starts young and if teens are being judged on their figure it is not healthy.

Social Media Breeds Anxiety

The amount of followers, hurtful comments and pressure to live this false life can actually become emotionally draining. That life on social media is an edited version with many models feeling lonely and craving daily attention from fans. It creates insecurity and a world that relies upon acceptance via a screen. 

Models are Disposable

That feeling of value has such a big part to play in a models physical and emotional wellbeing. Knowing that you can be replaced in a heartbeat is frightening and stressful. There is little loyalty with new faces constantly surfacing as a threat. It is a difficult environment to work in and doesn’t suit everyone.


Models Struggling with Mental Health

Successful models openly talk about their experience with poor mental health in the fashion industry. With popular names sharing their feelings on the issue it will help others who look up to them. 

Adwoa Aboah

Daughter of famous fashion photographers Camillla lowther and Charles Aboah’s, has admitted to her addiction to drugs and stints in the rehab clinic. Also, with her career starting so young she was subject to harsh criticism. It all became too much and she tried to commit suicide four years ago. She has used her experience in such a positive way and helps others gain a good mental health. Adwoa founded Gurls Talk, which is a network that encourages girls to talk about mental health, feminism and acceptance.

Cara Delevingne

Despite her hugely successful modelling career, Cara has admitted that she has suffered from depression. She explained that she liked the person the world thought she was, but hated her real self. Cara pushed herself so far that she reached a point where she was reaching a breakdown.

What to Do if You are Suffering from Mental Health Issues

First of all, it is completely natural to be feeling this way. It is nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed about. It is more than likely that your friends and relatives have felt a similar way at some part of their life and will completely understand. You are not alone with plenty of options to help you feel much happier. Your mental wellbeing is extremely important and should not be ignored; you need to get to the root of the problem.

To start try a few of these everyday methods that might help:

  • Take some time out from your mobile phone – even just for an hour a day.
  • Get a goodnights sleep.
  • Book some time off work to revaluate and look after yourself.
  • Speak to your family and friends about how you are feeling. Getting it off your chest can help and they may have some ways to help that you hadn’t thought of.
  • Let out your emotion. If you feel like crying or screaming from the top of a hill do it! It needs to get out as keeping that feeling locked away can cause more upset.
  • Do some exercise. Run, take a class or dance. Do whatever you enjoy and takes your mind away from the worry.
  • Sit calmly and take some slow, long deep breathes to help with the anxiety that is building. This is something that you can do on the go. It only takes a couple of minutes out of your hectic day and might really help.

The Next Step

However, if you’ve already tried all or most of these and the feelings are still niggling at you, it’s time to seek professional help. Speaking to a doctor who can advise on the next step. This may be suggesting a professional person that you can talk to who is qualified to help. Lots of people prefer to open up to someone outside of their friendship and family circle.

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Posted by Amy Bebbington

I express my love of fashion through writing, blogging and styling. My creative personality ensures that I produce unique and original work. I am a keen knitter and enthusiatic dancer.