It’s no secret that brands are increasingly aware of criticism surrounding narrow representation in casting, and a subculture of casting directors are making strides in championing diversity. Fall 2017’s women’s ready-to-wear shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris, for example, made up the most racially diverse season in recent years, with women of color representing nearly 28 percent of the models walking in the 241 on-schedule shows. It’s a meager 3.2 percent increase from Fall 2016, but it’s progress nonetheless.
In New York, body diversity had an unsurpassed season, too, with 26 plus-size model castings. Likewise, middle-aged women and transgender models made more appearances on the runways than ever before. While we are witnessing a period of change — an indisputably positive development — creatives know well that the media is inclined to cover campaigns that feature unconventional models. Whether their commitment runs any deeper, however, is surely open to conjecture — and when they merely tick boxes, inclusivity becomes tokenism.
An interesting story from Marieclaire.com – and yes, it’s take a unique breed to continually get naked in front of strangers…and we have mad respect for them! Here’s part of the article from Alina Cohen:
Stripping down in front of a stranger. For some, that happens after a right swipe and a couple of cocktails. For others, it’s a way of life. Quite literally.
“I can’t think of any other profession in which a 40-something woman can take her clothes off and be celebrated and glorified as an artistic subject,” says 48-year-old figure model Claudia Hajian.
The prospect of getting naked in a classroom full of art students does seem intimidating, no matter your age—so what’s it really like to be a nude figure model day in, day out? Here’s what six women had to say.
A Leg Up for Rising Artists
Madeline (who requested that we omit her last name) is an actor who’s wanted to model since college. Sometimes, her two occupations align. She recently played a vampire bride in a production of Dracula and brought that energy into class. “I had vampiric poses going,” she says. “There was one where I crouched down and had big swooping arms that ended in claw-like hands. I did some where it was more like grabbing my neck. Lots of dramatic angles.” She likes supporting other artists, the stamina she’s gained, and the ability to tailor her modeling schedule to accommodate her acting.
Emma Shapiro is a visual artist whose practice explores her Jewish and Irish ancestry through her own body. Modeling has provided her the connection to herself that she needs for the work. When she started out in New York, she’d model six or seven days a week, taking about three bookings per day. Posing for individual artists and special events brought her to New Jersey and locations upstate, where she modeled in studios and outdoors. After five years, she took a model-coordinating position at a school where she scouted and scheduled models (so if you’re wondering, there are management opportunities in the field). For her, modeling was “therapeutic” and helped her overcome the insecurity she’d grown up with.
For those that follow us, you know we love Gigi Hadid. So we figured we show her off in these simple yet seductive shots. We love her natural beauty & the fact that she has an edge that gravitates us to her. Take a look for yourself.
We tried to embed this video, but for some reason, we couldn’t find the direct link. But for many out there, this is a fabulous video to watch, as Kate Upton, Hailey Clauson, Sailor Brinkley-Cool and Aly Raisman have a chit chat about the trials and tribulations of the modeling industry.
From insecurities about their body, to words of discouragement from many people along the way…hear how they overcame and become what they are today.
We are so proud to see contestants that have come through our ranks that go on to bigger and better things! And Katy Ann Boyd, our Miss April 2012, is starring in Bravo’s newest reality show Timber Creek Lodge. We can’t wait to watch her in action, and are grateful for all the ladies that have crossed paths with the Miss Social Network family, as they embark towards attaining tremendous career accomplishments!
As featured in Starcasm.net:
Bravo’s newest reality show is set at a high-intensity ski resort full of fun-loving people. And, as we know from co-star Cynthia Barker, going skiing in a bikini is par for the course at Gibbons Whistler, the Canadian enclave where everything goes down. So the Timber Creek Lodge Katy Ann Boydbikini photos are a natural fit!
Katy is being billed as the venue’s event planner, which is something she’s made a name for herself doing for over a decade. Back in 2006, Katy started a company called The Southern Belles, which specialized in dance and performance. According to her official bio, over the years The Southern Belles “developed and transitioned into an event planning company” now called Southern Belle Event Planning, which caters to national events. And Katy managed to build Southern Belle Event Planning while getting both a BA in business and an MBA.
If you’re wondering why a show set in Canada features the CEO of a company that features the phrase “Southern Belles,” it’s because Katy is originally from North Carolina. And, if you’re wondering why she maybe looks familiar, it could because you’ve seen her modeling before:
A photo posted by Katy Ann Boyd ??? (@katyannboyd) on
In the meantime, you can keep up with Katy on Instagram here, on Twitter here, and on Facebook here. And don’t forget to check her out on your screen of choice when Timber Creek Lodge premieres Monday, December 5th, on Bravo.
By the way, you can check out her bio on Bravo here: BRAVO TV
It’s always good to see someone breaking down the stereotypes, and that’s exactly what Chinese grandfather Wang Deshun is doing.
The 80-year-old recently made his first appearance as a runway model and absolutely smashed it!
Wang’s debut was during Chinese Fashion Week, and with such charm and charism, he quickly found himself attached to the title of ‘China’s hottest grandpa’.
Having turned 80 in September, Wang says he’s happy to break down barriers and is determined to avoid mental and physical stagnation. He says he works out about 3 hours each day, and has taken great delight in destabilising what it means to ‘be old’ in China.
It’s worth noting that in China ‘old age’ begins quite early. The legal retirement age for women in China is around 50 for workers and 55 for civil servants, while most men retire at the age of 60. Not Wang Deshun!
“One way to tell if you’re old or not is to ask yourself ‘Do you dare try something you’ve never done before”‘” he says.
Now that we are already into May (wow) – and the year will be half-way through next month, we thought it was a good time to do a little feature on our Miss Social Network of the Year – Laruen Incitar! She’s not just our Miss Social Network of the Year for 2016, she’s our All-Time Vote Leader! Here’s our interview with our Model of the Year!
What is it that you love about being in front of a camera?
It’s a bit hard to explain this to people who are outside of the modeling and photography world, but I love that I can simultaneously be myself while also being outside of myself. Whether I am promoting a certain product or lingerie line, or if I am doing an editorial shoot that is supposed to be conveying a story, I have the unique opportunity of being myself within the picture while also allowing for interpretation of what story the photos tell about myself and/or the products to the viewers of the pictures. It’s both a comforting and exciting thought while I’m at a shoot and the camera starts rolling. I feel the heat of the lights and I am suddenly completely consumed by what we are doing. It’s like when you watch a very good movie or read a book that really sucks you in—except you are part of the outcome, which I think is very cool.
How did you get started in modeling? Do you remember your first photoshoot?
I have always been a big fan of art, and especially of modeling, since I was very young. As a child, I took to cutting out pictures of models in magazines and making collages of them or even certain parts of them—such as their eyes or make up. I was very drawn by how their looks and expressions could change so widely from one photo to the next, and how we all tend to both notice them and dismiss them, because they are part of the larger art. Then, one day, as I was browsing through some craigslist ads, looking for some kind of gig, I stumbled upon an offer for new models for a photoshoot. I wasn’t very confident in how I looked and I was very nervous, but I contacted the poster and had my first photoshoot. I never looked back! My first photoshoot was for a clothing line that was going to be advertised online (an online store). I was very excited and so very nervous! The adrenaline I felt shooting for the first time is hard to describe, but I love modeling.
Tell the one word that you friends would use to describe you? And why?
Well, I’m not really sure which words my friends would use to describe me without asking them, but I do think determined would make that list. I say that because once I have an idea in my head of what I really want, I will do whatever it takes to get there. My drive is incredibly high.
What advice would you give to aspiring models, looking to get started? Any tips?
First of all, I would say to new aspiring models to never give up. It is ok if not every shoot goes as planned. It is ok if you are barely noticed when you first start. It’s completely normal. No one who just started wakes up and magically has a fan base, no matter how gorgeous you are! I would say to really focus on your networking, both with people who are directly involved in the industry (photographers, producers, make up artists, etc) and with the fans as you get them (they are very important to your success!). I would also stress to practice poses. If you can’t afford to take a few modeling classes (I didn’t!), you can even go onto a DIY site like youtube and see some pose practice. Practice in the mirror if you can so you can see how you look in certain poses and master some of the harder ones. Every shoot is a new learning experience. Every photographer has a different style and the dynamics between you and the photographers will vastly vary!
What is the most challenging thing you have had to overcome and how did you do it?
Probably the most challenging thing I have had to overcome is being a single mother while going to school full time and also trying to keep up with modeling demands! It’s not quite as easy as it sounds! But, I have graduated with my Master’s degree and I have been able to keep up with both my son and the demands inherent in modeling. I have overcome these challenges both through my own drive and through the help of my fans, who keep me motivated and are always cheering me on every step of the way.
If there is one person in the history of the world (non-relative) – famous person, who would you like to have dinner with? This is a very hard question! I think if I could have dinner with any famous person in all of the history of the world, I would choose Lucy Parsons. Lucy Parsons was a prominent labor activist in the late 1800s. Back then, people used to work 16 hour days or more with no overtime pay, and children were frequently part of the labor force with no chances of ever stepping foot into school. She was one of the big voices that helped to change that.
Where would you love to travel to and why?
Wow, another really hard question! I’d love to be able to travel to Spain. My family on both sides have roots in Spain, and from my own understanding due to my fathers travels in the 80s, the Spanish are very welcoming to travelers with a rich history and culture—as well as some of the most beautiful places to photograph in, in the world!
What is your favorite movie?
It will sound silly, but my favorite movie is Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. It’s one of my comfort movies. I have watched it easily millions of times from childhood to now, and I still sometimes put it on when I feel sad or have trouble sleeping.
Do you have any hobbies our MSN fans would like to know about?
I have a few hobbies that are a bit varied. I love to make things with my hands and love to crochet and draw with charcoals. I also very much enjoy reading (not an exciting hobby to some, but I do love it!). I also love anything to do with horses and bunnies.
What do you want to be when you grow up? LOL
I ultimately want to be a researcher, and want to research very specifically diseases like Alzheimer’s. I also want to continue modelling and expressing my creative and edgy side for as long as I can!
Come join Lauren, as a Contestant or a Judge! Click on the picture to Register!
Hard to believe, but MSN has been around for nearly a decade. In the next week or so, we’re excited about making a big announcement about the evolution of the “MISS SOCIAL” Brand. This year, we crown our 10th Model of the Year, since Viktoria Fox was named Miss MySpace USA in 2007 (4 annual Winners at MMU & this will be our 6th with MSN). A decade of credibility doesn’t happen by accident. You can’t build a brand in a few months, let alone a year or two. Playboy Miss Social has come and gone (and we were friends with them), and now, everyone has so many choices of which contests to compete in! There are numerous choices, and we support what you choose to do. And we give you a platform to promote them.
With Miss Social Network, you get three powerful elements that have never changed…in a decade: Branding, Consistency, Relevancy. We continue to be consistent and transparent, providing you an opportunity to choose to compete as you build your personal brand by aligning with ours. It’s hard to build a trusted brand in a few months, let alone a year or two. A trusted brand is built over years, combining with the forces of a powerful user base, with now over 20,000 registered users. And we can’t wait to announce the next phase with the Miss Social brand very soon.
Despite having well over 1,000 models on our site, only about 20 to 25 models choose to initially compete for the monthly title. Some enter the fray cautiously, with them and their fans waiting to see who’s going to aggressively promote their profiles to move towards the top. Within a week, the fans, supporters, and models commit to the month, and that’s who you’ll usually see in The Elite 8. At this point, the models consistently in The Elite 8 start to make a name for themselves within the social network modeling community, across other contests, within Facebook Groups, creating consistent awareness about themselves and their personal brand. They start to get to know supporters via social connections,and everyone has an opinion about something or someone in the competition, or about the tokens system, or the way certain contests are administered. As the month gets closer to the end, you just never know who’s going to drop votes in the final minutes. The final hour is when everyone is stressed, waiting for the final bell to ring.
If you look back at history, you’ll see many of the many of those that finish regularly in The Elite 8, or had tough 2nd place finishes, come back to claim the title. Persistence usually pays off, but we know that participating in contests can be as excruciating as a poker match, because you never know who’s going to drop votes and when they choose to do so. This isn’t for everyone’s temperament, especially participating in a contest where you can buy votes. It’s a pool we all choose to swim in and we’re grateful for the participants that choose to align with the platform we provide. What’s most important to us, we simply wanted to bring a little clarity to the MSN brand, in a complex world of choices. Understand that we don’t view other contests as competitors but rather see them complementing MSN and hopefully creating additional opportunities for each one of you!
Quite frankly, our mission it to give you the opportunity to:
1) Align with our brand to build your own personal, recognizable brand
2) Use your gallery to promote other contests you work with
3) Connect with other models & their fan bases
4) Use us as the first step in understanding how online contests work
5) Develop and grow your social strategy before embarking onto other contest
6) Provide you the assets to make yourself relevant in a complex industry
7 Work with other models that may provide mentorship to you
8) Learn to compete with grace & dignity, in an anti-bullying zone
Thank you all for being a part of the Miss Social Network family, for over 10 Years. The Brand continues to evolve….Stay Tuned for an exciting announcement about the evolution of the MSN Brand soon.
As with Search Engine Marketing, companies invest in search engine marketing to be discovered. MSN essentially provides aspiring models the same opportunity, through the power of our token system. We provide the models & their fans a CHOICE. What is that CHOICE? Whether or not they want to pursue the opportunity to become the face of Miss Social Network, be it for a month or for the entire year, hence become discovered by our community. Just like companies and small businesses pay for Search Engine Optimization, we give you the opportunity to do the same thing, right here, within Miss Social Network. It’s the models, their family, or their fans that choose to make an investment in their career by purchasing tokens. We also provide you an asset that no other organization provides: Aligning with an established brand within the social network modeling community.
Models that are in our network are often ‘cherry picked’ by other online companies that find you from being on our site. With relevancy comes the fact that you may be contacted by individuals that disparaged our contestants and our brand. Disregard the haters. As you become more visible, you sometimes become more of a target. Be wary of companies and individuals that are envious of the business model, and claim we deliver no value. How exactly did they find you? How did they reach out to you? They prove our point. They found you right here, within the Miss Social Network family. In the same way that top models on Facebook often become target of haters (the less than 1 percent), our organization unfortunately has them too. You will be contacted by some of them, usually the same people over and over that have nothing better to do, trolling (no pun intended) sites like ours simply because that’s what they do. Please provide us their names, and we will post them publicly…but ignore them.
Each month, there will only be one winner and unfortunately someone will always finish second, no matter how many tokens were purchased. But remember, by being in The Elite 8, you will be at the forefront of our site and quickly build online relevancy with the hundreds of thousands of FACEBOOK FANS and visitors that come to our site. Each time a new model joins our network, they bring their entire FAN BASE with them. This new fan base now has the opportunity to embrace other models on our site. That’s why we encourage you to align with other models and their fans, get to know them, post on their walls, and welcome them to the MSN family when they join. By collaborating with each other rather than creating conflict, you will be amazed at the growth of your fan pages and the way others will support your endeavors.
Thank you all for your great support. We try to stay drama free…we prefer to stay behind the scenes and let the models police the site! Onward & Upward…best wishes as you choose to be discovered through the power of Miss Social Network!
We wanted to share an amazing day when we received a visit here in New York City from Playboy’s Miss March – Playmate Chelsie Aryn. She thanked Miss Social Network for all of our support over the years! As many of you know, she has been a part of our family for a year and a half, since winning our monthly title back in August 2013. She joined MSN back in January 2011, as the 4,495th person to register (we now have 20,183 registrants)! And now, 4 years later, she’s a perfect reflection of what many of you aspire to become…a Playboy Playmate!
She has always been gracious to our MSN family, thanking us and our fans for all the support & exposure we have given her over the years. And we are so excited for all her success! It could not have happened to a more gracious individual, an example for all others to follow. And we hope it will happen to other models that are following in her footsteps, here withing the MSN family. Yes, it can happen to you one day too! As Chelsie told us, and all the other girls, #FolllowYourDreams!
The day of her visit, we headed over to Boomer & Cartons morning sports show in New York City. She is a huge Jets fan! During the interview, her amazing beauty and personality shine through…a true beauty, inside and out. We wish her the best of luck as her career blossoms and are grateful that she is a part of the Miss Social Network family!