Model Life Isn't As Glamorous As It Looks Without From The Outside

Model Life Isn't As Glamorous As It Looks From The Outside

In a world of glamour and money, the fact that some models live without health insurance is alarming.

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TJ, a non-binary model signed with Freedom, JAG, and Scout agencies, was in a severe motorcycle accident on April 27, 2019. The accident left their previously broken left leg with a crushed knee, fractured bones and arterial bleeding. Upon arriving at the hospital, TJ's medical bill started around $100,000. That amount has risen and will continue to rise as their care and needs persist.

What's most alarming about this story is that TJ doesn't have health insurance.

Macy Franklin

With a sizable following and a helpful partner, a good chunk of TJ's bills will likely be paid for by a Go Fund Me account. Notable people have donated to the fund, including actress and producer Lena Waithe, the team at Kenneth Cole, Lindsey Clarke of Sketchers, David Roth of rock band Van Halen, Savage x FENTY and many other individuals and teams for which TJ has modeled.

Aspiring models flock to big cities such as New York or Los Angeles and work as independent contractors rather than legitimate employees. In the United States, independent contractors, commonly referred to as "freelancers," are required to pay their own Social Security and Medicare taxes.

I'd consider myself somewhat good at managing my finances. But I'm confident when I say I could not handle tax season as a freelancer. Freelancers regularly owe money to the government come April. After knowing the joy of a tax return, freelancing is not in my future.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May 2018, a model made on average $11.43 per hour, amounting to $23,770 a year. In 2016, there were around 4,800 jobs in the modeling industry. Many models were left unemployed for an amount of time, uncertain of when their next paycheck would come or where it was coming from.

Say what? I lived in New York for two years making between $40,000 and $45,000. Surviving on a meager $12 an hour gets you some food but definitely not a roof over your head. More like a blanket and a bench in Central Park. I think a strong pat on the back is deserved for people that move to big cities with no guarantee of an income. That's the basis of hustling, really.

In 2011, NPR's "Talk of the Nation" aired an interview with Ashley Mears, an American writer and former fashion model. In the interview, Mears shared a relatable story about a friend she'd met in the industry.

"She booked a couple of lucrative jobs that paid her very well and had residuals with TV commercials. But after a few years, her earnings ran completely dry because she ended up getting sick, and without health insurance she had to pay out of pocket for some pretty straightforward procedures that were very costly."

The Kaiser Family Foundation stated that 27.4 million non-elderly individuals remained without coverage in 2017. Doctor and hospital visit charges are never set in stone. According to the Healthcare Bluebook, visiting an ER with a minor problem can cost anywhere between $395 to $1,500. Visiting an ER with a very severe problem can cost between $978 to $3,604 and upward. Those prices don't include overnight stays, surgery or additional care. Someone with insurance is likely to pay only a quarter of a bill, if not less. The size of a medical bill with insurance coverage compared to one without is astronomical.

With a common industry entry age of 16, most models are maneuvering the industry almost completely alone. At such a young age, it's likely they aren't aware of the services provided for them that make sure they are being treated fairly and respectfully by agencies. I don't even know all the services provided to me as an employee of a large school district. Adulting is like being dropped 10 miles from shore and told to swim back. No one tells you there's a jet ski a couple of yards away.

The Model Alliance is an organization that, "promotes fair treatment, equal opportunity, and sustainable practices in the fashion industry, from the runway to the factory floor." It acknowledges common areas of concern within the industry and leads individuals to the right place to apply for health insurance.

The Better Business Bureau suggests "modeling is a difficult profession to break into. Therefore, if [one is] not accepted by several reputable managers and agents, [one] may want to reconsider [their] career choice." Enough said.

Not only do models face injury on set, but their private lives and hobbies can also lead to disaster. Consider TJ as an example, but also the dangers of simply living in a crowded commuting metropolis. Living without insurance is not only unpredictable but insecure. Being a model may be glamorous but makes life uncertain. I'm only 5"4', but count me out.

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10 Outfits Every College Girl Wears To Class At Least Once

You can thank me later.
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It's happened on more than one occasion.

The occasion of being called out more than once for dressing down for class and by "down" I mean some of the haters we hate to love claiming that they can't see the shorts we're wearing under the oversized band tee on our way to class.

Contrary to popular belief, yes I'm not oblivious to how my choice of outfits for class tends to shift on the more comfortable side and yes, I am aware that it looks like I'm not wearing pants, I like it that way.

Every girl in college wears what they feel is comfortable enough to wear in a 2-hour lecture and these are my ideas of comfort.

1. The infamous oversized tee with Nike shorts.

I'll say it right now, I have a variety of assorted Soffee and Nike shorts that I pair with almost every oversized tee I own and it's my go-to for those 8 AM math lectures.

2. Oversized tee with leggings and riding boots.

Once the first red, yellow and orange leaf is found on campus grounds, you know you're about to see a swarm of college girls, like me, sporting riding boots in every shade of brown. Jeans optional.

3. Oversized tee with leggings and rain boots.

Once the first rainfall hits campus, you better believe you'll see this same 'fit paired with Hunter boots in almost every color.

4. The "I'm going to the gym right after class, I SWEAR" look.

Whether or not I have plans to go to the gym after class or not, I'm probably in my gym gear 4 times of the week and I'm not ashamed by it.

5. Jeans.

I've always had a hate/hate relationship with wearing jeans when I absolutely do not have to and here's why: they make my derriere completely disappear. When (and if) you catch me wearing jeans in lecture hall it's probably because someone paid me a large sum of money to do so.

6. Your boyfriend's flannel paired with... you guessed it, your favorite pair of leggings.

This is probably one of the many flannels I've stolen from my boyfriend and certainly not the last one. Paired with another favorite standard black leggings, you can't go wrong with this outfit to snooze in.

7. The baseball hat and quarter zip ensemble.

One of my all times favorites, you can't go wrong with a zipper up 3x too big for your body and a baseball hat you honestly forgot where you got it from. We also can't forget our infamous black leggings.

8. Your "walk of shame" outfit.

Now, this doesn't mean you roll up to Intro to Psychology wearing what you wore to the lacrosse mixer the night before, no. This is more of the outfit you so quickly had to throw on in a span of two minutes because you left so and so's apartment downtown an hour too late.

9. A v-neck.

Another one of my favorites.

10. Dresses (or anything even relatively formal).

Disclaimer: I personally would never come to class wearing this but gigantic kudos to cute a** girls that do decide to wear this because you look good.

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Victoria's Secret Is Bringing Back Swimwear This Summer And We Are Not Excited

Do not support a brand that does not support all women.

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If you're obsessed with everything Victoria's Secret and Pink, then you've probably heard that they're bringing back their swimwear. Is this good news or is this bad news? Should you really be jumping up and down ready for a VS swimwear haul this summer?

It has been almost three years since VS swimwear called it quits and chose to focus more on their lingerie items and sportswear. In the meantime, where have people been getting their bathing suits? Chances are if you've been on social media since VS went on their swimsuit hiatus, you've seen an influx of one-piece bathing suit pictures on your Instagram feed. Maybe you too have opted for the one piece over a two piece. Or for high waisted bottoms if you were going to wear a two piece.

I'm not saying that bikinis died after VS canceled their swimwear, but I low key am. Without the swimwear mogul releasing dozens and dozens of bikinis and being fed ridiculous body standard pictures, society may have moved away from the expectation of "body expectation" and closer to "body acceptance." This is especially true with Aerie's campaign #everyBODYisbeautiful as they begin to show girls with all different body types and become a more inclusive brand. Meanwhile, Victoria's Secret remains exclusive to smaller sizes and only features petite women. And since the brand hasn't made any strides to be more inclusive, we can expect their swimwear to be targeted towards one body type.

If your body type is petite and you are naturally skinny, then celebrate your body and be comfortable in your skin! No body-shaming here. Everybody should be able to enjoy their summer and going to the beach without being ridiculed for their size. If you are upset that you do not look like a Victoria's Secret angel just know they still get photoshopped and airbrushed even though they are gorgeous. Imagine being Candace Swanepoel and still needing photoshop.

So, if you have been making strides with self-love, and loving your body even if it does not fit society's standard of beauty, just ignore Victoria's Secret this summer, because it is not worth compromising your self-esteem and progress just to be set back by a company that capitalizes on exclusion and eating disorders.

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