The model workout …

Jessica HartNew York based Australian model Jessica Hart who joins Jennifer Hawkins for the latest Myer campaign busted the myth that models don’t work out and said that there were no short cuts to modelling.

It’s a welcome relief from the lies we have been fed for years by models who say they can eat whatever they want, never exercise and attribute their stick thin body to simply good genes and a fast metabolism.

Hart told The Daily Telegraph that models who don’t work out are a rarity and even implied that models who say they don’t exercise are in fact telling fibs.

‘There’s no such thing as those girls who don’t work out. Even the girls who say they don’t exercise usually do. You have to,’ Hart told Sydney Confidential.

“It’s just part of my life. I run, cycle, do pilates, work out in the gym … everything really. I try and mix it up to keep it interesting but it’s just part of my job.

‘We have to look good and you never know in this industry when it all might just go away.’

This is a refreshing change from models who try and perpetuate the myth that maintaining a size zero figure is effortless. In your teens and early 20s, admittedly, you may be able to get away with eating junk food, doing minimal exercise and being able to maintain your weight but it does catch up with you eventually.

No one knows this more than famous supermodel Naomi Campbell who was one of the first supermodels in the early 1990s including Cindy Crawford, Claudia Schiffer, Christy Turlington, Linda Evangelista and Kate Moss.

She was quoted in the December 1999 issue of Playboy saying “I never diet. I smoke. I drink now and then. I never work out. I work very hard, and I am worth every cent.”

Fast forward ten years later, Naomi who turned 40 in May admitted that she has to work a little bit harder at maintaining her weight. She now (and maybe even then) exercises regularly and even gave Oprah the skinny about a Maple Syrup Diet she turns to at least three times a year to detox her body.

No stranger to controversy, the poster child of the waif moment in the early eighties and part of the 90s fashion brat pack Kate Moss told Women’s Wear Daily in 2009 that she lived by the slogan, “nothing tastes as good as skinny feels” – a slogan popular with pro-anorexia websites.

Notorious for her party lifestyle and aversion to exercise, Kate Moss’ errant ways are starting to take a visible toll. The supermodel said to have curbed her excessive ways after seeing photos of her holidaying in St Tropez in 2009. No doubt, this will last as long as Lindsay Lohan’s gaol sentence.

Thankfully, there is a new generation of socially responsible models who speak about their health and fitness regime. Model of the moment Samantha Harris told that she works out every day.

‘The agency (Chic) organised for me to work out with this personal instructor and she has really helped tone my body. I have never felt better,’ said Samantha.

Other models who hit the treadmill or pavement regularly or roll out the yoga mat is Miranda Kerr, Adriana Lima and Gisele Bundchen, known for having one of the best figures in the modelling industry pre and post the birth of her first child.

However, it hasn’t escaped my attention that bikini or lingerie models that have a healthy body shape (in my opinion) are more likely to speak about their exercise routines than high end catwalk models.

Unlike other celebrities who are quick to share their weight loss secrets, happily get snapped by the paparazzi exercising and capitalise on their toned figures by bringing producing workout videos or books, such as Carmen Electra, Kim Kardashian and even (shudder) Karl Lagerfeld, it seems that the modelling industry prefers to keep the fact they exercise as an open industry secret.

I guess they would rather us mere mortals think that they party all night, are chain smokers, live on a cocktails of drugs and purge themselves after every meal. Now where do I sign up? I have never aspired to a catwalk body and preferred the shapes of commercial models but that is another blog article altogether.

Vying for covers, cosmetic deals and clothing campaigns, it seems that the only modelling they are not interested in doing is being a good role model.

And why? I really have no idea. It’s certainly food for thought in a multi-billion dollar business that has contributed heavily to food disorders like anorexia and bulimia. It’s no secret to anyone in the fitness industry that maintaining a size zero figure requires a serious commitment to exercise and watching your food intake and doesn’t come easily to most people model or not.

Catherine McNeil, a cover favourite of Paris Vogue, Vogue Australia, V magazine and Numero may have inadvertently shed some light on this issue when interviewed by The Courier Mail on why the pendulum has swung back to fashion editors preferring models over A-list celebrities for magazine covers.

‘With the growth of the celebrity culture you know so much about stars’ lives and they are not regarded as a blank canvas, whereas models still have a degree of anonymity and mystery surrounding them,’ says McNeil.

Part of a model’s appeal may be their ambiguity and mystery as McNeil alluded but with the rise and rise of online fashion bloggers documenting their every move and wardrobe change, isn’t this an arena where models should be heard and not just seen?

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  1. Jane, 27 July 2010, 8:08 am

    I grew up in the 80s as well and I remember Naomi Campbell would always say she didn’t exercise. What a lot of hogwash. Even with one of the best bodies in the industry, she’d have to exercise. You can tell the difference anyway between people who don’t exercise or exercise. They may be skinny but their bodies aren’t toned. I prefer athletic bodies as well to scrawny catwalk bodies.

  2. Sexysinglegal, 27 July 2010, 8:53 am

    I don’t understand why the modelling industry do not want to promote a healthier image for models. That’s really crap.

  3. Teri LaFlesh, 5 August 2010, 11:13 am

    This is welcome news. It’s easy to begin to think something must be a bit wrong with you if you struggle and struggle to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and then read about actresses and models saying they don’t even have to try. I’m relieved to read that more and more models are “coming out” about how hard they have to work for their healthy bodies.

  4. Gillian, 5 August 2010, 7:11 pm

    @Jane: I agree you can tell the difference between women who are naturally skinny and women who exercise.

    @Sexysinglegal: I hope that we see a new generation of models that do want to promote a healthier image. Having said that, Australian models are generally curvier than European models.

    @ ‘Coming out’ – I love that and I do hope that more models ‘come clean’ about the fact they are exercising and actively want to be role models for young women.


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