Here’s the thing. A lot of people have a lot of opinions about a lot of things (hello!), and just when you think you’ve heard all the opinions, somebody steps up to offer theirs.
Enter: veteran model Daphne Selfe who believes today’s models need to class it up.
“We were taught manners, how to approach people, go for a job, and how to get in and out of a car without showing your knickers,” she told The Times and The Sunday Times. “They all look so sullen now. Why are they so miserable? Always enjoy it. You should always look present.”
You know that Emoji where the face is grimacing because it feels uncomfortable with what it just read? I feel that way right now. Especially since Selfe went on to complain that models were no longer required to learn to walk by balancing books on their heads or take their jackets off mid-walk. Which, of course, she would amend at her online academy where she “would show them the right way to go about things.”
Which, like oh boy.
Okay. I mean, I love people who’ve lived and thrived and been through things. Those are my favourite kind of people in the world, and I will never deny the importance of experience or lessons learned. But — but — this reminds me of when I started talking to an old lady at Starbucks once, and a lovely conversation turned into “kids today should dress up more” before evolving into her very, very right-wing political beliefs that were both offensive and terrible. And I just stood there and said, “Well . . . I should go.”
This is how Selfe’s comments make me feel. Not just because it reminds me of the Simpsons’ “Old man yells at cloud” headline, but because honestly? Smiling sucks sometimes. And it’s also not the fault of the models that the designer prefers they don’t smile. Also: what she’s describing as best behaviour is ultimately “being ladylike,” and while maybe not everyone wants the world to see one’s “knickers” while leaving a vehicle, if somebody else doesn’t care, that’s their call. Which reminds me of every conversation I’ve had with older family members who, I think, can forget what it’s like to be young.
So let’s just throw this into the mix: just because some of us would do some things differently, doesn’t mean other people are doing things wrong. The older we get, the more aware we tend to be about ourselves and our generation as opposed to trying to relate to the ones behind us. So just because we may not understand what’s trendy within a subculture, doesn’t mean it isn’t trendy or cool or valid. It just means we don’t have to do it.
Deep thoughts on a Thursday, I know. But models of today? Just keep doing you.