Meredith Hattam is a 24-year-old model who has worked professionally in China, and documented her experiences recently for Fashionista. Now, it's not like the modeling industry in general, or its umbrella fashion industry, is a great operation to begin with, but the personal tribulations of Hattam and her peers seem particularly harsh while working "car shows, fake beauty pageants, and pajama catlogs."
For one, there's that time her 16-year-old peer had her weekly allowance cut because she violated the body measurements laid out in her contract. In order to slim down to preposterous levels, she ended up only eating hard-boiled eggs for 10 days straight. But these girls are here to cash in, right? Well, according to Hatttam, after paying the agency its cut, plus everyday expenses, most of the models leave China having earned nothing.
Read the rest of Hattam's harrowing experiences here, which breaks down the international modeling infrastructure that exists away from the high-exposure glamor of Milan, Paris, and NYC (not that those are safe havens, either). Hattam's personal experiences speak to the powerful, cold systems in place, and hopefully her voice can cut through the noise. It's a powerful read that will strip away the superficiality that is immediately presented by much of the fashion industry, and make the reader realize—hopefully for a while—that these faces we see are much more than just that.