Young people’s experiences of fashion modelling: An exploratory phenomenological study
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Research about fashion modelling within Psychology remains sparse. Rare empirical studies which do exist exhibit a tendency to pathologise models, and provide only a superficial insight into this career. Little is known about who a fashion model really is, what a young person who models experiences in their careers, or how they make sense of this role. With this in mind, the current study sought to explore the lived experience of young people who are fashion models. Three participants offered experiential accounts of modelling in the fashion industry, and Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA) revealed superordinate themes: ‘Growth and Development’, ‘Changes in Self-Perception’, and ‘A Job? Or a Way of Life?’. Change was found to be an integral part of the participants’ experiences, which led to both positive and negative developmental outcomes, including a self-reported growth in confidence and maturity, yet a potentially more self-critical view of one’s appearance. The role seemed to be an all-encompassing lifestyle rather than a job, and it is argued that modelling at a young age may act as a catalyst for a transition into adulthood. This study is exploratory in nature but provides an initial insight into the experiences of fashion modelling. The discussion identifies ways in which cognate sub-disciplines of Psychology may contribute to this area of research, thus developing and extending further the Psychological literature base in the field of fashion studies.
International Journal of Fashion Studies;
Carr, D.J. and Mercer, J. (2017) 'Young people’s experiences of fashion modelling: An exploratory phenomenological study', International Journal of Fashion Studies, 4(1), pp.51-68
This article was published in International Journal of Fashion Studies on 01 April 2017 (online), available at https://doi.org/10.1386/infs.4.1.51_1
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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