I found this film to be an informative look into the often depressing and trying world of fashion models and supermodel hopefuls; a world littered with the broken, faded, and unfulfilled dreams of countless young women and men who aspire to become famous, yet probably never will.
The film documents an ultimately cold industry that chews people up and spits them out based on appearances, without much, if any, regard to the mental/emotional health or welfare of the model. The amount of rejection, and for several, lack of work as a result, is in some cases quite crushing and traumatic. It can be physically exhausting, as far as work schedule, and mentally exhausting as well. It seems a feat that some of the models keep from letting the business suck the vitality out of them. While modeling provides interaction with numerous people every day, in a way it can also be preventative of genuine, meaningful interpersonal relationships, due to the traveling, sheer volume of individuals and the barrier of fickle judgement inherent in the business. These things can leave models feeling very alone.
The movie focuses primarily on four girls from different countries (though all caucasian) who profess their ambition to transcend the ranks of the ordinary model, in order to achieve fame and/or fortune, and unfortunately in some cases, validation. Models, designers, and others in the business are asked questions about what it's like and the personal qualities required to achieve success. Photogenicity, personality, and confidence are basic essentials, and luck and timing can also play a major role.
The movie didn't try to gloss over or glamourize, although it wasn't critical of the business either. The subject was approached frankly and unsentimentally. Beautopia should be required viewing for those who dream of entering the industry.
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