We can’t all be models, love

Charlotte Gill

Topics Feminism

I’ve never understood why anyone would want to be a model. A life without biscuits? No thanks.

Of course, there’s another reason most of us will never make it down the catwalk. It’s called aesthetics. Ever since I stopped growing, at the age of 11, I’ve accepted my fate.

However, this realisation is proving tougher for others, as evidenced this week by the tragic tale of Sherene Zarrabi.

Zarrabi worked as a shop assistant at the Dainty Hooligan store in Oklahoma. Being a fan of the clothing there, she decided to do her very own fashion shoot – documenting it on the shop’s Instagram account.

But here’s the problem: Zarrabi isn’t dainty, and quite reasonably her employer thought to point this out in an email, pointing out that Zarrabi wasn’t ‘model material’.

But instead of quietly accepting the feedback, Zarrabi took to Facebook to recount how she’d been ‘attacked and discriminated against’. Thus, a star was born, with the press describing the 21-year-old as the latest victim of ‘body-shaming’.

Since when did ‘body-shaming’ mean having eyes? For it’s clear that Zarrabi, though attractive, doesn’t fit in with the aesthetic ideals of Dainty Hooligan’s Instagram page (which, by the way, largely features one skinny blonde lady and dogs).

Zarrabi has joined a host of catwalk wannabes who have transformed rejection into opportunity. Last year, there was Charli Howard, the girl who cried into the Guardian’s arms after an agency told her she was ‘too big’ to make it.

I wish these young women would get a grip – or change career. They can hardly feel aggrieved when an industry entirely centred on appearances rejects them for their looks.

Zarrabi’s claims of discrimination are quite astonishing given she was never hired to sport clothes and probably should have been on the tills that fateful day.

When quizzed about her email, Zarrabi’s former employer told the press ‘I never meant to be mean or attacking, but I’m not apologising for the unsaid fashion rule’. I hope she sticks to her guns.

Sherene Zarrabi isn’t the latest victim of ‘body-shaming’, she’s just had a reality check.

Charlotte Gill is a writer and blogger. Follow her on Twitter: @C_C_Gill

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Topics Feminism


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