Drugs and Alcohol in the Modeling Industry

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The modeling industry is a paradox. On the outside, it is a world of glamour and excess. Oftentimes in its underbelly, however, is an overly competitive world where the highs are absolute highs and the lows are downright dirt deep.
To keep up with the competition, many designers and models turn to illegal or prescription drugs such as diet pills to dodge gaining extra weight while working all night for a busy show. New York Fashion Week, for example, where a model’s workday goes for more than twelve hours, is known to fashion insiders as high time for cocaine abuse especially during the after parties.
The pressure does not only come from inside the industry. On the other end of the printed photos and catwalks are the admiring fans who see these models as image of perfection. It is a double edged sword injuring the models for the pressures and expectations, and the fans for having a distorted image of beauty.
This is why it is not surprising that the fashion industry is one of the biggest markets for drug peddlers. Although this issue is usually swept under the rug, and big executives will never admit to how prevalent it has become in the industry, a number of fashion editors, stylists, and models have stepped out and admitted to having witnessed this drug abuse.
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The Role of Management and Agents
Tess Daly, a retired model and now a British presenter admitted to witnessing the drug abuse during her time. She revealed in an interview with Mirror that she recalls seeing supermodels going to the toilets together to use drugs.
Daly also spoke about how her own management had put her into the habit of using drugs. In the industry, it is seen as a means of socializing or ‘fitting in’ particularly with the agent who secured the job for the model.
Janice Dickinson, known as the self-proclaimed first supermodel, admitted on the show Celebrity Rehab to abusing drugs during her career’s prime. Now 60, she recounted how there were plenty of alcohol and drugs available at every photo shoots she booked. She shared her experiences on working long hours during the day and going out at night with her promoters and managers to binge on more alcohol and drugs.
These witness accounts are further proven by other models who are either in denial of their addiction or are putting efforts into rehabilitation to get their lives back on track. Among these known figures include Drew Barrymore, Jennifer Gimenez, Naomi Campbell, Jael Strauss, Jaime King, Kate Moss, Kristen Dunst, and Paris Hilton to name a few.
You can read more of this article in our April 2017 issue of ModelsMania
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