You may remember the team here at Talent Management telling you a while ago about Casey Legler – the first female model to sign as a male model for Ford Models New York.
Female model Elliott Sailors decided to follow in Casey’s androgynous footsteps and has recently shared the moment she cut off all her hair to become a male model (see video below). She is now signed alongside Casey with Ford male division and also has no intention of taking any permanent steps to change her gender.
She wrote about the experience at the barbers in The New York Post…
‘They said, “We don’t actually do women’s short-style haircuts.” I laughed and said, “I understand. I want to look like a boy,”’ she wrote.
‘When I sat down in the chair, I told him, “I’m going to cry, but don’t worry about it. I REALLY want to do this.”’
‘Tears welled in my eyes again at the first buzz. But I was determined not to have a tear fall,
‘It wasn’t so much about my hair — it’s just hair. It was really that I had been a model for so long. It’s what I do. It was saying goodbye to what I had been and knowing that I was starting something brand new, and I had no idea how it would go.
The 31-year-old’s husband Adam Santos-Coy recorded the whole thing and has been a great support to her. Her mother, on the other hand, did not agree with it but is ‘just as loving as she’s always been’.
Sailors explained that the decision to drastically change her look was a pragmatic one, as she feels that she will be able to stay in the industry longer as her career was headed down a catalogue-focused path as opposed to high fashion.
31-years-old is considered ‘old’ in the female modelling industry, whereas male models do not seem to have as much age discrimination.
Celebration of androgyny is far from a new concept in the modelling and fashion industries – alongside Casey and Elliott there is the young Bosnian male model Andrej Pejic, who is renowned for his feminine looks and for modelling women’s clothing – including wedding dresses, and transgender model Lea T.
Some think it’s great to see such diversity being shown and there is hope that this might lead to more plus-size models and ethnic diversity in the fashion world.
However, others such as Huffington Post UK blogger and older female model Alex B, think that these cases only further highlight the need for greater diversity among female models.
“The point that Elliott Sailors and Casey Legler are making is that as male models they can model at an age when female models are regarded as old,” she told HuffPost UK Lifestyle.
“I love their inventiveness and the individualistic solution found to this conundrum but the point remains that we need to see more older women on the catwalk without expecting female models to turn into male models to ensure greater longevity to their career.”
“Androgyny is perfectly acceptable but does not necessarily open the door to diversity,” she warns.
What do you think?