ISSN: 20517106
First published in 2014
2 issues per volume
Volume 4 Issue 1
Cover Date: April 2017
Young people’s experiences of fashion modelling: An exploratory phenomenological study
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Authors:  Daniel J. Carr And  Jenny Mercer 
DOI: 10.1386/infs.4.1.51_1

fashion models,young people,experience,modelling,interpretative phenomenological analysis

Research into fashion modelling within the field of psychology remains sparse. Empirical studies do exist, but they are rare and exhibit a tendency to pathologize 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 fashion models make sense of their role. With this in mind, the current study seeks 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.
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