Named by Forbes as third in the "World's Top-Earning Supermodels," Heidi Klum has turned in her angel wings. On Sept. 30, the Victoria's Secret model announced that she would be leaving the brand after 13 years.
"All good things have to come to an end," reflected Klum. "I will always love 'Victoria' and never tell her secret. It's been an absolutely amazing time!"
Klum is a multi-talented woman and continues to stay busy, despite her retirement from Victoria's Secret. The mother of four is the host, judge, and executive producer of the reality show "Project Runway." She also has a fashion collection, make-up line, and recently launched an active woman's wear line. Klum is also the face and creative advisor to Astor, a European cosmetics line.
However, Klum's departure from Victoria's Secret brings up the question of age in the modeling industry. How old is too old to model? Those that watch "America's Next Top Model" have seen women cry, saying that soon, they will be too old to be considered.
Why does age discrimination exist within this field? Employers want woman with slim and unrealistically thin bodies that are more difficult to find in older women. There is fear that an older model might not be suitable if her body is changing. Modeling is a hectic and demanding job-employers need to make sure that the women they hire are committed.
The modeling industry has been criticized for under representing African-American and Asian women. This is beginning to change with models such as Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell and designers are seeking out more "exotic" looks.
In the past few years there has been outcry against the unrealistically thin models that do not represent the majority of women. Some designers have started using "normal women" as models to address the public's concern.
With these recent changes, it's high time that the modeling industry eliminates age discrimination. Women of all ages, shapes, and sizes are interested in and exposed to fashion-they should not be forced to look at unrealistic models. These images can be hurtful when they are portrayed as ideal and can affect self-esteem in women.
It should be accepted that a model's body changes as she ages, since there are millions of women just like her. The modeling world needs to seek out women with the most important feature-talent-not age. Skills and motivation are the vital elements for any good employee, whether a model or another position.
If a woman has the courage, confidence, skill, and dedication for modeling, she should not be rejected by the industry because of age. Some successful women might find that as they grow older, their priorities change and they might have to put modeling on hold, as Heidi Klum did. However, someone interested in modeling should not be turned away just because of a number.