Today, the modeling industry makes room only for a very select - and extremely homogenous - talent pool, a group that is far from representative of the general population and all the diverse beauty it encompasses. But even those lucky few who fit the ‘right’ image and manage to break in, are thrust into a very scary world where unhealthy pressures and unfair treatment are the norm.
Those things alone are huge issues, but what makes it all even worse is that given the nature of this business, it’s not just the models who get hurt, it’s every single media consumer, especially young girls and boys still developing their self-identities who look to these models as aspirational examples.
But enough is enough, it’s time for change. That’s why we’re harnessing the power of the Internet - and its magical capacity for democratizing opportunity and creating change in industries where those in power are satisfied with an unacceptable status quo – to unite an influential community of creative changemakers and arm them with the tools they need. Because ultimately, we believe the key to affecting real and lasting change lies in empowering models themselves.
To achieve Meriad’s mission, we’re focused on 3 tangible goals:
Agencies favor a certain ‘type’ of model, overlooking those who don’t fit the very specific mold that the fashion industry has created. In turn, this limits clients’ choices when it comes to making casting decisions. By building a space where talented models of all shapes, sizes, colors, and backgrounds can showcase their skill and be discovered directly, we’re shifting power away from middlemen, and back into the hands of the clients and models themselves.
Despite the media’s glamorous depiction of high-profile supermodels, most working models live a much harsher reality filled with workplace injustices and no clear-cut path for overcoming them. Pressure to adhere to unhealthy, dangerous beauty standards, inappropriate behavior from clients, dishonest representation, hidden fees and expenses, and even withholding payment are some of the average model’s daily struggles. We’re committed to creating a community free from unrealistic expectations while arming models with the tools they need to take control of their careers and demand the respect they deserve. Think public ratings and reviews for clients, payment guarantees, access to professional resources, and transparency, transparency, transparency.
Because models work as independent contractors, the burden of finding, understanding, evaluating, and procuring things like health and dental insurance, retirement savings, tax guidance, etc. falls on the individual. By building the right relationships and opening up access to the right resources, we aim to help provide both the cost savings and education most people get from their employers.