What in perdition is an Alternative frekking Model!!!

September 24, 2012

Seven days ago I was urged by a dear industry acquaintance to do something with the pictures I had posted on Facebook taken by Hannes. So I took his words and persistently annoying encouragement & advice to heart and Googled mass information on what Alternative modeling entails and how to go about creating a portfolio. I have substantial talent in researching and stalking.

I clumped through a multiplicity of bull turd and conformist styled alternative sites & imagery; I made a to-do list and crossed out all the tasks I am too stubborn to perform. Alternative Modelling is a grossly undefined but hugely common form of entertainment and art.

First on my list was to gather random opinions from five people consisting of friends and frenemies. I was taken aback by one morsel of advice for me to ‘drop about 20kg to make it as a model’ and another to wear a weave or to start chemically relaxing or curling my hair as I would be “representing us Africans” … I agree that my fitness has been decided on my mood per day or dependant on if I manage to remember where I stored my Amy Dixon Fitness DVD I stole from a devout fan of hers a year ago or if I feel the irrepressible urge to accept the notorious Luanda traffic after gym. The topic of hair deservers an entire separate rant styled blog…

But my weight does not define what I think is beautiful. I like my natural hair although it does need a deep condition and vitamin treatment of some sort or a hair clipper machine…

But what is Alternative Modelling? The basic definition of an Alternative Model when we break it down via Google’s “define…..” search formula is:

al·ter·na·tive[awl-tur-nuh-tiv, al-]

noun

1.a choice limited to one of two or more possibilities, as of things, propositions, or courses of action, the selection of which precludes any other possibility: You have the alternative of riding or walking.

2.one of the things, propositions, or courses of action that can be chosen: The alternative to riding is walking.

3.a possible or remaining course or choice: There was no alternative but to walk.

adjective

4.affording a choice of two or more things, propositions, or courses of action.

5.(of two things, propositions, or courses) mutually exclusive so that if one is chosen the other must be rejected: The alternative possibilities are neutrality and war.

6.employing or following nontraditional or unconventional ideas, methods, etc.; existing outside the establishment: an alternative newspaper; alternative lifestyles.

7.Logic . (of a proposition) asserting two or more choices, at least one of which is true.

mod·el [mod-l], adjective, verb, mod·eled, mod·el·ing or ( especially British ) mod·elled, mod·el·ling.

noun

1.a standard or example for imitation or comparison.

2.a representation, generally in miniature, to show the construction or appearance of something.

3.an image in clay, wax, or the like, to be reproduced in more durable material.

4.a person or thing that serves as a subject for an artist, sculptor, writer, etc.

5.a person whose profession is posing for artists or photographers.

Verb

1.

6. to give shape or form to; fashion.

Hmn…  Ah-HA!

An Alternative Model has most to no parameters at all! Either you appreciate or identify with the way they put themselves together or how the photographer translated them or you just don’t. They just have to be whoever they are in their own comfort. Fat, male, female, hermaphrodite, eunuch,  tall, short, skinny, over tanned, pale, dark black, black, brown, Asian, tattooed, not tattooed, pierced, and not pierced. You can incorporate genres like fetish, gore, pin-up, modern pin-up, classic, Goth, surrealism. The options are just too darn many.

Commercial models have to be a certain, size, height, weight and have predefined dimensions and an amicable persona. Only in the last 25 years has there been a dawdling increase of Asian and African commercial models admitted and fed to the public, but not by the vast numbers of us on the respective continents. Most established designers, agencies and common popular brands do not promote individuality or body modification beyond the population norms. Cookie cutter molds, nothing wrong with that, easily digestible for General Joe and Jill consumer.

I haven’t come across forms of discrimination between alternative lifestyle type of people, yet, although I often read the “Why do you people do this to yourselves?!/ Tattooed-Pierced-niche people are ugly/ Don’t you people have jobs, why don’t you just try to be normal?” exclamations from General Joe and Jill Consumers raiding sites and commenting, as if their opinions mattered, and the ensuing comebacks from members and admins.

I determine that alternative modelling is a state of being whoever you want to be in an ever demanding and restricting market and having the freedom to do so.

(hannes@zatech.co.za)

Next I need to somehow formulate words about the journey to approaching photographers and the responses I’ve received from four based here in Angola over the last seven days…

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