The picture that is often portrayed by society of what a model should look like is that of someone with a perfect body, weight, and height, an image that is quite impossible to achieve. These stereotypes, among others, make it challenging for specific groups to join the industry, and as a result, many are forced to give up on their dreams.
According to top model Rebecca Sundel, getting started as a model was one of her biggest obstacles, which inspired her to build her brand around diversity and inclusivity. Rebecca is helping break the barriers and stereotypes in the modeling industry while using her journey to inspire and encourage others.
Rebecca developed an interest in modeling at a young age, and she loved watching models walk the runway. However, she knew that fulfilling her dream was not going to be easy and meant working twice as hard. Rebecca has a height of 5’3 and a dark skin tone, which by society’s standards is often not deemed fit for a model. She explains that numerous brands have turned her down as she did not look the part, which was very frustrating and discouraging at first.
The experience motivated Rebecca to start a movement to break the stereotypical barriers in the modeling industry and make it possible for anyone to live their dream. She uses her journey to empower her fellow women and create a safe space in the modeling world where no one is treated differently because of their race, body type, or skin tone.
Growing up as a biracial kid, Rebecca struggled to find her identity. She notes that her siblings are of a lighter skin tone than her, and all her life, she was always bullied for being darker. It was also hard for her to find the right makeup for her complexion, and Rebecca explains that this greatly affected her self-esteem.
Seeing that there was hardly any representation of women with darker skin tones, Rebeca felt like she wasn’t enough. In her words, “There was no place for me to go and no one to look up to, as I felt like I was too short or too dark to become a star in the modeling world.” Looking back, Rebecca says that had there been much more representation of people with different body types, shapes, or skin colors, her journey would have been much easier.
Through her brand, Rebecca is now giving hope to young women who want to join the modeling industry. She is showing everyone that it is okay to be embrace who they are as she encourages people to fight for their passions. “With hard work, determination, and resilience, it is possible to reach the top and make your dreams a reality,” says Rebecca.
While we can say that the modeling industry is now more diverse and inclusive than some years back, there’s a lot that still needs to be done. However, it is safe to say that all this will end soon, especially with stars like Rebecca Sundel at the forefront. Rebecca is breaking American beauty standards in the modeling industry and inspiring women all over the world. She is showing people that your skin tone, body size, or shape should not define you or your abilities.