With less than 3 years in the modelling industry, Christina Cooper has fast become a model to look out for. The LA native model with Jamaican & Chinese heritage, has featured in New York Fashion Week and Vogue, modelled for the likes of Harold Kensington and Victoria Secrets just to name a few. We were lucky enough to speak to Christina and find out her views with regards to health and future legislation within the modelling industry.
TFLC: Is Photoshop a tool that you think is used too frequently in the industry? How does it make you feel?
Christina: Photoshop is a bummer! Sure a little touch up here & there is fine, but I definitely do not believe in altering the physical body or physical traits. I do not see that as an art, because it just makes women feel as if they have to meet that "standard" when that standard just might be photo shopped and unrealistic. We should all accept our natural beauty and not feel the need to artificially alter or starve ourselves just to make it on the cover or walk for a high fashion brand.
TFLC: Last year, Rosalie Nelson a UK model launched a change.org petition in order for the UK to create a law with regards to weight requirements for UK models. She believes that this will bring attention to the issue of underweight models who starve themselves because of the pressure to stay thin. How do you think this will affect the fashion industry? What are your general thoughts on how models can cope with the pressure to stay thin?
Christina: The petition sounds as if it would help models and their health, for the simple fact that we are supposed to be a certain size to fit sample sizes and some girls take it too far by losing too much weight. There is a lot of pressure to stay a certain weight and keep your skin clear. But honestly, I feel that the industry is getting a lot better at accepting different sizes and not forcing models to stick thin. But, it is still out there and I do believe the legal system can help that by creating firm laws on the topic. And, there are plenty other ways to stay fit, by eating a ton of fruits and vegetables, lean meats, and grains.
There is no need to just eat once a day or binge yourself, but eating HEALTHY in moderation keeps me at a good size. Lucky for me, I was born naturally thin because my parents are both thin. But I do not believe that a woman should try to lose a whole bunch of weight to get thin if it is risking her natural health.
TFLC: Do you see any positive outcomes to this petition for you and your peers?
Christina: This petition would not only benefit models in the fashion industry, but women all around. I do feel like the industry does make us models and women pressured to look or be a certain way. This is a part of my job as a model, so I am used to the pressure but I do not believe women should have to struggle with self-acceptance and feel pressured to fit a certain criterion. Things are changing so hopefully one day the fashion industry will embrace change with open arms.
TFLC: What is your best advice for being able to survive the fashion industry, when weight plays such a large role in how you are perceived?
Christina: I am a strong believer in being yourself and it is extremely easy for me to find beauty in everyone & everything. We all should accept each other the way we are. I believe that a young girl should not feel insecure about her weight, especially if she is already at a healthy weight.
To see more of Christina's work, follow her on Instagram @thechristinacooper