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Helena Christensen on Why Supermodels Became a Phenomenon

Helena Christensen

If you're the type of fashion-hungry person who laments the era of celebrities landing covers to promote their movies, and longs for another era of supermodels but can't put your finger on why, Helena Christensen explains her view on the matter to Elle. She and her fellow top models who ruled covers in the nineties, like Cindy Crawford and Naomi Campbell, were able to do so, she believes, because they were allowed to be themselves rather than monotonous-looking, personality-less stick figures forced to conform to someone else's extreme idea of beauty.

Why do you think supermodels became such a phenomenon when they did?

Sometimes, moments just happen to coordinate and work out. But I do think that if I was to say anything, we were allowed to just be ourselves. Each one of us had a very unique look in the sense that we looked different. There was no conformity about our look—and our personalities too, we had very different personalities, and emotionally and mentally we were different—but I think that that put together created this strong force of women. And no one told us to be any different. No one ever came up to me and said, “you need to reshape your body, to lose weight, or to be more outgoing, or less outgoing”. We were just allowed to be us, and I think at the end of the day, isn’t that the whole point of being a human being? To be allowed to be yourself, to be accepted the way you are? Ironically enough, in a business where a lot of styles and looks are dictated in some way, from the point of view of the media onto the audience, I think it’s so great that we got to just remain our quirky selves and have the body shapes that we had without anyone ever pointing a finger at anything. Maybe that’s what gave our careers longevity.

Fashion should be about celebrating somebody’s individual style, personality and look. That’s what’s unique about a person. If you’re going to go and say, you need to look like this, you need to weigh this—what is the point of that, then? It’s so simple, really, and so complicated. It’s always about dictating, it’s always about pointing fingers. Everybody is so busy pointing fingers at someone else that they forget that what we actually need to celebrate is the individuality.


Photo: BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved. The Cut® are registered trademarks of New York Media LLC.

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC.
All Rights Reserved.

Copyright © 2013, New York Media LLC. All Rights Reserved.


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