When you think of a runway model, you’re probably conditioned to have a fairly rigid idea of what that person looks like and how that person behaves. And the unfairness of that preconceived notion is exactly why the G.L.A.M. registered student organization exists at EIU.
“(G.L.A.M.) was developed to basically counter-attack the discriminations within the fashion industry,” said Bri’an Fields, current president of the three-year-old modeling organization. “Such as size, height, your body type, your skin tone, sexuality and gender.”
Each semester, G.L.A.M. puts on a themed fashion show featuring 20 to 25 models – all members of the university’s student body. Some are experienced models. Some are first-timers learning on the fly. Fields says her organization doesn’t discriminate because modeling should be for anyone who wants to learn how to do it.
“People are discouraged because of what we see and what we hear about modeling,” said Fields. “If you’re not a certain height, you can’t model. If you’re not a certain skin tone, you’re basically at the bottom of the totem pole.
“We want to show you that no matter what height, how dark or how light, how voluptuous or how thin you are, you can still be a model.”
The only prerequisite for those who wish to participate is a good attitude and a willingness to learn. Fields insists on a “family atmosphere” and good relationships between all G.L.A.M. members.
“People are already afraid just because it’s modeling,” said Fields. “Oh, we’re going to be oh so judgmental and everything.
“Granted, there are things we want you to have. We want you to strive for a nice walk, but we’re not going to bite your head off if you don’t have a nice walk coming in. We’re going to train you to do that. We will take you in and try to mold you and help improve your walk as well as your poses and other things of that nature.”
You don’t have to be a model to get involved, either. There’s technical work associated with the fashion shows themselves along with a need for makeup and hair stylists. You can get involved with the group’s social media presence, fashion design, or advertising.
“There are more things to do than just being on the forefront and walking the runway,” assured Fields. “There is a plethora of things you can do within G.L.A.M. besides just modeling.”
This semester’s fashion show, themed Concrete Jungle, was March 29 at McAfee Gym. Those wishing to take part in the fall semester show will have plenty of opportunity to try out. Fields says there are typically three tryout dates, but you only need to attend one. You’ll be asked to walk a couple times and answer a few questions to make sure you’ll fit into the group’s family atmosphere.
“Typically, in the fall we have more theatrical fashion shows that are darker and edgier since it’s closer to Halloween time,” continued Fields. “In the spring, I guess you could say it’s more upbeat. We take out the theatrics and focus on the foundation of traditional runway.
“When a person goes to a GLAM fashion show, they should expect high energy and fierce walks from the model. Very elaborate clothing, because it’s all about going big or going home.”
Created with flickr slideshow.