BRIDGE Models - Mens 5 Year Anniversary - Interview with Mariam Gomez
June 22, 2021
I started in this industry with the aspiration of being part of a much-needed change in representation both for men and women. In December 2016, at the early stages of the body positivity movement, I partnered with BRIDGE for a photography exhibition in central London called Schema, a project to highlight and empower the curve industry.
Not long after the exhibition, I joined the BRIDGE team. Working at BRIDGE has enabled me to continue to push for change in the industry. Even when clients and briefs were not looking or wanting diversity with their models, we pushed for the talent we thought was the right fit for a job.
Working both for model bookings and influencer digital bookings, I have seen a great deal of change over the years across both sectors. Brands are starting to realise the demand to cater for All sizes, a more equal and diverse representation of the consumer, but also how much the public has been wanting to see this, applauding and celebrating the brands that are embracing inclusivity and diversity. More recently, Rihanna’s Savage Fenty brand broke the internet with their incredible fashion show extravaganza followed by the launch of their men’s collection, which featured Steven Green and made headlines worldwide from Hypebeast to Vogue and Thaddeus Coates for PRIDE 2021 Collection, both showing the world how inclusivity and diversity can break boundaries in the most successful of ways.
There has been such a disparity between the way the industry has grown and integrated female curve models in the mainstream media, more recently, high-end campaigns; however, the Big and Tall male models are still not considered for the same wide range of opportunities.
Some brands are still experimenting with the occasional diverse campaign, we hope campaigns like these will help them see the positive impact of a continuous balanced representation.
The Mental Health and Body Positive approach of our models and influencers in the press, campaigns and across social media has been crucial to the development of a supportive plus size and brawn community online. This has exponentially exposed the need for more conversation around representation and inclusivity of all sizes across all medias. Aspirational yet inclusive representation is crucial for acceptance of more body types and has a positive influence on the mental effects that a lack of representation unfortunately leads to.
In 2020, Kelvin Davis partnered with the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) for their #ComeAsYouAre campaign, encouraging dialogue about body image and body acceptance. Working with influencers who dedicate their online presence and their careers to pushing the boundaries, speaking out about representation, about their experience and to see their audience relate has really shown the power of social media and its positive ability to bring communities together and support those who need it.
There’s still a lot of work to do but being at the forefront of change means breaking boundaries and encouraging an ever-changing industry adapt to new demand.