#1350 Tiger – a model tale of love and hate in Tokyo

Nothing is ever as glamorous as it appears to be from the outside. That doesn’t stop almost all of us from endlessly coveting other people’s lives, but it’s a senseless enterprise. Modelling is a prime example. What could be better than being young, beautiful and at all the best parties? Lots, apparently. Every model I know complains constantly about the money, the travel, the separation from family and friends, the anxiety that stems from never knowing if you’re going to book a job. Tiger is a film about two models who fall in love in Tokyo. It follows their relationship as they go about their daily lives – the castings, the jobs, the cramped shared living arrangements and the parties. They both want out. “I just have to do this for a little bit longer,” is a statement repeated throughout the trailer.

If I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard a model say they want to quit the business, I’d be a hundredaire. And it hasn’t just been the unknowns. One of my first major backstage experiences was at the Chanel Haute Couture show in June last year where I overheard a very well known top model telling a friend, “I just don’t think I can keep going.” Nevertheless, she was seen on the catwalk again this season.

For girls and boys in their late teens and early twenties, the allure of all those things mentioned above – the fame, the parties, the money seems to be too much for them to be able to give it up. That must be why you see so many burnt out, turning to drugs, unhappy and suffering from depression. But it’s like anything else, once you’re out you look back with no regrets.

I haven’t yet seen Tiger but I think it might put the realities of the industry into better perspective for a lot of people. You can order it on DVD here.

(Seen first on Bryan Boy.)


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  1. says

    this looks really interesting. kaths blog post a while back reminds me of this in a way. u don’t realise the hardship of being a model when your not one. it does ‘look’ glamorous…..but still such hard work. i give them credit.

  2. says

    360Fashion is launching the film with a movie premiere in Sydney on July 20th! Please come!

    7:00pm – 10:00pm
    Location: Frasier Studios
    Street: 10-14 Kensington Street, Chippendale NSW 2008
    City/Town: Sydney, Australia

    The event will host Sydney’s top upcoming fashion talent in a live fashion installation with dresses, mannequins, and a photo exhibition curated by Dan Jones. Designers include Samantha Chan, Nikki Carson, Love Jungle, Soto and Smith, O’Hara Designs and Beat Poet.

    Download this information to your mobile phone here:

    Or $15 at the door which includes alcohol, as well as prizes on the night.

  3. Jane Says says

    All jobs have their ups and downs. It’s a choice. You don’t have to be a model if you don’t want to be one!

  4. says

    Hi Jane,

    I hear what you’re saying and that is true.

    However I don’t believe that modelling is as easy a job for a young person to give up as, say, working in a store or being a waiter.

    (I’m not talking about being a part time model in a market like New Zealand.)

    At every stop of the way, models have adults encouraging them and telling them they’re going to be ‘the next big thing’.

    Their bookers are in control of their lives. One day they’re in Milan, the next Hamburg, the next London. They don’t get the opportunity to question what they’re doing because somebody else is already making all of their decisions. They’re taken away from their parents and their friends and they often don’t even speak the language of the country in which they’re based. How easy is it for them to ask for help?

    Then there’s the lure of easy money, glamour and fame that’s always just around the corner. Or maybe a girl comes from a poverty stricken country in Eastern Europe and has to send all her money back home to support her family.

    I think for girls from New Zealand or Australia it might be easier to leave behind because they know there are other options out there. But it’s not that simple for everybody.

    And at the end of the day, what 16 year old isn’t going to jump at the opportunity to become a star?

  5. oldgirl says

    Asia is one hell of a place for young models, things do not always go to plan, I have seen the consequence of it in a couple of people, now 10 years later life is still not good for them

  6. Natalie says

    Ah, this is my beautiful friend James’ film!

    There’s a showing this coming Tuesday night in Surry Hills; Sydneysiders, come see.

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