For decades, modeling was largely restricted to women and men from the West. This was not due to any racial discrimination or because western women and men were considered as better looking. Instead, several factors contributed to most companies choosing western models over Asian ones.
However, this scenario has changed and is rapidly evolving. Asian models now figure among the topmost in the world. And they are shaping a whole new diverse industry. Here we take a look at how Asian modeling is shaping a diverse industry worldwide.
Understanding Asian Modeling
Asians, as all of us would know are steeped in culture. Earlier, modeling was seen mainly as taboo among many Asian cultures. Indians, Middle Easterners, Chinese, Japanese and Korean women that took to modeling were generally frowned upon by the society. Asian cultures discouraged the idea of women flouting their bodies for money and somewhat likened it to flesh trade.
Over the years, this perception has mostly changed. The onslaught of satellite TV and the Internet is causing Asian societies to do a whole rethink of modeling and to a great extent, working in cinemas. Consequently, modeling schools in Asia are witnessing brisk business and enrolling aspiring models in large numbers.
Shaping Diverse Industry
The rise of modeling in Asia is shaping a diverse industry in several ways. By every indicator, these changes are here to stay. There are several factors that will cause Asian modelling to thrive not only on the continent but worldwide too.
Influx of Multinational Companies
Giant economies of Asia, namely India and China are flourishing. Hence, we are seeing a lot of multinational companies opening manufacturing units or marketing goods in these countries. These firms are increasingly hiring Asian models for their advertisements. India is witnessing a boom in modeling because most foreign brands now make their products in that country.
No MNC would like ads that feature Caucasian models for Asian markets. Instead, they need Asian models with whom customers can identify. MNCs operating in India now enlist Indian models for marketing their products globally. And they are already doing so, much to the delight of Indian modeling agencies and advertising companies. Institutes offering modeling courses are also witnessing an upward swing in enrollments.
Demand for Asian Products
A classic example here is Jinro Soju, a favorite brand of what is called Korean whiskey. The once typically Asian brand now has large markets across the Western hemisphere. Despite, the company, HiteJinro uses only Asian or rather Korean models for its global advertising campaigns.
The same holds for large brands from Japan, India, China, Thailand, and South Korea. Asian models on their advertising campaigns portray that the brand is imported and synonymous with traditional Asian cultures.
Asian countries are increasingly participating in global beauty pageants. And their women are winning too. Over the last few years, we have had winners from India, the Philippines, and some other Asian countries. This is a clear indicator that Asian families no longer consider it a taboo for their women to flaunt bodies at international events.
This phenomenon has led to the flourishing of modeling schools and agencies that can promote Asian women to participate in beauty pageants. The Philippines holds a lot of beauty pageants organized by private companies almost every month. The same holds with Japan and Thailand.
Asian women are known for their bronze or pale skin that makes them ideal for promoting skincare and beauty products. Asian beauty, as they are now known, are famous worldwide. Hence, global companies look for Asian models even for ads and promotional purposes in other parts of the world.
This does not imply that western models do not fit the bill. There are some instances where only Asian models would look apt for promoting a product, especially skin treatment crème.
With its vast untapped pool of beauty, Asia will emerge as a leading supplier of models to the world. Poverty and other causes that have hindered the industry are vanishing rapidly. The ‘neutral’ looks of Asian models is gaining rapid popularity. These trends are expected to continue over coming years.
In the coming years, we will most likely see women from Middle Eastern states entering the modeling industry. This will occur as women in these countries, bound by strict religious traditions, are now getting exposed to foreign cultures. They are willing to shed traditional roles and prove they are at par with counterparts in other parts of the world.