Is the Supermodel Era Dead and Buried?

Remember the days when photographs of Cindy Crawford, Tyra Banks, Christie Brinkley and Claudia Schiffer would glaze the cover pages of Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Marie Claire, Elle etc. These supermodels would charge millions to accept (or reject) a photo shoot proposal. They played roles in movies, they starred in music videos, they were on talk shows; basically, they were everywhere and people loved them. Sadly, things aren’t as gung-ho anymore.

Have things really gone downhill for supermodels?

Sure enough, Giselle Bundchen is still the darling of the fashion world, but she is probably the last of the supermodels to have enjoyed that status. Claudia Schiffer minced no words when she declared that the age of the supermodel is officially over. In her days, the likes of Chanel and Gucci would do anything to hire these supermodels as their brand ambassadors. After all, who could resist the charms of Cindy Crawford and her ever so famous mole. Now, Hollywood actors like Jennifer Lawrence and popular singers like Miley Cyrus and Taylor Swift have become regular cover girls for Cosmopolitan and Vogue. Even actors from hit TV shows like Sarah Jessica Parker, Eva Longoria, and Lea Michele are more recognizable than the highest paid supermodels.

Let’s take a quick pop-up quiz to prove this point - How many of you are familiar with the names Lara Stone, Adriana Lima and Alessandra Ambrosio? For the common man on the street, these names don’t ring a bell? But, everybody knows the Kardashians, right? Or for that matter, Sofia Vergara from Modern Family, the hottest mom ever in the history of television. (Not only was Vergara the highest paid TV actress last year, she also has endorsement deals with Diet Pepsi and CoverGirl to boot).

Truth be told, supermodels are up against some very stiff competition, from Hollywood, TV shows and not to forget, reality TV. Let’s not take away anything from the current breed of supermodels for they are just as beautiful as their predecessors. If you were to see a photo of Adriana Lima or Miranda Kerr, chances are you will find yourself drooling over their irresistible looks and bodies. But, somehow, supermodels just stopped being household names a while back. People began to relate more to fictional characters, and by proxy, to actors. True enough, everyone is drawn to a pretty face on a commercial, but won’t you be more swayed to an actor who has starred in your favorite movie, or better still, played a role you really loved?

However, not all is lost for supermodels. In fact, they are still earning millions, only through other means. As their popularity has been on the wane, they have marched on to other avenues like forging deals with cosmetic companies, or starting their own range of perfumes etc. So, whoever thought that they were just a bunch of pretty face and chiseled bodies was clearly wrong. What we are witnessing is a new generation of supermodels who are well aware of the current trends, and are trying to work their way around them. Who knows, this might just be the renaissance of the supermodels. Only time will tell.