Monday, August 9, 2010


Did you know that if Barbie really existed, her waist would be tinier than that of an anorexic patient, and she wouldn't be able to get her period? Did you know that 10 million women in the US are struggling with anorexia and bulimia (that's more than those who struggle with breast cancer)? Did you know that over 50% of girls 18-25 years of age would rather be squashed by a truck than be "overweight?"

This is where the statistics become disturbing. This is where our obsession with being thin starts to become fatal - where even slender stars like Heidi Montag risk their lives to look just like Barbie, a doll whose idealistic proportions wouldn't compensate enough for a human being to stand on their own two feet. And those girls who would rather be killed by a truck than to merely appear or be over a certain weight? Almost suicidal wishful thinking. But, Ben Barry decided to do something about it.

Established in 1995, The Ben Barry Agency is the first modelling agency on the globe to overcome mainstream beauty ideals by standing for models of all ages, sizes, ethnicities, and abilities. According to their website, they are involved in the "business of custom scouting and sourcing models for fashion, beauty, and lifestyle brands." Their services allow brands to implement models that can actually relate to - and look like - the consumers i.e. "real" women who purchase the products/clothing, not the 5'9, 110-lb supermodel who only represents only 2% of the population. Their clients include (but are not limited to) Addition Elle, Armani, Old Navy, The Gap, Macy's, The Bay, Nike, Holt Renfrew, Sears, and Dove. Their diligence in expanding this definition of beauty have been recognized on media like The Oprah Winfrey Show, CNN, FOX News, MTV, CTV National News, Canada AM, Fashion Television, CBC Morning News, CBC Newsworld, Toronto Star, People Magazine, National Post, Globe and Mail, and Profit Magazine.

At age fourteen, Ben assisted a friend - who was told she was too fat to be a model - by submitting her photos to a magazine editor. The editor responded to his request and hired his friend. With just one phone call - one click of a button - Ben gave birth to his modeling agency, (an idea that would) revolutionize and change the world. Today, Ben is now CEO of the Ben Barry Agency, with headquarters in Toronto, Canada. He also manages to save time for a PhD at Judge Business School, where he is doing research on observations and perspectives of beauty internationally. Ben also duties on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Foundation of Women's Health and as Chair of the Toronto Fashion Incubator.

So, how did I just hear about this now? Actually, a better question would be "why didn't someone make this happen sooner?" Real women have existed since the beginning of history, and Barbie has only been around for 50 years, yet society expects us to look like her - and she's not even real! So, in other words, women have been starving, vomiting, hurting, dying - for a piece of plastic!

So, how will you help the world's epidemic of young girls and women killing themselves to be thin? And how can you do it in a glamourous and fun way? Become a model at Ben Barry, where anyone can be a model. After all, models are human beings, and not every human being is a size 0. And if you really want to become a model, this is a great opportunity for you to succeed with a career plan and become a ROLE MODEL for young women across the globe. After all, why should you have to stick a finger down your throat and lie on a hospital bed to fulfill your dreams? Dreams shouldn't be nightmares.

Most of Ben Barry's models only model part-time - so you can go to school, work, and model without giving up your life! Awesome!

The Ben Barry Agency requests you email or mail them the following:

"1. A short letter explaining why you want to model, as well as your resume (no modeling experience required),

2.Your personal stats: age, height, and clothing sizes (again, we have no minimums or maximums, as we celebrate beauty in all forms)

3.A few clear personal pictures of yourself (just have a friend take a few digital shots)."

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