The girl-next-door look is in

Ms Sarah Lim (L) and Ms Mery Lordianto, models and owners of their own blogshop.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

Not every country is big on that all-legs Amazonian woman.

A recent Daily Mail article had 18 designers from 18 different countries amend an image of a woman in her underwear to reflect the ideal body in their countries.

A designer in China had the model's image changed so her weight was an estimated 45.8kg. She was also only 1.62m tall.

According to the Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator on the Singapore Heart Foundation (SHF) website, the amendment gives the girl a 17.5 measurement on the BMI scale, which means she's underweight and at "risk of nutritional deficiency diseases and osteoporosis".

But it's not just cultural differences that dictate what kind of models are hot.

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The girl-next-door look is big with online stores.

Ms Sharlene Lim, 33, says the combination of blogshops, online shopping and a wired generation has increased the demand for such models.

As the events director of Lemon 8, an event consultancy, Ms Lim hires freelance models for her events and photo shoots.


"About 10 years ago or so, you wouldn't come across all these blogshop-type models that look like the 'average girl'.

"Personally, I would go for the 'not-so-pretty' girls who can carry off the outfit in pictorials. There is always Photoshop if it needs to be 'improved'," she says.

Adobe Photoshop is the predominant photo editing and manipulation software.

Ms Lim adds: "These models are more relatable and can pull off these items more effectively than say a 'runway' model, not forgetting they are cheaper (compared to elite agency signed-models) to engage.

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"So it's a win-win for the merchants and the models."

Mr Alfie Leong, a designer for the clothing label A.W.O.L, says the industry is evolving and looking for more mainstream girls who aren't picture-perfect.

He says: "It looks like people are hiring regular girls to make whatever they are trying to promote more relatable to the masses. So I am not surprised that these less-than-perfect models are making tonnes of money for filling in the gaps."

This article was first published on August 23, 2015. Get The New Paper for more stories.