The Hunger for New Faces
Here I outline how the turn toward affective branding has shaped a new image regime facilitating the model industry’s rapid expansion into a global network, broadening the field for scouting of prospective models, intensifying competition and turnover as a result. Increasing interest in tapping into affect’s vitality has intensified glamour labor as model managers have sought tighter control of their charges. This chapter tracks how the tightening of control over models was met with a widening field of scouting for new recruits to the industry. As the public’s exposure to and interest in fashion has grown apace, fashion weeks have proliferated beyond the traditional fashion hubs, and scouting for new models has reached into ever-more remote regions. Consequently, modeling contests have grown in size and number, modeling agencies have opened offices in dozens of countries, and fashion has become “news” as television shows and websites treating fashion became commonplace. Banking on the new value of mutability, model scouts ranged farther afield in search of that precious combination of features that might make millions. The age of the blink facilitated this expansion, converting more of the population into a standing reserve, made ready for their makeovers by a steady diet of reality television and twenty-four- hour access to the newest fashions, updated by the minute.
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