Oh our amazing plutocracy. I noticed this trend a while ago when all of a sudden Kurt Cobain’s daughter was suddenly everywhere in my Google ad buy for some huge campaign. Not to be mean or anything, but isn’t being really good looking part of the gig here? Don’t get me wrong, she’s decent but look, if you say asked me if I wanted to do some modeling I’d laugh in your face. There is no part of me that deludes myself into thinking I’m model good looking.
Then I saw some shit with Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore’s daughter and I was like, errrr, okay. Does she play music or anything? Tell me she rips off some noise squalls. No, just a modeling campaign. Then I later realized that Gigi Hadid and her less attractive sister whatever her name is were both nepotism kids. And whoever that Kardashian affiliated whoever? Kendall Jenner I think? Well, at least she’s hot but again, the prerequisite is apparently now being from a famous family more than anything else, which goes directly in tune with absolutely everything else in our culture. What’s funny about this in depth article though, is that it’s just reporting that this is the increasing trend and finding zero issue with it whatsoever because of course it is. (From Racked):
“People are always going to speculate and people are always going to wonder, ‘Could she have done it without her parents being who they are?’ And I’ve always thought, in this industry, your parents can’t really get you that far.”
That’s what 15-year-old Ivanka Trump told VH1 during a segment that went behind the scenes of her cover shoot for Seventeen’s May 1997 issue. Trump spoke in a polished, direct tone, already versed in the art of delivering a sound bite.
“It’s more about the public opinion,” she continued, confidently. “And if the public doesn’t like you, then you’re never gonna succeed.”
Nearly 6 feet tall with wide brown eyes and a round baby face, Trump was pursuing an extracurricular career as a fashion model. She was signed to Elite Model Management — her father, Donald Trump, a real estate mogul but not yet a reality television star nor a politician, had known Elite’s president for years — and in the late ’90s she booked advertising campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger, Mugler Trademark, and Sasson Jeans. When she wasn’t in school, Trump walked runways wearing a furry black bustier (at Thierry Mugler), an iridescent gold cocktail dress (Paco Rabanne), and a wintry outfit the color of a maraschino cherry (Marc Bouwer).
Of course she was defensive about her qualifications as a model. That year, a fashion show producer informed the New York Daily News that Trump’s agents had demanded $10,000 for a single runway appearance, the kind of money awarded to reigning supermodels like Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista. (Elite denied the claim.) Michael Flutie of Company Management, another agency, told the Times that he didn’t think Trump had an extraordinary knack for modeling and said that, personally, he would not have offered her a contract.
Presenting a united front with its client, Elite’s team maintained that, family aside (her mother, Ivana, had once been a professional model), the teenage Trump had the drive and looks to succeed in fashion.
“I’m sure later people are going to look at her as Ivanka Trump because she’s a great model and not because she’s Donald and Ivana’s daughter,” Audrey Roatta, an Elite employee, told VH1.
This dance — the dismissals and appeals that bubble up when privilege and nepotism collide with the faulty meritocracy of beauty — has played out innumerable times in the modeling business. Ever since fashion modeling was professionalized in the early 20th century, children of the wealthy, powerful, and famous have been featured in advertising campaigns, on magazine covers, and on catwalks the world over. Some “children of” outlast the industry’s notorious whims and become modeling legends in their own right, and some move on to prove themselves elsewhere. Trump’s short-lived modeling career is now so beside the point that, after she rose to new prominence during the first year of her father’s presidency, Vanity Fair and BuzzFeed published stories with the headlines “Ivanka Trump’s Forgotten Modeling Years” and “OMG, Ivanka Trump Was Once a Model for Tommy Hilfiger in the ’90s.”
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