“America’s Next Top Model,” “Project Runway” and “Make Me a Supermodel” are just a few of the modeling shows that have created the stereotypical “model” standards. Models are known for being gorgeous, tall and dangerously petite. Tiffany McFarlane, sophomore in apparel and textiles, was in the process of signing a contract with a modeling agency overseas when plans suddenly changed.
“I am 5 feet 6 inches tall and 105 pounds, and people love my walk, but they wanted me to drop 10 pounds,” said McFarlane. “I knew dropping that much weight would be harmful to my body, so I didn’t sign with them and decided to start my own modeling agency.”
Although this was not the ideal way for McFarlane to begin plans for a modeling agency, she has not let this stop her from making her dreams come true.
“I want my modeling agency to help inspire models that are too short or not thin enough,” McFarlane said. “I want to stray away from the 5 feet 10 inches and 110 pound models. I want to show people they are beautiful the way they are.”
McFarlane is helping K-State in the fight against eating disorders and negative body images through her club “We Speak Art,” which will be starting in the next couple of weeks.
“We Speak Art will be a multicultural organization for people who are interested in performing fine arts and visual arts,” she said. “I want the organization to be a way to create connections with others. I want the club to be for people who have passion for the arts and giving back to others.”
McFarlane was not only inspired to create this club by her own personal encounters, but also by an event in her childhood.
“I am from St. Louis, and when I was growing up a girl hung herself in her closet because she was getting bullied on MySpace,” McFarlane said. “People were telling her she was ugly and fat. This made me really think what people say have an impact on other people’s lives.”
Eventually McFarlane wants to help other causes through her new club.
“I want to help people that have experienced domestic violence and abuse, mental problems and attempted suicide,” she said.
Recently McFarlane hosted a fashion show and has been promoting positive body image’ through T-shirts she created for the show.
“The girls’ shirts say, ‘I am beautiful,’ and the boys’ shirts say, ‘I am original,'” McFarlane said. “The whole project is about showing people they are beautiful the way they are.”
She said she wants to help others and be a positive role model for upcoming generations.
“People don’t speak positively in our youth and I want to give back positively,” McFarlane said. “Everyone is gifted and talented in their own way. I want to help show everyone’s gifts and help people who are suffering with eating disorders. I want to help others and give something positive back.”
McFarlane is helping raise awareness about body image on campus. In addition to her fight for this cause, the Women’s Center is always available for anybody interested in more information or help with body issues.