WTF is a “supermodel”?

I’m probably not the person to talk about this (but it won’t stop me!), as I have no interest whatsoever in “fashion” in the sense of clothing et al. However, as I read newspapers and listen to and watch the news, some fashion models are known to me, e.g. Kate Moss & Naomi Campbell, although it’s for the ‘wrong’ reasons as I know them for their poor behaviour in public rather than as a fashion model.


Many years ago, there used to be a small number of people who were referred to as “supermodels”. They were almost ‘household names’ because they seemed to be the best at their ‘profession’. These days, however, the label “supermodel” seems to be applied to every model who gets her name in the papers or on social media. I’ve never heard of most of them, in any context, and don’t even know if they are models in the traditional sense.


In my dictionary, “super” means such things as ‘excellent’, ‘wonderful’, ‘superb’, ‘brilliant’, etc., so how the hell to these unknowns qualify as “supermodels”?

One current model I am aware of is the one currently married to (but splitting from) David Walliams, and I note that she was referred to as a “model”. Could that be why she and David are having marital difficulties – she simply isn’t “super” enough for him?

In other areas, such as sport or entertainment, the people who are referred to as “superstars” are usually instantly recognised by, and well-known to, the public around the world. Can we stop misusing “super” and for these people and refer to them as what they are, namely publicity-seeking, wannabe models?


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