Siberia's Next Supermodels

Siberia's Next Supermodels

2014, Society  -   11 Comments
Ratings: 7.48/10 from 48 users.

In Russia, thousands of young girls dream of finding fame and fortune in the modeling industry. From an early age, they hone their skills, and work closely with professional photographers and talent recruiters in the hopes of breaking through in a fiercely competitive landscape. But their ambitions are not being nurtured for the benefit of their homeland, or for the glitzy fashion-centric world of New York or Los Angeles. Their sights are set towards the Far East where their particular brand of beautiful is in high demand. Siberia's Next Supermodels shines a spotlight on this burgeoning industry, and the challenges experienced by some of its newest models in training.

Whether on a fashion designer's runway or in the pages of a glamour magazine, consumers in countries like China, Japan and Korea are drawn to the exotic features of a Siberian beauty. The look that drives the market is very specific. Each model must possess a baby face, pale white skin, strong features, and a sharply chiseled facial bone structure.

Many of these girls come from humble environments, and have never been removed from their families or the comfort and security of their homes. Once recruited, they are dropped into the middle of a bustling metropolis like Shanghai, fed very little, and worked from early morning until night fall. A job is not guaranteed, and they must overcome stiff competition to make the final cut. They pay for all expenses along the way, and are forced to withstand the humiliation of being little more than a number on an audition sheet. Regardless, they remain undaunted as they strive for a glamorous life far removed from the only one they've ever known.

Few attain the career they seek, and many return home in debt by the end of their journey. It's a cutthroat reality that is common across all facets of show business, and one that many viewers may find overly familiar. But the film achieves a level of relevance and immediacy by engaging in the personal struggles of each of its main subjects.

Siberia's Next Supermodels competently portrays a world that is equal parts demeaning, ruthless and alluring.

Directed by: Billy Dosanjh

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9 months ago

Life is about choices, so they made the choice to go. They are not doing it to make you happy.
Some kids come from far more bleaker, damaging environments.
In that light, they are lucky to have the chance they do.

They are all fair skinned, like the vast majority of models.
Natural preference on the part of consumers is thus racist,
just like women being the predominately weaker sex is sexist.

Oh, forget that. Let's get right to the solution, which is obvious enough: engineer ourselves to become light brown asexual worms.

They say standards of beauty differ around the world.
But the reality is such places don't know any better, because what they have is all they have seen.
Excusing that little fact does give comfort to some women, even if it really just means that if only they were in the outer solar system men stuck there would crave them.

Blue Robin
4 years ago

I think this is really sad.
1. They pay for everything! These chinese agencies, if they can be called that, completely exploit the girls, they look at them as fodder for their business and pay almost nothing. They are in debt! Of course they are! That way the agency makes all the money and can exploit them in every way. One girl, they were saying her skin was all wrong, she's beautiful, and so is her skin. Another was not tall enough! How tall do you have to be??? Especially with the 10 inch heels they wear!

2. A 14 or 15 year old modelling undergarments?! Anywhere else that would have been considered child porn! But not in places like China and Japan with their obsession with "women" who look like young prepubescent girls, and all that "babyface" garbage. In anime and manga and in chinese cartoons and animated media women are always portrayed as almost prepubescent, with baby faces, large innocent eyes and almost prepubescent girl bodies with almost no breasts, and girl (as opposed to a woman's) thighs. That's where all this comes from. There are even stores in Japan/China where live sized girl dolls/ statues in sexualised poses/ clothing are sold for obvious purposes.

3. Underaged and taken advantage of. Most of these girls, are between the ages of 14 and 16, definitely under aged by any definition. They are groomed by these so called modelling schools like the one shown in the doc, and sent out God knows where, without being prepared in any way for being on their own in a foreign country, and having no proper way to communicate, and no adult with them to make sure they are safe, and not abused, and to read and explain any contract or piece of paper they are required to sign. And to tell all those Chinese/Japanese modelling agencies that it's inappropriate and wrong to use 14 and 15/16 year olds in undergarment shoots. Or to tell them to lose weight, for that matter, when they are already very thin to begin with (to say nothing of checking their weight every week and firing them for gaining an inch in their waste size! That's just plain wrong!). That is what you need an adult for! These 14-16 year olds, may look like they're older, but they're not. The lot of them never left their village before, add to that their age, and the naiveté that comes with it, and how besotted they are with the modelling industry and their dream of having a career therein, what you get is very young, very exploitable commodity (and I don't use this word lightly) which these modelling schools sell for a handsome profit (I am sure that lady in the doc who runs the Sky Models "modelling school" gets a nice fat fee for every girl she sends, while most if not all the girls don't earn anything at all, but have to pay huge debts, all most likely from the meagre money their parents make. So they payed for the school, for the tickets, and accommodations in China, and THEN they have to pay the debts too! As many of these girls return home with their debts unpaid because they did not get any work while in china.) This woman, teaches them how to walk the walk, and talk the talk (albeit with written cards as they have no English) but she does not tell them of or prepare them for the reality of what they are facing, especially in Asia, and she does not, I am sure, explain or teach them about how to stay safe, read and UNDERSTAND contracts, make sure they are treated fairly and who to call in case something goes wrong. Nor does she provide a chaperone, an adult chaperone to go with them and make sure they are safe and well and not taken advantage of. And these things are what's most important.

4. Shattered dreams. These girls, and they are girls, make no mistake, go to these places with dreams of super model stardom, riches and acceptance, they go back home without any of that, but, with lots and lots of depts to pay. They are numbers in a soul crushing, number crunching machine. Moreover, these dreams are fostered, nurtured and encouraged by this sky models woman and others like her, only to fail, and brake these girls' spirits, and brake their self esteem, and hopes fort he future. She should be ashamed of herself.
This is a good doc, to showcase the exploitation and naivety of these underaged girls.

6 years ago

...fascinating – not bad at all..I gave it a seven....

6 years ago

Not, the ways for human being.

6 years ago

Sad really. I remember when I was 15 and I was not geared to be making decisions like these girls are making. The parents are in a bad spot too. What I would establish is some kind of agency that would do SOME of the training at home. Let these girls at least get some kinda feel for what's ahead. Let them get to 17-18 with some kind of knowledge.

6 years ago

They are very beautiful and very exploitable. If their only escape is to the world of people who can and will manipulate them. There are predators in the guise of being legitimate.

6 years ago

It seems that they were informed as to the details of the arrangement. I was impressed when their photo was taken the only question was "What is your mom's phone number?" There is exploitation in the world today but I did not detect it in this instance. I enjoyed the presentation of a world I was unfamiliar with. Thank you.

6 years ago

Seeking to be a supermodel makes about as much sense as seeking to be useless.

Roger Andout
6 years ago

Poor sods. If they were info'd up front what exactly was involved, especially paying for everything !!!, would they (and parents) be as impulsive and blinkered. Not a bad docu.

6 years ago

Comment but it has to be cool? Well, for one let's get rid of capitalism, that's cool right? Give the girls a real purpose in life, like helping others around the world. Keep the idea of money alive but use it in a way as to not allow any one person to build heaps of it, basically put a cap on the largest amount anyone can have, pretty cool eh?