Rebecca Romijn on Instagram models: ‘They are not true models’

Rebecca Romijn is promoting the latest season of Skin Wars, a reality competition show she hosts in which contestants are masters at temporary body paint. I don’t watch it but I know two people who do and who rave about the show, which is on GSN. Romijn, 43, started out as a model for Victoria’s Secret and Sports Illustrated in the early 90s and so she has some thoughts about trends in modeling, namely more curvy models and the new crop of Instagram models which has come up. I appreciate how candid she was about the fact that she considers social media models just another trend. And unlike Cheryl Tiegs she’s able to recognize model Ashley Graham as hot instead of concern-trolling her. Here’s more of what she told Entertainment Tonight:

Speaking of Sports Illustrated, Cheryl Tiegs criticized the magazine for putting a plus-size model on the cover of their most recent swimsuit issue. Do you have a different opinion?

Absolutely! Ashley Graham is one of the most beautiful women I have ever laid eyes on. She is incredibly healthy and I think it’s fantastic that SI is opening up our standards of beauty to include somebody that a lot more people in our country can relate to. Women don’t get sexier than Ashley Graham — she is just as hot as can be.

As a former fashion model, what are your thoughts on the new generation of models such as Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid, who are more famous for their social media presence than their runway experience?

No one has proven yet that numbers of followers translates to revenue. So it is frustrating. I know a lot of people — legitimate fashion people — can’t stand it. Hate it that these, you know, social media stars are now the supermodels in fashion. They are not true supermodels. And the thing is, I have always looked to Vogue magazine to lead the way, not be a follower. I rely on Vogue to set the standard, not follow what everybody else is doing. So I have been disappointed that fashion magazines have been supporting this trend of social media stars to set our style standards. But it will change; fashion always does.

Your costar from the first three X-Men movies, Famke Janssen, has criticized the apparent “sexism” of the recent time-tripping films in which older versions of the same female character have not been brought back, unlike the older male characters.

I am glad that she said it and put it out there.

Do you agree that this is yet another example of sexism — and ageism — in Hollywood?

I haven’t thought about it much because they signed us to these movies three at a time, so my contract was for the first three. It’s a contractual thing. I don’t have an opinion on whether or not there is some kind of double standard going with regard to bringing back the older men [Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen] but not the older women. I’d be happy to go back and reprise that role sometime but maybe they have moved on. Maybe they just want to keep going younger. People tweet at me all the time: “Would you ever go back and play Mystique again?” Um, do people realize that it’s not my choice? [Laughs] Have I been asked? No, I have not been asked.

How do you feel about Jennifer Lawrence’s interpretation of the character that you created?

Jennifer Lawrence is doing a fantastic job. I could not think of a cooler girl to share that role with. It’s not like I take issue with who has taken over the role of Mystique. She is a solid actress and she’s got an Oscar, so she is doing something right.

Is there any truth to the rumor that your husband, Jerry O’Connell, is being considered as Michael Strahan’s replacement on Live?

I have no idea. The news is so new that it just blindsided all of us. He was in the rotation before Strahan was hired — it was down to just a handful of people and he was definitely in the running then.

[From ETOnline]

I like how open she is about everything, she gives a good interview. She cleverly brought up the topic that there’s a double standard for the older X-Men actresses being replaced while the men are allowed to stay on, but said she but said that she “didn’t have an opinion” on it. She has an opinion, there’s a double standard! As for her husband Jerry O’Connell’s chances to replace Michael Strahan I get the impression that he’s always the goofy runner-up choice, never the front runner. We’ve heard that Kelly wants Anderson Cooper or Andy Cohen anyway, as she’s close to both of them and they’re arguably more famous than Jerry, plus his name was not included in the list of guests hosts recently floated by People. So poor Jerry I guess.

Regarding her thoughts on Instagram models not being “real” models, the most famous Instagram models are the beneficiaries of nepotism too. Still, they’re working with the technology that’s available now and making careers for themselves. If Instagram was available in the 90s you can bet the supermodels would have taken advantage of it. Instead they were beholden to recruiters, editors and modeling agencies who got to make or break careers. As much as some of the Instagram celebrities bug, I don’t see how it was better in the past.

These two saw their own shadow today and then bit me #groundhogday

A photo posted by Rebecca Romijn (@rebeccaromijn) on

Celebrities Appear On 'The Today Show'

photos credit: Getty, WENN and FameFlynet

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36 Responses to “Rebecca Romijn on Instagram models: ‘They are not true models’”

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  1. It use to be that if you used acrylic paint or photography in your art that you weren’t a real artist. Technology changes things, she’s old school now.

    • Mrs. Welen-Melon says:

      Is a book published by its author in e-format still a book? No agent, no publishing house, no bricks-and-mirror distribution so is it still a book?

      Of course.

      Same with the social media models. Of course they’re models.

      • littleredhen says:

        I totally disagree with you, but that’s actually a really great analogy.

        While you can go through the motions and write a “book,” it doesn’t make you a published “author.” It also doesn’t mean what you did is any good. There are so many different ways to publish various works – vanity publishing houses (if you’ve got the cash, they will publish ANYTHING) and e-books – we’ve removed actual TALENT from the equation. We are left with illiterate hacks writing “novels,” where the grammar is so atrocious, you can’t get through 5 pages without feeling like you need to send the author a copy of “Voyages in English.”

        This would be the same for models. Just because you take a really pretty picture, you aren’t actually a model. However you feel about the profession of “modeling,” it EXISTS. While it might not make sense to us, people train for years to be able to do this sort of thing. There HAS to be something to it.

    • perplexed says:

      She says: “They are not true supermodels.”

      I don’t think she’s saying that they’re not models at all — just that she wouldn’t consider them to be supermodels. In her answer she seems to think of supermodels as those who can generate revenue and set trends, and since it hasn’t been proven absolutely true yet that they can generate money (in her mind) she doesn’t consider them to be supermodels.

      Cameron Diaz was a model before becoming an actor, but I don’t think she was ever referenced as a supermodel. I assume that’s how Romijn perceives these social media stars who are now models — they are models, but don’t fit into that special rare category of “supermodel.” There were a lot of models during Cindy Crawford’s heyday as there are now, but I don’t think all of them were considered to be supermodels. I thought it was just that core group of Cindy, Naomi, Linda, and whoever else that appeared in that George Michael video who were considered to be supermodels.

  2. tegteg says:

    Loved her as Mystique – thought she was absolute perfection in her portrayal. JLaw pales in comparison and comes across as wooden more often than not (imho). I’m not sure who I would’ve preferred in recasting Mystique, as I really thought Rebecca did a tremendous job, but maybe they should’ve gone with someone off the radar and focused on auditions rather than just getting a big name. (Just my two cents, not trying to offend JLaw stans) I think it would be amazing if the new Xmen movies brought back Famke, Rebecca, Halle and Anna Paquin (if Storm and Rogue should appear in the new movies). I also appreciate that she’s called out Vogue. I think it’s time to let Wintour go – she’s obviously out of ideas – the magazine is now a trend-follower rather than a trendsetter. It’s disappointing.

    • Naddie says:

      I’m with you. I hated Jennifer as Mystique, who’s not a “cool girl”, but a very elegant and yes, “mistic” lady. Plus, they never let Storm shine.

  3. LannisterForever says:

    I love her and she was a kick-ass Mystique (I love JLaw but she just doesn’t suit the role like Rebecca did). I agree with her about that fashion magazines should be trail-blazers, not followers.

  4. teacakes says:

    She’s right about the Instagram models though – having lots of followers and the ability to pick nice filters for your selfies does not make you good at taking a picture as an actual fashion model, no matter how hard Anna Wintour pushes you.

    • Erinn says:

      To be fair though – traditional models depend largely on talented photographers and editors to take a great photo. Sure they know how to pose, but a lot of the actual work rests on the photog and the editing.

      • claire says:

        Yeah, but the supermodels of yesteryear knew how to walk. Ever since Gigi lumber and stumble down the runway? Or watch Kendall sway back and forth as she focuses hard not to trip? They’re only supermodels if we’re seriously lowering the standards.

  5. AlmondJoy says:

    I get what Rebecca is saying. But social media is such a huge deal right now… Some people are actually being discovered on Instagram and becoming real models. So not sure that I agree with her 100%. Times change… Not always for the best, but they do change.

    • Manjit says:

      I’m an old fogey and I don’t use much social media, so I have a question about the models being discovered on IG. What type of clothes do they model in their pics? Is it all designer labels? I’ve only really heard about young girls moving from IG to catwalk/print modelling who come from moneyed families, I haven’t heard much about young girls from less well-off backgrounds doing the same.

      • Ayra. says:

        It kind of depends, they’ll model some cheap Calvin Klein underwear for example. If they’re well sponsored other designer labels, but nothing incredibly expensive. Fashion houses very rarely send IG models anything. Now if they AREN’T well sponsored, or don’t have a lot of followers they’ll “model” clothes that you can find at a regular boutique, or are specially made online like those handmade bikinis ect..
        And by well sponsored, I mean if they’re well known on IG/Youtube, follower count, brand ambassadors and such.

      • Manjit says:

        Thanks for that response. I’d like to think that aspiring models still get noticed for their look, rather than the labels they can afford to buy.

  6. Snowflake says:

    Oh she looks gorgeous.

  7. Bridget says:

    I’ll be interested as well to see how well these Instagram models translate into hard revenue, especially considering that followers can be bought.

    I’m not a Jerry O’Connell fan. But it’s not like I’d be watching Live anyhow.

  8. CornyBlue says:

    There is absolutely a correlation between follower count and the amount of revenue. Companies are not stupid that they will keep hiring Kendall and Gigi for huge sums of money when they could hire another model for much less f their data did not show that this was helping.
    Also there is hardly a lot of talent involved in being a model. You have to be thin and look pretty and be tall so basically a lot s your genetics. Its not really a huge deal.
    Rebecca should pursue acting specially action roles. She was a kickass Mystique and JLaw can only hope to ever be close to her in that role

    • Bridget says:

      Not necessarily. Their agents could just be making a compelling argument. And while Kendall Jenner and Gigi Hadid are slam dunks, a lot of their value comes from the fact that their ad campaigns and editorials are also picked up by mainstream media and gossip blogs, giving it reach significantly beyond what the company paid for. You’re using the top end of the bell curve as an example to describe the whole group. But what about the other Instagram models? Especially when you consider how many followers are easily bought and paid for? Consider how many individuals had to learn the hard way that Twitter followers definitely doesn’t always equal real world sales. It’s not a slam dunk.

      • CornyBlue says:

        But she talked about Gigi and Kedall specifically ? Who else is really popular but a product of nepotism ? If you mean Instagram models I have never seen them getting hired for high fashion brands they get some free products at the most

      • Magnoliarose says:

        Agreed Bridget. I don’t see the Baldwin girl or Heather Locklear’s daughter plus thousands of others get anywhere. Whenever there is a trend a few make it and the rest become also rans.

      • Bridget says:

        The interviewer asked about Kendall and Gigi, but I felt that Rebecca was referencing Insta girls as a whole with her answer. But even then, I wouldn’t say that it’s a result of hard data or research so much as the fact that most fashion houses are desperate to tap into the youth market. Luxury goods sales are buoyed by Asia right now, and there’s a distinct push to once again make it ‘aspirational’ for young women here in the US. They save to buy high mark up items like makeup, perfume, and handbags, and as they get older and more successful then buy the clothing. Or at least that’s the idea. And that’s why we’re seeing Vogue go the same way – sales have been down for years, and rather than leading the way they’ve gone the Kardashian route themselves.

    • Ayra. says:

      I have no idea where I saw it, but I heard that Kendall’s Calvin Klein ads weren’t actually upping the sales.
      You havre to consider how many followers are bought, then the amount of followers that can actually afford some of the products that they model.

    • paranormalgirl says:

      She does do some action-y roles. She’s on “The Librarians” where she plays a former military Colonel who is now the Guardian of the Librarians.

  9. Tara says:

    I agree with her Instagram models. She was a much better Mystique than Jennifer Lawrence. She does give good interview. Seems very honest.

  10. Erinn says:

    If people in the fashion industry are ‘angry’ (read: defensive) about the instagram models, and the amount of followers they get – THEN GET WITH THE TIMES.

    Get a social media presence. Get yourself out there on those incredibly popular platforms and start marketing yourself that way. Say what you want about the girls that model and spend a ton of time on instagram – they HUSTLE!

    Times change. We’re living in a world that’s largely technology based. If you’re not content with the way things are going for you – get out there and change it. Don’t just sit around pouting and expecting things to change in your favor – you need to adapt and move on.

    I have no respect for the kind of people who complain about others’ success all the while making sure to sound superior. It’s lame.

    • says:

      But the real, basic question is : Is one really a model when one is yet to be paid to, you know, model ?
      While I’ll acknowledge social media as a promotion and hustling tools, I can post my photo online and call myself a model, as long as no-one pays me for it, I’ll still (quite happily) be nothing more than a computer sciences teacher. A little geeky and living with her time. And in reality.

    • Lara says:

      There’s a big difference in being a success and just having a lot of likes and follows, and that kinda was her point.

  11. Goo says:

    If only they had the class that Rebecca possesses, and has always possessed….

  12. Susan says:

    Wow. I really enjoyed reading her interview. What a thoughtful, honest discussion. So rare these days.

  13. Magnoliarose says:

    She’s not saying anything no else is saying behind the scenes. The problem with these models is when they try to actually model they are hard to shoot and walk like crap no matter how many times they visit Jay Alexander. That used to be basic and now these models often look ridiculous on the runway. They take 100s of shots to get something useable and even then it is often meh. They already behave like superstars but they are popular by inflated followers that in many instances, have not resulted in the profits the public has been made to believe.
    Social media has a place of course. No one is saying go back to the olden days but the complaints are about the translation of the product.
    I worked in fashion and several of my friends still work in different capacities as designers, stylists, models, makeup and other areas. What is happening is the women who can afford to buy high end items do not want to be associated with anything that has been seen on the IG models.
    Stylists for actresses will decline clothing or styles associated with them.
    Photographers straight up don’t want to shoot them sometimes because it is frustrating. It is easy to manipulate your own image and to buy followers but it’s not easy to do resonate otherwise.
    Once the novelty wears off some will maybe remain but once a new trend happens they will be out. Remember the waif trend? Loads of heroin chic models were around but only Kate Moss remained.
    Wintour and Lagerfeld both need to retire. They are dinosaurs at this point.
    People think modeling is easier than it is. It’s not science but plenty of people have had the looks but can’t walk and are dead in front of the camera. Kendall and Gigi are good examples.

    • Bridget says:

      Ultimately it means a trade off between hiring the girls and hoping that their followers will buy the product, but accepting that you may not get the images or the runway walk that you would have liked.

  14. Erica_V says:

    Her comment about not being in the new X-Men movies is totally false tho as she had a cameo in “First Class” which was a prequel to the X-Men movies she was in.
    Also, Halle & Anna Paquin WERE in “Days of Future Past” as their characters of Storm & Rogue (as was Ellen Paige as Kitty from the third movie) This movie takes place both in the past and in the future after the events of the third movie she was in. In the future, they only show the characters who were aligned with Prof X not any of Magneto’s followers of which she is one.

  15. KiddVicious says:

    I’ve always been a fan of hers. She’s gorgeous and goofy.

  16. Green says:

    Why did she back peddle? Her quote’s clear as day – and TRUE!