Who are the Supermodels of Today?

Via Digg (very crass comments on that story–Digg users are such asshats), here’s a “where are they now” slideshow on 80s supermodels. I somehow managed to grit my teeth and get through it (my favourite was also Paulina Porizkova). I was fascinated by the fact that I knew the name of pretty much every single model.

Compare that with today. I can’t name a single supermodel under the age of 30. I don’t pay as much attention to the world of celebrity as I once did, but you’d think I’d know a few. What happened in the ensuing 20 years? Am I correct in saying that supermodels are less culturally prominent than they once were?

I only have one theory, and it’s not a very good one. Increasingly, actors, singers and athletes are taking the advertising dollars that used to be spent on the (wholly manufactured, it must be said) supermodels. I feel like I see a lot more actors selling watches and perfume when I open a magazine than I used to.

No blog post about eighties supermodels is complete without referencing this classic George Michael video. I didn’t know it was directed by David Fincher.


  1. Now I think it’s replaced by the winners of “America’s Next Top Model”. Like, the winner of the first season (Adrianne Curry) ended up doing a bunch of other reality TV shows, married Peter Brady (of the Brady Bunch) and did a spread on Playboy for $500,000. I suppose, though, that she’s not super famous, but only famous to those who are into reality TV. I am somewhat ashamed that I know all this.

  2. I think your theory is quite accurate, Darren. Maybe add to that the decreasing relevance of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue, which is where we learned most of those supermodels’ names in the first place.

  3. heh, one could argue that we just aren’t downloading pics of them from BBSes anymore, so that’s why we’re not as familiar. 😉

  4. I recently read an article on the lack of current supermodels and it echoed your sentiments about celebrities usurping the role from models. There are a few famous models now: Gisele Bundchen, Adriana Lima, Aygness Deyn and the continuously ubiquitous Kate Moss. Canada has spawned Jessica Stam who seems rather famous-ish.

    No, none of them can match the fame level of Tyra and Claudia, but they seem to do rather well for basically being walking clothes hangers.

  5. I agree. Can’t recall a young-ish supermodel.

    And yeah, Beth should be the supermodel of today 🙂

    Beth – if you win the title of supermodel of today, can you buy me a MacBook Pro?

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