Tammy Mohr is a successful curvy model and has enough! Sitting between the chairs means for her: You’re out! How she deals with it:
It’s Tammy Mohr talking to you – a german curve model that’s about to finish her studies focused on feminism, gender diversity and media science. For the past years I dedicated my everything towards these topics. My art, my travels, my activism, my academic work. I wrote papers about female media representation and its effects on us. Hence at some point I felt like knowing all about it in theory was not enough no more. I wanted to take a walk on the practical side to get a glimpse behind the scenes. And not just that, I recognized the huge importance and felt the urge to get active. That’s why – to cut a long story short – I signed my first modeling contract at the end of 2016.
So here I go. The headstrong person that I am, jumping right into fashion, carrying my idealistic beliefs up high, thinking I could work it in that manner. It didn’t take long for me to realize that I had no clue about the world I got myself into. I felt lost. Until I met a certain someone. By that time he was in the middle of the biggest breakthrough in his modeling career. He gave me something to hold onto in a world I didn’t understand. I gave him the pureness and authenticity he was longing for. And we called it love. And it was real. With this relationship I gained more insights into the industry within my first year than I ever thought to be possible. I very quickly learned about both sides and started to question what opened up to me. The general concerns and doubts towards the biz evolved, followed and repeatedly underlined by my personal struggles. “Tammy, you’re neither one thing nor the other”, “You’re too slim”, “You’re too thick”, “You’re not thick enough”, “You just don’t fit in”. Welcome to the age of Diversity, where the industry is finally oh-so-inclusive.
2017 – We scream Body Diversity but exclude the ‘in between bodies’. I found that there are two extremes I’d be allowed to embody – the slim model or the curvy bombshell. But nobody glorifies the regular middle. Being in between means being out. Say what? Did you all miss what this movement is about?
I started to feel like I’m desperately fighting a battle against an industry, or rather a whole system, that is determinate to not recognize me. By that time, it seemed like I would need to change everything about myself in order to ‘make it’. That was never what I wanted. I refuse to change my body, it’s my body that will change things. And even more than changing my body, I refuse to calm my voice and tame my personality. You know, for high fashion models, self-expression is the tool to stand out. In plus, they tell us to tone it down. Well, no! It took me about two decades to grow into who I am today and fall in love with that person. I am not gonna let the industry take that away from me. I reached the point where I had enough. At the end of the day I felt too small and trivial to have an impact anyway.
With the turn of the year I had to become aware of what to hold onto or release from my life. And as you probably imagined: I figured I can’t tick the whole cause off just like that. It’s certainly not gonna be a fast n easy ride – but I have my drive back. I am passionate about a more diverse representation. A representation of strong female personalities. Multifaceted women. Of all colors, ages and body shapes. That’s what we need! I do believe in it. I believe in us and I believe in myself. I believe today’s models are the ones to challenge long-established norms. They are the ones to shape a new icon of what is beautiful in an industry that defines beauty. All we’re asking for is the room and the trust of the people working with us to do so. There’s no lack of exceptional role models in fashion. But the industry doesn’t give us the platform we deserve. The industry keeps playing the safe card. What we need though is a more diverse set of cards that’s being played by further, various players. So now that 2018 has begun, it’s on us to finally, really, fully change the game.