Why Kaia Gerber Bothers Me
Why Kaia Gerber Bothers Me
Kaia Gerber bothers me. Unlike, the rest of the new generation of Hollywood heirs who have gone into modelling, the daughter of 90’s supermodel Cindy Crawford makes me feel slightly uncomfortable.
Before you start thinking you’ve clicked on yet another post from The Daily Mail where dissecting young women and their every move is the norm, Kaia Gerber herself, does not bother me. I have no personal qualms against the sixteen-year-old or what she does. It’s what the business behind her represents.
Unlike Kendall Jenner or even the Hadid sisters, there tends to be no question as to how Kaia has gotten the modelling roles she has. Jenner and the Hadid’s have previously felt as though they have had to explain and justify how hard they have worked to step away from their family names, to make their own in fashion. And though daughters-of-famous-actors-turn-models such as Lily Rose-Depp and Hailey Baldwin have presumably been surrounded with the fashion elite since they were little, all these names have not necessarily been direct descendants to fashion history and it’s iconic eras.
With Kaia, there is no question, I’m sure she works hard on the campaign she is on but frankly, her mother is still Cindy Crawford and she is the spitting image of a face which made millions in its heydey.
Other than being a part of fashion royalty, Kaia’s body shape and youth is a reminder of how far fashion has to go. Though the Instagram body goals of being shaped like a Coca-Cola bottle is problematic as frankly if your body is healthy and works – you’ve scored; with the rise of curvier shapes, bigger models on billboards (hello, Paloma Elsesser on that Glossier advert, you did that) or just simply, scouting girls in between dress sizes and using a range of “influencers” who represent the everyday woman’s shape, Kaia’s adolescent stature seems like a step backwards.
Yes, I know, there were a bunch of models walking around fashion month across different cities in similar body shapes and yes, I am picking on Kaia’s body shape as a representative for all these bodies but it is because of her platform that I am doing so.
Kaia Gerber has 2.1 million followers on Instagram alone and when googling her name, the latest story that has entertainment and style press screaming “breaking news” is that her bra straps were showing emphasising the influence Kaia will continue to grow and have. Though Cara Delevingne is blue-blooded, no one in the public eye knew her before she was on the face of most magazine covers. This is like watching someone gain recognition before getting in front of the camera, before becoming a household name because her family already is one.
What also bothers me, is that the democratization of fashion over the past five years thanks to the internet makes Kaia’s breakout this past season ironically dated. Even with her youthful skin – of course, it’s youthful – she’s sixteen, her walking down Versace’s catwalk to commiserate the 20th anniversary to Gianni Versace’s death leaves one feeling there is something missing.
Kaia and the business working towards making her the next big face is more than another fashion family being transparently nepotistic. Haven’t we seen many young female celebrities already go through this process of superstardom, to then crawl out of whatever shadow has made them famous to finally explode in the public eye? Hillary, Lindsay, Miley? It is almost like watching a bad cycle start again.
Though I do not believe that your parents accomplishing great feats, does not mean one cannot also climb their own distinct mountain, with Kaia it’s not even about that. It’s as though the people behind Kaia Gerber are those who are brutally nostalgic, they know that the Supermodel era was priceless and a part of history and they want to find a way to duplicate that again.
And hey, we do have it-girls of the present – famous both in the fantasy of our devices and thus real life, so we could do this. But the 90’s were innovative for a reason, there’s a difference between taking inspiration and being stuck in the past. Fashion repeats itself, but it shouldn’t be stuck in the past.
Fashion is still so caught up in hanging out with the cool kids, it misses the mark on genuine talent. It’s so caught up in the numbers these days and the numbers new fresh faces bring and a system which is going to sell – regardless of whether it’s ethical from a body image, work and representative perspective that it forgets how progressive it has been and can be. Kaia has hit the fashion ground running, but she or the process of making another young white girl from a famous family more of a success is anything but groundbreaking.
Written by Tahmina Begum