How Kate Upton changed the game with social media
Kate Upton is a girl with her own following (nearly 678,000 followers). The Twitterverse was an obvious transition for the celebrities we’re used to hearing from: singers, actors and actresses, and talk show hosts. However, in the case of models we didn’t hear from them as much unless it was on reality TV. Social media has brought the dimension of personality to models- a group of women who are so often seen but not heard from in the media. We’ve got frequent tweeter Coco Rocha at 450,000 followers, Karlie Kloss at 154,000, Adriana Lima at 835,000 and Joan Smalls at 100,000. Not only has social media added a voice, it has changed the path.
Social media took Kate Upton from obscure to famous after posting a simple video of herself doing a dance ” The Dougie” at a Clippers game. It wasn’t that this video was high production, clever, or inspiring- it was that people watched it and it went viral. Kate was quick to see the power of this tool and leveraged this accidental YouTube popularity to land herself a cover on Sports Illustrated and got herself signed with IMG, a top modeling agency.
Since then she has appeared in Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Esquire, GQ, Muse and even a few movies.
However, her popularity hasn’t won over Victoria’s Secret casting director Sophia Neophitou:
“She’s like a Page 3 girl,” Neophitou said, referring to the scantily clad voluptuous women featured in The Sun, a London tabloid. “She’s like a footballer’s wife, with the too-blond hair and that kind of face that anyone with enough money can go out and buy.” (Source: Business Insider)
Kate has been snubbed by much of the fashion industry and has not walked New York Fashion Week despite her popularity. Thinspiration websites have attacked her curvacious, overtly sexual figure to which Kate Upton responded:
”I’m not going to starve just to be thin…. I want to enjoy life and I can’t if I’m not eating and miserable...”
If you watch a video of Kate Upton, she certainly doesn’t have the hollowed out cheekbones and hungry eyes of many of the too-thin models we see on runways. She bounces down the runway with a spark in her eyes. Indeed, she has the type of body that is idealized by many men, and she is no fool:
“I grew up in Florida riding horses, so for the majority of my life I was either in boots and jeans or a bathing suit. I understand why my male followers like me… It’s like any job. You find your strengths and play them up.”
Kate is notorious for posting seductive photos of herself on her Twitter. She is indeed a model-celebrity, which gives her a distinct advantage in a world that is increasingly wanting to identify with the girl on the cover. The number of celebrities being used over models in advertising campaigns and magazine covers has been rising steadily. Although Kate’s too-curvy figure and girl next door face may be too much for New York and Victoria’s Secret, it is much easier to relate to for most women. Kate has gained herself a reputation as a game-changer by her use of social media, ability to appear in high fashion magazines and men’s magazines simultaneously, and appeal to men and women alike. She is only twenty years old and may be the first of her breed, but is certainly not the last. It will be interesting to see how social media remodels the modeling industry in the years to come.