As mass media dominated our culture in the 20th century, so did the advent and fame of models. Now a person (both female and male) could make a very good living off of nothing but their looks. They could pose for glamour shots in magazines, grace TV commercials, and ensure that motorists headed to work would see their faces on billboards hawking the most admired brands.
And models have been well-paid. Yes, only a handful get paid like pro athletes, rock stars, and entertainers. But that handful makes bank. Real bank. And people like Kate Moss, Tyra Banks, Heidi Klum, and others have become household brands and many people used their modeling careers to propel them to greater success.
But in the future, there will be no models.
We are almost at the point where there is no need for a human model. Technology, animation, and design will soon replace humans. Your products will actually look better being displayed by an avatar than by a real human being. And that avatar won’t be moody, demand private jets, or be at risk of anorexia. In fact, they won’t even demand overtime.
Jobs for high-priced models will go extinct. But don’t cry for those that are gorgeous — they will always have a leg-up in every profession on the rest of us that are saddled with a big nose, love handles, and acne. And, of course, beautiful people are far more likely to marry those with money and success. But individual beauty in the 21st century will not be as important or marketable as it was in the last century.