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Thursday, August 07, 2008

You Should Know: Gerren Taylor

Hey Fashionistas!
So the other day one of my friends suggested I blog about Gerren Taylor...
I had to admit I didn't know who she was (or why I should); he quickly shamed me.
Gerren Taylor was a fashion model who made headlines when she walked New York runways at the young age of 12...
...Labeled 'Baby Naomi' for her similar look and strut, you could see her statuesque frame dominating shows like Tracy Reese, Catherine Malandrino, DKNY, B. Michaels, Betsey Johnson, Carlos Miele, Esteban Cortezar, Heatherette, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Nicole Miller, and Nanette Lepore in 2004 and 2005...
Fast forward two years later, and Gerren found herself out of work and labeled obese by industry standards. Standing 5'11", Gerren weighed 130 lbs and was a size 4...
She told the LA Times last year, "When I first got into the business I was 12. I didn't know anything about what was happening … anorexia, bulimia and all that stuff..I have my own mind, but it's hard not to fall into that trap and be one of them … [but] I just said, 'It's not worth my life..."
Gerren's been in the news lately, as her story dominates a new documenary called "America the Beautiful," which debuted last Friday...
...the movie criticizes America's obsession with physical perfection. Gerren's story, from being queen of the runway to out of work, fits in perfectly.
I'm going to check it out!
Also, look out for Gerren as a recurring cast member on BET's Baldwin Hills.
Smootches!

21 comments:

Samantha said...

She's also an BET's Baldwin Hills

Alyssia said...

^ yeah I was thinking the same thing, samantha. Never watched it, but I knew I recognized her from somewhere else

blah blah blah said...

yeah thx for blogging about her. all i know is baldwin hills and that doesn't show her in the best light. I didn't know that she had such a career.

caribbeanchic said...

She's gorgeous and fearless as well to do what she did. All the best to her.

*Tola* said...

i love her!!!! and blah blah.. i def agree with you... baldwin hills is NOT showing her in her best light.. nor character

Yannize said...

I remember a conversation on her arising at the last Bethann Hardison talk, how she was basically ousted out and called obese...its crazy out there folks...

and i am convinced that nothing on BET shows anyone in the best light...

Anonymous said...

Wait a sec..I thought Baldwin hills was a reality show. HOw is she 'cast' in a reality show? Or is it her real life?

philosopher said...

yea... i kind of could like her more if she wasn't on Baldwin Hills acting like God's gift.

thatgirl! said...

yea i knew she looked familiar. Baldwin Hills definitely isn't boosting her career.

Gigi & Nini said...

I remember that she was also on an episode of Oprah in her more popular days. She is a gorgeous young lady though. (Wishing that she didn't do the Baldwin Hills thing though)

model liberation said...

I remember when Gerren first burst on the scene, and I was so scared for her. She was getting so much press, but I just kept thinking how she's still a baby. Then those fashion piranhas chewed her up and spit her out. I'm glad she's talking about her struggle.

Elle Woods said...

yup..always wondered why she wasn't modeling anymore...too fat ke? this industry is some kind of death sentence!!

detroitdiamondgirl said...

gerren is a really sweet girl. we met briefly in LA. and she looked fabulous. i can't believe she's considered overweight. that's so wack. designers (especially ones of color) need to start using more "realistic" looking models. in person, she's nothing close to overweight. hmph!

Mal Sirrah said...

Hey fashion bombers,

I always like stopping by seeing what Claire's folks are chatting about... I absolutely love "The Fashion Bomb!"

I can still remember the first time I met Gerren some four years ago backstage during NY fashion week and telling her and her mother to be careful. Quite honestly, I am always a little afraid of mothers that allow their young daughters to come into this biz. It never really sits well with me (especially women of color).

Anyway, Gerren was one of those girls that you could tell was very thin only because she was very young. As soon as she started to develop the "white" designers in particular wanted nothing more to do with her. She simply disappeared. Y'all know they can do that if you let 'em. But they are going to have to carry me out - kicking, screaming and raising hell!!!

As for my part in this fuckery called fashion, as an African American designer if I use a girl that is slightly curvier (and I have on numerous occasions) it is like kissing an entire look from your collection good-bye... That look will never see the light of day. You will never see the photo reproduced in a magazine, on a website, or sometimes even on television - the curvier girls (and often the black girls) are edited out completely. Have you ever been watching Fashion Television and you see the back or the legs of a black girl and you think to yourself "who's the black chic walking towards the back - I didn't see her?" She has simply being removed from the equation. Erased...

As a fashion insider, I will tell you all that we are truly attempting to fight the good fight for our people, but as long as young women and men of color prefer and value the white designer labels over the black designer labels - "they" will always dominate what we all see in the media. Thank God for blogs like The Fashion Bomb and others, as these are the few sites that give black designers like myself any shine... And I am doing better than most - and that still isn't enough to make a dent. We need the support of young women just like you all to make a difference. Until rappers are finding words to rhyme with Sirrah, Zulema, Crawford, Burrows, Hendy, etc. and our own men and women start supporting and valuing our contributions - you truly can't expect things to change. Change starts within each of us...

Now, I know Claire is going to kill me for such a long comment - but I just had to add my two cents to this juicy conversation...

Please forgive me and continue to chat amongst your-fabulous-selves

Love and Light,


Malcolm
aka
Mal Sirrah

Mal Sirrah said...

p.s. Check out WWW.UNVOGUE.COM as was featured in today's New York Times (Fashion & Style Section)as well as linked to TFB... Black folks doing big thangs!!!

2cents said...

I too remember when she came on the scene, she was hailed as the next Naomi, I didn'tbuy it then and I don't buy it now. She seemed very arrogant and she still does. Chanel Iman for Life!!!

CurlyDesign said...

I do love Gerren and have been watching her career for a while. I also agree with Yannize on BET programming:)

alicia
http://todaystyle.today.com/

DCFab! Girl said...

Wow, my friends and I were wondering if she really works like she claims on Baldwin. I'm glad to see the young girl doing her thing!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

What was her mom thinking?

12 is too young to be working in such cut throat business!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

p.s. I agree Baldwin Hills did not show her in the best light.

Teen Fashion said...

I think it was very unfortunate for Gerren that she entered High Fashion Modeling within an era when High Fashion designers and Top Magazines were blinkered to the real world and almost encouraging unrealistic modeling images.

We have since seen a Whole Shake-Up of the industry with top designers and fashion magazines having to address many issues that they ultimately caused.

The Top Catwalk Designer scene is just a tiny part and distant from any regular Modeling and part of the industry that many despise, as it does not relate to real life in any way or form and has caused unrealistic expectations amongst Aspiring Talents.

Modeling should always be about selling an image, of a product or service, that is the whole reason for it and therefore a whole range of Model looks, sizes and age groups can be used that best represent those things.

Hopefull now at 18 Gerren may realise that she can still persue Modeling in many other ways without the need to be on the Top End Designer Catwalk.