By Alfonso Majetic

[slideshow] The term top model or supermodel has been referring for decades to a highly paid fashion model that has a worldwide reputation and works for the most prestigious designers and fashion houses around the world. The term supermodel really became popular in the 80’s and had its biggest boom in the 90’s. Top models were then not only pretty girls related to the fashion world, they were nearly regarded as movie stars. These ladies appeared in movies and music videos, they dated or married movie stars, they were regulars on talk shows and they attracted screaming mobs at malls. Being a supermodel was a huge deal, apart from getting recognition and fame, these girls earned millions and were among the most prestigious people around the globe.

Nowadays it seems that this concept has been changed almost completely. Supermodels are now not as widely known as they were in those past decades. Except from some names like Heidi Klum who has a TV show, Gisele Bundchen who is immensely involved in Hollywood and Kate Moss who is incredibly famous, no one knows (except for the fashionistas) what the names are of the rest of the girls who currently rule the fashion industry. What do you know about Adriana Lima? Alessandra Ambrosio? Carolyn Murphy? What do they do besides model? Who, besides those who followed the fashion world closely, even know who they are? Yes, supermodels in the past were not only pretty girls on the runway but truly celebrities. On the other hand I can be almost sure that you have heard of the names of Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista or Claudia Schiffer – all truly 90’s top models.

As gorgeous as the new girls can be, from Candice Swanepoel to Doutzen Kroes, the feeling of excitement is not the same as when we heard the top model trio of Tyra Banks, Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell. The image of what a supermodel is has been completely redefined.

Claudia Schiffer once said, “In order to become a supermodel one must be on all the covers all over the world at the same time so that people can recognise the girls.” But a decade ago, cosmetic contracts and magazine covers began going to actresses or famous singers instead of models. And today pretty girls who are well paid and attract masses of fans are called “Reality T.V. Stars”.

The era of the big supermodels as we knew them has officially ended. Instead we have a new type of model; one that is more of a businesswoman than a Hollywood diva. Almost every single model nowadays has their own line of cosmetics, perfume or clothing brand. They definitely still earn millions and are marvellous young girls with stunning bodies, but the cool image they had two decades ago, has gone from goddess to something just less.