Friday, June 15, 2007

America the (Not-So) Beautiful: Model, Gerren Taylor Speaks On The Ugly Side of Fashion

Model/Actress Gerren Taylor

As few as two years ago, you couldn't miss Gerren Taylor.

Dubbed "Baby Naomi" because of her striking resemblance to the catwalking legend, at only 12 years old, it seemed Gerren had taken a permanent seat on top of the modeling world. Appearances on Oprah, fashion show bookings and media coverage came quickly and then suddenly, almost just as quickly, Gerren disappeared.

Those who had come to know and love the baby-faced sensation wondered what dimmed the light of such a fast-rising star.

Now, the documentary America The Beautiful answers the question: Taylor was shunned by the industry because of her size.

" the heart of "America the Beautiful" is Gerren, a teen model who got labeled "obese" by the fashion industry at age 14 — as a 6-foot size 4. With a résumé that includes modeling for international designers such as Roberto Cavalli, Richard Tyler, Tommy Hilfiger, DKNY, Nicole Miller and Catherine Malandrino, Gerren went head to head with an industry obsessed with thinness. She was measured in London with 96-centimeter (37.8 inches) hips and told she had to be 90 centimeters (35.4 inches) or under to model in Paris. (Then as now, she weighs 130 pounds.) Even Gerren's mountains of supermodel media coverage — including appearances on "The Oprah Winfrey Show," "Entertainment Tonight" and "Extra" — couldn't get her past the power of the tape measure." --Los Angeles Times

Not one to be deterred, Gerren is reportedly focused on continuing to pursue an early passion, acting---she remains one of Denzel Washington's most adorable co-stars--and will be featured in the BET reality series Baldwin Hills.


Anonymous said...

The entertainment industry in general is just eating young girls alive from Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton to Gerren it just doesn't seem to stop. Hopefully she isn't jumping out of one frying pan into another. I wish her the best because no one's career should be over at 14. She's a beautiful young girl who seems to have a lot of prospects.

Anonymous said...

If the fashion industry can't make clothing to complement a diverse variety of shapes and sizes, then they are the ones who have a problem. Seems to me there is a severe lack of talent if designs only look good on coat hangers and skeletons.

Anonymous said...

As a self proclaimed fashionista, and NY dweller who has seen the beauties of the nineties and now today, I can say that sometimes young models peak too early. And I think that this might have happened with Gerren. There has been time and time again a name and face that hit for a couple of seasons and now? This could be for any number of reasons and I can't say for sure why it happened with this one. But she's still young and can get her career going in other ways outside of the industry. Like they said, perhaps as an actress, but these days its so tough that she would have to be incredible to be taken serious. I hope she's studying that acting craft in Los Angeles. Because it is tough as well.

P said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
P said...

Not a surprise.

Being six feet tall myself, A size four is miniscule, to say the least. That's not even the TARGET weight of what they give you in the doctor's office for that height. (It's 150, which for ME, is still too small). So, essentially, they are telling HER that she needs to be more than the 20 pounds underweight is not sufficient to be a model.

Tragic and disturbing post, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

that girl is cute but way too young...just grow up!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Talysha said...

I wondered why I hadn't seen her in a while. The fashion industry should focus more on the fact that she has skills and less about how much she weighs. Beautiful women come in all different shapes and sizes, but the industry will probably never feature average sized women. Why are being penalized for being curvy? After all, that's what makes us women. Good luck to Gerren and I'll definitely be tuning in to Baldwin Hills.

The Cocoa Lounge said...

It might be for the best that Gerren has left runway modeling behind. The physical expectations are insane and the whole scene is not suitable for constant exposure of young girls, IMO.

It's hard to argue the flaws of a multi billion dollar industry to those who come from the "if it ain't broke..." school of thought. But I think it's up to female designers, photographers, fashion editors, etc. to step up and remix old "ideals" in a partnership with change minded consumers.

Remember when Mode magazine debuted? The idea of fashion for the woman with curves was revolutionary, but I guess the nation simply wasn't ready for it at the time. *sigh*.

Unfortunately, I have been guilty myself of watching a television program, or looking at someone in a magazine I know can't be over a size 8 and saying to myself "she looks a little chunky in that shot." And immediately afterward, being embarrassed by the thought. Sadly, it will take years to reprogram what has been done to our minds...

Anonymous said...

I've been seeing her in the commercials for Baldwin Hills on BET so it looks like she's getting her acting thing poppin. Hopefully she has a good attitude because reality tv shows can make and break peoples openions of you.

Anonymous said...

I saw her on baldwin hills and she is sooo fine. She is too pretty not to be a actress and can be my wifey too.

Anonymous said...

I saw her on Baldwin Hills and it seems like her self-esteem has not been hurt by all this. Because every time she was on camera she was talking about how cute and hot she was looking.

Very pretty girl. I just hope her head is on her shoulders right and not filling up the whole room. She could go far with the right attitude.

Anonymous said...

I saw her too and she really did seem a little bougie but I would be too if I was a model. But she was probably just kind of acting the role they wanted her to because a lot of reality shows are fake. Like Laguna beach and Dance life on MTV you can tell a lot of them are acting for the cameras just like they do on Baldwin hills.

Ellington Goes To Town said...

There is still a whole lot of time for her to be the next Naomi. She has years and years to grow and mature. She is tall, but has the face of a 10 year old. If She stays away from drugs and hard living, she will do fine.

Anonymous said...

I WISH I had hair like Gerren. If they wont let her model clothes at least she could get a hair commercial like Yaya from Americas next top model. Pantene pro v or somebody should call her!

Anonymous said...

Her and Moriah are such a cute couple on Baldwin Hills but my favorite baldwin hill girl is Staci. She is so hood.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Gerren Talyor, just recently posed nude in Ingelewood, Ca. I guess she is trying something new. Her father/homeboy owns the Studio she where she was photographed.

Anonymous said...

Gerren Taylor is absolutely drop-dead fabulous just the way she is. She's worked for some powerhouse design houses and that cred should be enough. Tape measure be damned. The industry is killing young women by making them believe they need to have the body of a heroin addict.

Size 4 at 6' tall is microscopic. How much smaller does this gorgeous young woman need to be?

Anyway, personally, I think she's too young to be in a pool with piranhas, which that industry is made of.

Gerren-forget fashion, follow your dreams. It's their loss, not yours.

Rock on!

PS: Gerren should get with Christian Sirano who recently won the Project Runway challenge. He likes dark skinned models and any of his fabulous things will certainly be "fierce" on Gerren.

Anonymous said...

are u kiddin me? she's already skinny enough like she is. she's so pretty and she has a perfect body. it just shows how fashion is dam bein 2 skinny isn pretty. when are they goin to change that? if she would have been skinnier she wouldn of even be pretty.

Anonymous said...

I hope this simply not true that she posed nude for her father. If you see the documentary you will note that her mother exploited her. Now if her "long lost" father has photographed her nude then he has exploited her also. Someone needs to protect this beautiful, talented young woman from her parents.

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