To many, making $1.5 million in a year would be akin to hitting the jackpot. But, in the modeling industry, especially the female-modeling industry, it’s chump change. Gisele Bündchen brought home a casual $42 million this past year ($4 million more than her NFL hubby), and continued her reign as the highest paid model for the seventh year.
Forbes released its list of male-model earnings in 2013 with Sean O’Pry topping the list at $1.5 million. Both he and Bündchen appeared in H&M’s fall 2013 campaigns, but it was Bündchen whose stack of Benjamins cast a shadow on O’Pry’s. In fact, his yearly earnings don’t even break into the top-tax bracket of his female counterparts. Miranda Kerr is the world’s second highest paid model, with a hefty $7 million. In the business of being, to quote Zoolander, “professionally good looking,” women are estimated to make 148% more than men. It is perhaps the only industry where women reign.
There’s a pretty hefty feminist dialogue brewing in these figures. Yes, it’s awesome women make more, but they’re making more based on image and objectification. On the flip side, women have more options for a career post-modeling (read: Naomi Campbell’s TV shows, Lauren Hutton’s activism, Brook Shields’ acting career). It’s a give and take, but in the meantime, let’s hear it for the ladies.