When you think of Canadian supermodel Coco Rocha or another model, you likely don’t think immediately of them as role models or inspiring others given the fashion ideals they tend to embody, including size 0 bodies and attention to physical appearance rather than inner qualities. But Coco is speaking up about dangerous expectations in the modeling industry and body image issues, which is why her bio is the topic for today. Here’s guest writer Daria to tell you more.
Who is supermodel Coco Rocha?
Coco Rocha, or Mikhaila Rocha, as she is also known to her family, was born on September 10th, 1988 in Toronto. Though born here, the now-famous Canadian supermodel spent her childhood in Richmond, British Columbia.
In BC, she graduated from Hugh McRoberts Secondary School. Her family is of Ukrainian and Irish heritage and she has two siblings.
How did it all start?
Rocha’s talent and knack for modeling were discovered in 2002 when she was 15 years old. Having no experience in the industry or extensive knowledge of fashion trends, she made her first steps into modeling when an agent found her at a dance competition and asked her to be a model for some of his work.
Soon after, her career took off, and she was becoming a worldwide known face of fashion and modeling very best. For instance, she has worked with names such as photographer Steven Meisel, designer Jean Paul Gaultier, and left permanent imprints on New York as well as the Paris Fashion Week.
In addition, she has graced with her powerful presence the covers of dozens of magazines, including:
- Harper’s Bazaar
- Dazed & Confused
Not only that but she also participated in multiple ad campaigns giving her stamp of approval to some of the biggest brands out there: Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Esprit, Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, Zac Posen, Versace, Rimmel, Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Liz Claiborne, and many others.
Coco’s personal life
All of the modeling world fans were abuzz when it was announced that Coco was going to marry her boyfriend James Conran on June 9, 2010, in France’s famous Loire Valley. It was evident that the couple put a lot of effort and resources into their big day.
Everything, from the fabulous event hire services, to the location they chose and her wedding dress (by Zac Posen) radiated elegance and luxury at its best. Today the couple has two beautiful children.
In March of 2015, their first child was born, their daughter Ioni James Conran. Their son, Iver Eames Conran, was born three years later, on April 20.
What makes supermodel Coco Rocha a role model?
Stories about successful models are easy to find, but not every one of those stories is enriched with the element of responsibility and helping others. Supermodel Coco Rocha’s story certainly contains that element.
Her efforts to change the modeling world’s rules and its superficialness make her stand out from the rest of her colleagues.
Coco expressed her deep disappointment in the rigorous standards and requirements regarding female models’ body weight and size when she became less in demand in her career for being a size 4. Namely, the explanation for her lack of catwalk engagements was that she was overweight and she was repeatedly told by several fashion designers that she needed to become even skinnier.
Over time, Coco learned exactly where to draw a line and realized she was under no obligation to surrender to the frequently ridiculous and even dangerous expectations of the industry. Unfortunately, this hasn’t been the case with everyone in her business world.
Despite existing cases where supermodels starve themselves into destruction and death, the unrealistic requests for extremely slim models still exist – and rule the runway. Fortunately for young women and young models who are struggling with body image issues, Coco’s rebelliousness helped make her a role model.
Here is more about her activism.
Fighting the good fight
Much of Supermodel Coco Rocha’s activism revolves around fighting the imposition of unrealistic body images and standards, which can lead to eating disorders for females and males of all ages worldwide.
One of the main arguments behind her efforts is that esthetics of the fashion world ought to strive to show the beauty and the strength of the body, not to glorify and encourage its ruin. Giving a thumbs up to eating disorders, such as anorexia, goes against the human form and can have nothing but negative consequences, as the famous model herself has seen. Indeed, she was told to “look anorexic.”
In 2011, Coco appeared on the daytime television show Anderson. She used this opportunity to speak out against the pressure put on really young models to maintain an extremely skinny figure for the sake of their careers, thereby severely compromising their health.
Earlier that same year, she was also engaged in a partnership with Jacob, a well-known Canadian clothing brand. Their aim was to create a campaign entirely void of Photoshop in order to try and discourage the various forms of digital manipulation of models.
Some of Coco’s humanitarian work also lies in her collaboration with Senhoa, an organization that helps survivors of human trafficking in Cambodia. Namely, also in 2011, Rocha designed a jewelry collection called Coco Rocha for Senhoa, a seven-piece lineup made by victims of human trafficking themselves.
All the earnings went to the Senhoa program to support the cause to help children as young as four years old and to raise awareness about human slavery. Moreover, Coco has also managed to ensure the support of other models in this fight, turning to names like Caroline Trentini and Behati Prinsloo.
Coco is not unknown to film either. In 2011, she had her debut in a documentary film called “Letter to Haiti” that premiered in Toronto.
Fashion reporter Jeane Beker’s book “Struttin It,” which focuses on modeling, contains a foreword written by none other than Coco Rocha. Moreover, the book “Study of Pose,” which she launched with Steven Sebring, contains a thousand poses of her professionally modeling.
Through personally training and advising students in modeling and the fashion industry, she also came to the idea of creating what is now known as the Coco Rocha Model Camp. At this camp, attendees participate in multiple instructional sessions on modeling over a span of four days.
Concluding words on supermodel Coco Rocha
Coco Rocha obviously deserves mention as a prominent name in her field. Her effort to bring beauty and work satisfaction in line with humanitarian work and body confidence make her one of the most influential individuals in the modeling world.
About today’s writer
Daria is a book lover and an adventurer from sunny Australia. She enjoys writing about fashion, beauty, traveling, weddings, and related topics. Daria is passionate about discovering new places, meeting new people, and exploring interesting lifestyle topics.