Models with degrees - from Joan Smalls to Gigi Hadid, we take a look at models who prove that being successful and getting an education don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

The fashion industry in 2017 is still deeply problematic. Models are valued on their homogeneity, the size of their waist, the slimness of their hips and, ultimately, their youth. The most commercially successful models are often informally appointed as role-models for and by young girls, who follow their idols’ every moves on Instagram and Snapchat. Indeed, models are often self-made, hard-working and highly competent businesswomen, but the most famous models are very rarely educated to degree level - a standard requirement for many young women looking to get into the world of employment today. It's a strange juxtaposition.

In a world where intelligent young women are continually told that their worth is based solely on their appearance, it isn’t surprising that many young models choose to pursue careers in the fashion industry whilst their peers are gaining an education. We’ve decided to take a look at a selection of highly successful models who prove that being successful and getting an education don’t need to be mutually exclusive.

1. Joan Smalls

(Nov. 29, 2016 - Source: Julien M. Hekimian/Getty Images North America)

Joan Smalls, Puerto Rican Victoria’s Secret model, graduated from the University of Puerto Rico with a Bachelor's degree in Psychology.

2. Iman

Models with degrees - Iman

(Feb. 7, 2017 - Source: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images North America)

Iman is a Somali model who was married to the late David Bowie and studied Political Science at the University of Nairobi.

3. Anna Selezneva

Models with degrees - russia

(Feb. 16, 2009 - Source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images North America)

Anna Selezneva is a Russian model with a Psychology degree from Moscow State University.

4. Edie Campbell

Models with degrees - edie campbell

(April 14, 2015 - Source: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images North America)

Edie Campbell is a British model who graduated from The Courtauld Institute of Art with a degree in History of Art.

6. Cameron Russell

Models with degrees - TED talk

(Nov. 1, 2015 - Source: Andrew Toth/Getty Images North America)

Cameron Russell graduated from Columbia University with majors in Economics and Political science. Her TED Talk on the fashion and modelling industries has been viewed over 17 million times.

7. Kate Grigorieva

Models with degrees - kate

(Nov. 29, 2016 - Source: AFP)

Kate Grigorieva is a Russian model who has walked for Victoria’s Secret and has a bachelor’s degree in Marketing.

8. Karlie Kloss

Models with degrees - Karlie Kloss

(March 2, 2017 - Source: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images Europe) 

Karlie Kloss is starting a degree at  NYU's Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She is also learning to code, has taken classes at Havard Business School and is a great advocate for getting girls more involved in STEM subjects.

9. Amanda Murphy

Models with degrees - Amanda

(Feb. 11, 2015 - Source: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images North America) 

Amanda Murphy is a part-time model, part-time radiology technician who took two years out of her modelling career to work in a hospital.

10. Lily Cole

Models with degrees - Lily Cole

(Sept. 5, 2016 - Source: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images Europe)

Perhaps the most famous example is Lily Cole, who graduated with a double first class BA in History of Art from King's College, Cambridge. Impressive.

11. Lyndsey Scott

Models with degrees - Lyndsey Scott

(Sept. 9, 2010 - Source: Alli Harvey/Getty Images North America)

Lyndsey Scott, a computer programmer and another Victoria’s Secret model, graduated from Amherst in 2006 with degrees in computer science and theater.

12. Brooke Shields

Models with degrees - Brooke Shields

(May 11, 2016 - Source: Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images North America) 

Brooke Shields, model and actress. In 1987 Shields got a degree from Princeton University in French literature.

13. Gigi Hadid

Models with degrees Gigi Hadid

(May 11, 2016 - Source: Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images North America) 

Gigi Hadid, the model with over 30 million followers on Instagram, began a degree in criminal psychology but decided to put modelling first. Maybe she’ll go back to school in a few years?

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