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Pricing Beauty: BU Sociologist Investigates Modeling Industry13:31
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A model walks the runway at Style Fashion Week in Los Angeles. (henryjose/Flickr)
A model walks the runway at Style Fashion Week in Los Angeles. (henryjose/Flickr)

The world of high fashion modeling enjoys an aura of glamour, prestige and wealth. Think of names like Giselle, Tyra Banks and Kate Moss and brands like Prada, Vuitton, Channel and Dior.

But for most models, the industry is anything but glamorous, and it's certainly not lucrative. Most of them toil without job security or health insurance. They struggle to find work, and when they do, they earn lousy money, before the industry casts them aside at the ripe age of 26.

That's the view of the fashion modeling industry from Boston University sociologist Ashley Mears in her new book, "Pricing Beauty: Value in the Fashion Modeling World." Mears worked as a model when she was younger and returned to work in a New York modeling agency while researching her book.

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This segment aired on October 12, 2011.

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