Both the most gorgeous of fashion models and the smartest and nerdiest of high-tech workers need to apply for the same limited number of visa allowances.
And apparently this competition is leading to a lack of beautiful skinny chicks with Eastern European accents frequenting our country’s coffee shops and other places models go (if you know of a place, please tell me).
It is also hurting America’s fashion industry. Supposedly, the less foreign models, the less photo shoots? But one Congressman from New York, Anthony Weiner, has got our back on the fight to keep the babes.
Margaret Brennan of CNBC, seems to think we need more tech industry innovation and less sexy models:
Weiner is sponsoring a bill that gives models Ã¢â‚¬Å“of distinguished merit and abilityÃ¢â‚¬Â their own visa classification (P-4 status) which would group them with entertainers and athletes.
Believe it or not, models coming to work in the U.S. compete with high-tech workers for the same type of H1-B visa. The problem is that there are only 85,000 available visas and typically 165,000 applicants. In other words, each visa given to Gisele Bundchen, Kate Moss or Naomi Campbell means that one fewer biotech researcher or computer technician can enter the country.
However, Politico.com also explains how the numbers are skewing in favor of those technicians:
the government issued between 614 and 790 visas to models in each year between 2000 and 2005. But the number began falling after that, and it was all the way down to 349 in fiscal year 2007.
Congressman Weiner explains that we should be concerned with this bill because, although it may seem like the lack of foreign models would help the chances of up-and-coming American models, that simply isn’t the case.
Magazines, ad agencies, and other brands that employ these lovely ladies are willing to accommodate the models they desire most. They won’t ‘settle’ for American models who are more available to shoot in the United States. These employers and photographers would just as easily go to Siberia and photograph those sexy models who couldn’t get visas.
After all, they could just photoshop in the NYC skyline or airbrush out the “Russian tundra/Brazilian rain forest” backdrop and add in whichever locale they wanted.
The tech industry, being the incredibly profitable and economy-driving sector we are all desperately relying on these days, has had their fun with recording high profits and delivering useful American innovation that the rest of the world is consuming with a voracious appetite.
Who cares that our domestic tech industry, one of our country’s saving graces while the financial market is in turmoil, would not be able to compete with foreign competition if the top engineers were unable to work for us without these visas? Think of those pretty models!
If Weiner’s bill fails and the models and tech guys continue to compete for the same visas, maybe we should start a big campaign like – ‘Save Our Sexy Foreign Models‘ or – ‘Down With Tech Nerds‘?
I can just see it now, big picket lines outside the Googleplex with as many tall anorexic models as the eye could see, all struggling to lift a cardboard sign under its weight. Make this fantasy of mine become a reality. And be sure to post the video somewhere.
CNBC: New York Suffering A Foreign Fashion Model Shortage, June 13, 2008
CNBC: Foreign Model Response, June 16, 2008