Like so many young women, Simone "Simi" Kowalski dreamed of a career as a model and applied to Heidi Klum's program "Germany's Next Top Model". In 2019, she was crowned Season 14 Champion. But working in the fashion industry hasn't made Kowalski successful, it's made him ill. In an Instagram post, she not only criticizes GNTM, but the fashion industry in general. "I learned to work in a cruel industry. An environment where no one is treated as a human being, only used for profit or entertainment," she writes. As a model, one would often only be made into an object and, in the worst case, sexualized.
Kowalski provided two photos for her comment. One shows her at a current photo shoot, the other was created in 2019 after her GNTM participation. At the time, the 25-year-old was suffering from severe skin irritation. "Because of make-up, wrong products, too many different products, chemical burns on the face and a wound brought bacteria into the body. Only with medical help could I gradually heal my scars. I kept it a secret for a long time because I. was ashamed to look like that. I thought I had skin cancer," explains Kowalski.
The physical and psychological stress during the shooting of 'Germany's Next Top Model' took a toll on her. "I was forced to sign contracts ten minutes before the live show on TV! My freedom was taken away from me and although I filmed non-stop under pressure, the TV show went on. I carried on the show and did whatever they wanted me to do . But my health went down the drain," writes the model.
During the broadcast of the 14th season, Kowalski's health was a topic again and again. The former competitive athlete developed a running error as a student and had permanent pain in her back and feet. By the age of 18, she said she could no longer walk and had to undergo three complicated surgeries. After that, she was bedridden or in a wheelchair for about a year. She also struggled with pain during her GNTM participation, but was not taken seriously by many. Kowalski got the image of the "Drama Queen".
Nevertheless, she also writes in her post that she has "no hatred of the show". With her words and her photo, she wants to convey a realistic view to younger girls who, like her, have the dream of a modeling career. "You can achieve anything. But remember who you are and don't let the industry change your heart or your compassion!" She advises introducing yourself to a reputable agency instead of applying to GNTM. The show is "great" if you want to be successful as an influencer, but rather a hindrance for a career as a model. "A career as a supermodel is almost impossible after being on this show," writes Kowalski.