« Who's the Most Copied of Them All? | Main | Orphan Works and the Adoption Process »

Brains v. Beauty

It's brains versus beauty in the competition for coveted H-1B visas -- and the brains are winning.  The annual number of visas issued to fashion models has dropped from 790 earlier this decade to a mere 349 in fiscal year 2007, as America's need for nerds has led to the hiring of more foreign high-tech workers and fewer sexy starvelings. 

U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner seeks to stem this beauty drain via the passage of H.R. 4080, which calls for a new nonimmigrant classification for fashion models "of distinguished merit and ability."  The predictably controversial bill would make available 1,000 visas in a new category associated with athletes and entertainers, creating more competition for U.S. models but arguably preventing some photoshoots from disappearing overseas.

Perhaps fashion models -- or at least the individuals who manage and hire them -- are pretty smart after all.