Can I Be a Model?
New models often ask themselves whether they have what it takes to become a model
You are likely to hear that to be a model you need to be beautiful, tall and slender with perfect proportions. Now this is certainly true for high fashion models, where designers want one type of model that they feel shows off their designs in the best way.
However, if you do not fit this criteria, don’t despair as there are many other areas that you can work in successfully and lucratively as a model. The modeling industry needs all different shapes and sizes. It ranges from the models who are required for the runways of Paris and Milan to those being seen in the background of TV commercials. You need to find the right fit for you and your place in the industry. To help you with this we have listed the different types of modeling work that’s available and the criteria for each, and as with most things in life there are always exceptions.
When you see the incredibly tall and lean figures that grace the runways and editorials for the leading fashion houses and designers, these are the High Fashion models. They are generally required to be between 172cm to 180cm (5”8 to 5”11), with a dress size of 4-6 US (6-8 UK), with a typical bust size of 34. The age range can be from 14 to 25. For guys the age range is more flexible and they can start from the age of 16 until their late 40’s. They need to be between 180cm to 188cm (5”11 to 6”2), with an excellent physique and a chest size of 94cm to 106cm (37” to 42”) and 76cm to 81cm (30” to 32”) waist. Guys tend to have longer careers if they look after themselves.
This is modeling for magazine editorials and covers such as Vogue, Elle etc. The standard requirements for these models are similar to those in High Fashion and you must be very photogenic Quite often the same models will work in both Editorial Print and High Fashion. These editorials provide great exposure for models even though the fees earned are sometimes relatively low. This is normal and it can take a few years to gain the experience needed to get the bigger paying jobs.
A huge market that encompasses every kind of print advertising. This can range from advertising in magazines to products on supermarket shelves to billboards. The benefit of working in Commercial Print as a model is that the target audience of the advertisers varies considerably. Naturally the brands want to attract and represent the people that will buy their products, so there are many opportunities here if you are not the High Fashion type.
Companies create catalogues (print or online) to sell their latest clothing lines or various others products, and it’s the models job to make them look good. Here you will find many great opportunities for different model types, as the model is chosen to represent the target audience of the different companies. With the increasing number of websites that require models to promote their goods online, this is very lucrative for many models.
Plus Size Modeling
Modeling for the larger body type, this type of modeling is on the increase and a relatively new phenomenon. If you’re confident, with great attributes and you are between the sizes of 12-16 US (14-18 UK) then this could be for you. More and more advertisers are using Plus Size Models to promote their products in a bid to appeal to a broader demographic. As a Plus Size model you will still need to have great skin, teeth and hair and have that something special about you. For High Fashion Plus Sized Models the height requirements remain at a minimum of 172cm (5”8). (Plus Size Models below - eastwestmodels.de)
Is modeling that emphasises a models sexuality. Glamour Modeling can range from lingerie and swimwear shoots, to artistic and nude photography to men’s magazines. You will need to be beautiful, sexy and confident, with an extremely outgoing personality. Height restrictions tend not to apply, which is the great attraction to many models. If you are considering this area of modeling, take care as there are many dishonest people that take advantage of young models who are eager to get into modeling. If you are interested in Glamour Modeling it’s advisable to have a reputable agency looking out for your best interests.
Body Parts Models
An area not usually thought about for newcomers, but it is a very relevant sector of the industry. The most common body parts tend to be hair, eyes, lips, hands, legs and feet, which are used to promote many products in print and TV. You will need to have exceptionally well proportioned body parts and know how to look after them. This is definitely an area within modeling that’s worth considering as it can prove to be surprisingly profitable.
Modeling in TV commercials does not have any overall criteria for height, size and age, as each commercial requires someone different and specific to that job. It is usually necessary to have some acting ability, but this can be natural ability or learned. There are many different types of TV commercials, ranging from the highly stylised photographic, to the performance led reality style. The great advantage in TV commercials for a model is that brands are continuously seeking models, which the general public can easily identify with. This opens up the doors to almost everyone, who feels that they have what it takes to work in this sector. Typically those represented by a model or actors agency have a better chance of appearing in TV commercials.
Real Life Models (People Models) and TV/Film Extras
If you like the idea of modeling, but do not fit into the above categories, then this could be for you. Real life models are used in advertising or corporate campaigns, when companies are looking to represent the everyday person. As a TV/Film Extra you will generally be non-featured (no speaking parts) and in the background of a scene. This can be fun and interesting to be part of, but it can also be long hours with lots of waiting around. The benefits are that if you are flexible with your days, it can be a good way to supplement your income.
Images courtesy of productionparadise.com.