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Learn About The Industry

There are many different kinds of models, including child models, plus-size models, and parts models (whose hands you see in all those diamond ring ads). Fashion models must usually conform to rather rigid physical criteria, but there are others models called "real-life models," who are often also actors. They are just what the name suggests: ordinary looking people used in catalogues and commercials to represent someone the average consumer can identify with. The white-haired guy with the potbelly on the Golf Resorts billboard is a real-life model. If it turns out that you aren't quite what they're looking for in a fashion model, consider this sort of work (or consider becoming a character actor). There are other paths to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

For the purposes of this SYW, though, we're focusing on the model that gets all the attention: the cat-walking high-fashion model.

What it takes to be a fashion-model

If you're female . . .


  • You should be somewhere between 15 and 22 years old, though probably closer to fifteen. Models don't have careers that last as long as say, doctors, so agencies tend to want to invest their time in someone young.
  • You should be tall, long-legged, and lean. The minimum height is usually about 5'8", and average weight for a model is 108-125 lbs. These characteristics are partly aesthetic and partly practical: this type of frame looks good on the runway and in front of the camera (which, they say, adds 15 pounds); and a somewhat scrawny build drapes clothing nicely and ensures a good fit in the standard wardrobe. There are always exceptions to the rule, of course - Kate Moss is 5'7" and Gabrielle Reece is a giant 6'3" - but, in general, the closer you are to the industry norm, the better your chances.

If you're male . . .

  • You can start out a little later, roughly between the ages of 18 and 25. They won't want you to look too childish. The good news is that a man's modeling career usually lasts longer than a woman's, and since ten-year-old boys more often dream of blowing things up rather than strutting the Hugo Boss runway, this side of the biz tends to be less competitive as well.

  • Average dimensions for a male model are a height of 5'11"- 6'2" and a weight of 140-165 lbs. You should also be fit (not bulging with muscles, but definitely healthy).

All right, so let's assume you've got all of these qualifications. You are, for example, a willowy 16-year-old girl who's on the basketball team, could squeeze her body through a set of prison bars, and causes old men who shouldn't be ogling you to stumble over their walkers. That's great. On top of that you have clear skin, perfect teeth, and your own brand of je ne sais quoi. Fantastic. It's time for the next step.

For the rest of this article and more like it visit SoYouWanna.com


 Avoid Scams

There are really two modeling industries: the legitimate one that pays models a fair price for their services; and the evil one which preys on the hopes and dreams of foolish young people (a.k.a. "suckers"). To avoid getting snookered, you have to remind yourself again and again that you're getting into modeling to make money, and not to give it away. This is business, so be stingy. There are lots of con artists posing as photographers, and there are lots of shady organizations calling themselves "agencies" and "schools." So here's what you have to watch out for:

  • Photographers who try to sell you expensive portfolio shots before you approach any agencies. This is a common one. They tell you that you'll never get anywhere with an agency unless you have a professional portfolio to show. Not true. Agencies are connected with photographers who understand and express a particular style, and they usually just end up trashing any pictures you walk in with. That's why snaps are best. Let the agency you sign up with arrange all the portfolio photography for you.
  • Fly-by-night "agencies" that charge so-called "registration fees," and are more interested in getting you to pay for expensive portfolios than finding you work. In such places, the phones aren't ringing as they should be, and the pictures on the walls are of models that have no connection with their business. So when you approach an agency, check them out, make sure they've been around for more than three months, and have a nice big ad in the Yellow Pages. Contact the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been any complaints levelled against them.
  • Modeling schools. Some people believe that they are an outright scam, while others believe that they're a pretty good way to gain a little experience, so long as you have money to burn. It's your call to make. Just don't let anyone tell you that you must go through a school (which always seems to be, coincidentally, their own in-house school) before they'll even consider you. No one absolutely needs to go to modeling school in order to become a successful model.
  • Sleazeballs. Flattery, promises to get you working immediately, unusual fees and high-pressure tactics are all signs of a sleazeball operation. When they ask you to pose naked or to have sex in exchange for jobs, then you'll know you've hit rock bottom. Alert the authorities. And keep in mind that, although this sort of thing is more common in less classy operations, it is not altogether unknown at a higher level. Recently, two executives (President Gerald Marie of Elite Europe, and Xavier Moreau, head of the Elite Model Look Contest), were compelled to resign after a BBC documentary caught them treating their business as a sex farm. Yes, this was rather idiosyncractic, but it proves that you should be aware.

                       For the rest of this article visit SoYouWanna.com

Advice from a Trump Model





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