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How Height, Weight and Age Influence Getting Signed by an Agency

This article is written by a member of our expert community. It expresses that member’s views only. We welcome other perspectives. Here’s how to contribute to MM EDU.

I’m about 5’6 and want to work in fashion. How do I get signed by an agency?

This is one of the most common recurring forum topics on Model Mayhem, and the simple answer to the question is this…


Model: Paige Morgan; Photographer: Kaitlyn Barlow; Hair Stylist: Gracie Baptiste; Makeup Artist: Julissa Lopez

If you are under 5’8″, above a size 4 dress, or over the age of 20, your chances of getting signed by a major market high fashion/runway agency is as likely as winning the lottery and getting attacked by a gang of ninjas in the same 24 hour period.

Clothing samples are made to a uniform smaller size to save money (each couture gown can cost in the tens of thousands) and slimmer bodies are less of a distraction from the cut and drape of the clothes, letting them hang in the precise shape the designer had cut on the dress form. Essentially, the clothes are not made to fit the models—the agencies sign models that will fit into the clothes.

As far as high fashion’s focus on the extremely young, it takes several years to build a model into a working, bookable name, so agents prefer new faces, in the 14-16 range. Also, fashion trends and needs change extremely quickly, and your average editorial/runway model is near the end of her career by 23, unless she has become an extremely well known super model.  Many girls also leave the industry due to a lack of booking in a sea of beautiful new faces, or from sheer burnout from constant travel, work and rejection.

What about Kate Moss/Devon Aoki/Marilyn Monroe/Lady Gaga?

Insert your choice of rare short model or shorter celebrity that has done modeling/advertising work. Essentially the answer is the same…

Kate Moss was signed exceptionally young in the hopes that she would grow, because she had such a one in a million look. Several influential people carefully boosted and maintained her career, and she was friends with a genius designer (John Galliano), who was also a rapidly rising star.

Devon Aoki is the child of millionaire restaurant mogul Rocky Aoki (founder of Benihana) and she has an extremely singular, exotic look.

Marilyn Monroe did indeed model, but not for high fashion, and her pin up and cheesecake modeling work was the equivalent of modern glamour modeling, where curvier bodies are the norm.

Lady Gaga has appeared in shows for both Alexander McQueen and Mugler, but this is due to her immense fame as a singer. Popular actresses/singers are often asked to appear in runway shows, ad campaigns or on magazine covers, due to their fame.

There are always a few cases in each generation who get signed in spite of being too tall/too short/curvy/older than usual/noticeably tattooed.

If you happen to have influential, major market bookers interested in you, very talented/famous friends, a wealthy father with a plethora of connections, or a multi platinum recording career, you very well could be the next exception to the rule. Without those mitigating circumstances, it is extremely unlikely. As most of Model Mayhem members does not have that sort of access, it is unwise to rely on exceptional circumstances as a given.

What about Plus Modeling?

Again, plus modeling is much the same as “straight” size modeling.

If you are 5’9″ or taller, a size 10-14 (though some plus divisions will also book size 16-18 on occasion, but the majority of the work is in the 10-14 size group, depending on the market) and have a gorgeous face and very even proportions, give the agencies with plus divisions a try. However, plus modeling isn’t a catch all for all of us whom don’t fit the fashion mold, and has equally stringent standards of its own.

Can’t shorter girls get signed by commercial agencies, as that is different from fashion work?

Commercial agencies and those in smaller markets are a touch more forgiving, but the minimum cut off is generally 5’6/5’7 and you better have one gorgeous book of commercial images.

Unlike fashion agencies, where one can get signed with just Polaroids, commercial agencies want to see that you can already produce images that would be a good fit for their clients. Even then you’ll be battling uphill with all of the taller girls who can work in either fashion or commercial, or have aged out of fashion and have gotten signed by commercial agencies to continue working.

On the plus side, commercial models have a much longer shelf life than editorial models, as advertisements and catalogs need a wider age range to reflect their target markets.


Model: Paige Morgan; Photographer: Jimi Sweet; Hair & Makeup: William Miranda

Promotional and talent agencies count, don’t they?

Promotional modeling has very little to do with fashion or commercial modeling. Generally, promotional models are hired to help get the word out for a brand or a product via passing out samples/flyers, informing potential customers about the product or service at events and trade shows and other duties more akin to customer service and advertising directly.

Talent agencies will occasionally book modeling work for those they sign (clients do need specific skill sets for print and advertising work), but you still have to have an established talent (acting/voiceover, dance, music) to be marketable to the clients looking for both skills and modeling experience.

So what kind of modeling CAN I do? I’m beautiful too! Why can’t I model?

For all the ladies who do not fit those molds: IT IS NOT THE END OF THE WORLD. It also does not mean you aren’t beautiful or that you can’t model—just that you aren’t cut out for fashion. The majority of modeling isn’t high fashion, and there are plenty of other options.

Rather than beat your head against the wall and pout over your lack of height/sample size measurements/extreme youth (or, even worse, fruitlessly crusade to “change the industry”), here are the questions you should be asking yourself:

  1. What genres and content am I comfortable shooting?
  2. Is my end goal to model full time/as a sole source of income? As a side job? Or just for fun?
  3. What are my strong features/points? What genres/markets value those features/body types?

Depending on your body type, and the answers to those questions, you have a plethora of other options. Fit modeling, parts, fitness, glamour, alt, hair/beauty, pin up, fetish and art nudes (if you are over 18 and comfortable shooting either); there are many choices.

Identify the genres that DO work for you, instead of being frustrated by the ones that don’t, and you’ll probably accomplish more and have a lot more fun, maybe even make some extra cash. Plus, the forum posters won’t descend on you in a hail of snarkiness and irritation, which is a nice bonus.

Paige Morgan

Paige Morgan

Paige Morgan is a multi-genre traveling freelance model based in New York City, and measures a full 67 inches of awesome. She appreciates any and all kind words regarding this article, but would be most enthused if it ever resulted in fresh baked cookies. You can contact her at meetmisspaige.com or at facebook.com/misspaigemorgan.

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180 Responses to “How Height, Weight and Age Influence Getting Signed by an Agency”

  1. February 24, 2017 at 2:15 am, Sean Solomon said:

    What about male models though?

    Reply

  2. February 23, 2017 at 3:31 pm, Christopher Mundy said:

    As someone who just got signed by a Major International Modelling Agency in Edmonton, AB, CA. I can say from experience, NEVER EVER give up on your dreams. Keep persevering. I spent 3 months with a personal trainer, getting my body and mind into shape. Also on that note, I do have pretty amazing genetics, I am 6’3 185lbs size 32″waist and can grow A GREAT BEARD. But I also did not give up on my dreams of becoming and international model. Even if they did not want to sign me, I would still keep trying with other Agencies until it happened or I went solo.. I have done modelling and Acting ( started with small gigs working my way up as a freelance model. ) since I was 17. Started with a male model search, placing in the top 5 until the last gig I did was payed and got contacted from a clothing company in a different area in the okanagan which is where i used to live. I took 2/3 years off when I went up North to work in the oil patch, and since being back, I have always taken baby steps to work towards my goals. I also work full time as a Cocktail Bartender, so that gives me the hours and money to do what i need to do. Also helps with confidence and meeting the right people. You could say I have been quite lucky, but I believe its from the right and wrong choices I have made in life. When I fail at something it makes me want it more. And when I get something I want I do not stop there, I am always motivated to keep going up! Anyways, Hope this helps,

    Munch Love,

    Reply

  3. October 27, 2016 at 11:34 am, Marlena Crucifixion said:

    I started off a year ago… And still dont know what Im doing. Just seen other people go at it and decided to give it a try. Im 21 so is it seriously too late to become a model or work towards that?

    Reply

  4. September 26, 2015 at 1:50 am, natash Edward said:

    My name is Natasha Edward and I’m 18 years old I was born in Kenya (Africa) but raised and live in Tanzania so I’m an east African girl. Soon I’ll be completing my high school studies and my dream is to become a model but I’m 5’5 height will I get a chance? Please somebody help me. I have the right attitude love fashion and have a good body.

    Reply

  5. July 11, 2015 at 9:51 pm, Marquesha Takenomessfromanybod said:

    It can be very discouraging at times. That’s why I put my disclaimer at the beginning of my profile. I’m 39, 5’8 and very easy to work with. Through this site I’ve worked with a photographer and down-to-earth people along the way. Everybody loves my portfolio. It’s all about your mind-set.

    Reply

  6. July 03, 2015 at 8:39 pm, imodelsholdings said:

    Height, Weight and Age does’t Influence on modeling. Just need to attract auditions by your face.

    Reply

  7. May 21, 2015 at 5:45 pm, Maria said:

    I am very petite. I loved this article and made me realize that there is hope for me.
    🙂

    Reply

  8. April 04, 2015 at 1:11 pm, Joyce said:

    If you do not have time to deal with agencies, but you also don’t intend to make a career out of modeling considering becoming a free agent model. I did that a few years ago, and was the best decision I had ever made. I did my own bookings, my own hair, makeup, and kept all the money to myself. This is a viable thing to in bigger cities as well, so I always made sure to live within a few hours of a major city.

    Reply

  9. March 06, 2015 at 5:16 pm, yuuplol said:

    Ok So I’m 23 (but I look very very young, people always assume I’m in high school. even other high schoolers assume i’m their age) BUT I’m only 5’5. I have perfect proportions and a high fashion body, only problem is I’m short. i live in a small town and have not had the opportunity to peruse modeling like i want but i will be graduating soon and moving to Atlanta, a bigger city with hopefully more opportunities. I have like a victoria secret fashion show body, but only problem is my height. Is there any hope for me or am I kidding myself? I know I may not be able to do high fashion editorial, but is it realistic that any type of modeing could become a career for me? Please, anyone with experience or insider knowedge please help me out. Tips? Advice? Anything
    Thanks!
    Modeling has always been my dream and I have to pursue it, I just don’t know how. But if I go on with life without at least trying I will regret it forever. I have a perfect high fashion body and a good face and I’m good at taking pictures. I just don’t have anything professional under my belt

    Reply

  10. November 21, 2014 at 1:50 pm, Katia Alyabyevaealyabyeva said:

    I am 5’10, size 2-4, blonde European.
    When I was 20, modelling agencies rejected me, because “I have too chubby cheeks”.
    Can you imagine ?
    Jennifer Lawrence has chubby cheeks, and she’s now rocking the world of beauty.
    So, I freelance, and never going to agencies again.
    I am 25 now, and, honestly, have gotten way more offers recently, than ever !
    All these requirements.. It’s bs a lot of times. Agencies pick either people they already know, or they really like, that’s all.
    Don’t ever get discouraged by anyone saying: “you don’t suit us”. Look, I met all the requirements, and they found smth they wanted not to match. That’s how it works.
    So, just work hard, build strong portfolio, and sign contracts! Show your talent, and how beautiful and hard-working you are !
    Good luck !

    Reply

  11. October 12, 2014 at 6:04 pm, Lady Ash said:

    This article is very helpful. I would really love to see an article strictly for women like me that love modeling and are good at it, but have a hard time finding paid work (I get flooded with TFP constantly). It’s hard to be a free lance model, and although I would love to get signed by an agency it is very doubtful because of my height and size/shape (as specified above).

    <3 Lady Ash
    MM# 3300327

    Reply

  12. October 09, 2014 at 6:07 pm, Col Patrick G Montgomery said:

    If your a short , slightly outside the norm size wise and want to model, forget the agencies, find an independent producer videographer and go visit them. Many places are looking for talent other than the usual High fashion genera and looking for the real look. In any case for those that do say I want to be a model of any kind, the first rule is if you book a go look see or a meet and greet, go to the meet and greet. Just don’t tease a producer. This kind of action just gets you black listed as a not dependable.

    Reply

  13. July 23, 2014 at 10:53 am, Guest said:

    The only thing that bothers me is the age. I can understand wanting fresh faces but why should the age be a factor? I understand models who start at 14-15 not being booked after 23 because of the demand for new faces but what about the models who want to start in high fashion but they are already in their twenties?

    I was walking outside of a mall and was stopped by a man. He asked me if I modeled and if I was interested. He said I had a very unique look and wanted to do a test shoot with me. I was with my older (very BIG and protective) brother so I didn’t mind going. When he was about to take a head shot of me with his phone he asked my age. I told him 23 (I’m older now) and he was shocked. He thought I was much younger. I asked him if it was a problem and he said that it wasn’t, he’ll just put that I’m 17. I wasn’t willing to lie so he apologized for wasting my time then walked away.

    Though I could have lied but I just don’t feel the need to nor do I really want to. I understand the demand for new faces but why does “new” equate young in high fashion/runway? I understand not wanting someone with wrinkles, ages spots, etc. but I don’t have ANY of that. And besides, most people who are in the high fashion business (outside of modeling) are well into their 20s 30s and 40s anyway…I just don’t get it

    Reply

  14. May 16, 2014 at 6:01 am, Guest said:

    This seems to be a helpful article. I’m a little skeptical on some of the things written, though. I’m 5’9″ and about 115 lbs, and wish everything written here was true. I don’t think everything about tall people being signed constantly is true. Does anyone know the percentage of teenage and tall girls being signed to reliable agencies these days?

    Reply

    • October 08, 2014 at 6:33 pm, Andrani said:

      This is true. You can meet all the requirements for high fashion and still have a hard time getting signed because there are other factors involved. Timing is one. Does the agency already have a girl that looks similar to you? If you’re an ethnic girl, it’s extra difficult because an agency will only sign about 4 at a time. Also, obviously how you photograph is another factor.

      Reply

  15. May 21, 2013 at 1:16 pm, Dimitrius C said:

    I feel like if you want something bad then you keep going until you reach your goal and dream why society thinks that there is not enough success for everyone which is bs there is a enough success for everyone. If you have a fire, drive and determination then you go for it , the same thing when you apply for a job do you give up because you did not get hire no. You get back on that horse and you keep striving. Always believe in yourself, you can do anything in this world if you put your mind into. Remember no one can not say no forever God will always open the door for you. Just stay positive, stay strong, and stay humble before you know your goals and your dreams will come true. Forget the naysayers and haters, believe in yourself and be positive. 🙂

    Always stay bless,

    DC

    Reply

    • May 21, 2013 at 5:59 pm, Paige Morgan said:

      DC, while I agree that people should believe in themselves and to chase dreams with determination, that isn’t the point of this post.
      If you don’t fit the requirements for one segment/genre of modeling, focus your energies on the genres you do fit, and don’t stress the ones you don’t.

      There’s a lot of paths to modeling success, and most people get hung up on just one (couture/high fashion).

      Reply

      • January 06, 2014 at 3:50 pm, Dimitrius C said:

        Paige that is why it is important to be versatile but if a person still want to go for it let them. We are not robots we are human beings with our own paths and purpose in life.

        Reply

    • January 06, 2014 at 11:33 am, Silverstream said:

      Dimitrius C, while it is a noble sentiment, it simply isn’t reality.

      I may utterly love basketball and desire it more than anything else in this world but if I am 5’2″ and 90 pounds with average hand/eye coordination, I will never be able to make a career of it.

      Fire, Drive and determination is nothing without the intelligence to realize what your strengths and weaknesses are. Finding that niche or sport that you love where it is possible for you to use physical and mental attributes to excel is the key to real success.

      Can you modify your physical and mental attributes? Yes but there are simply limits. A local high end model mentioned how she felt guilty about perpetuating the tall/thin model type. I told her to think of herself as a high end athlete that is blessed with certain attributes.

      Why is it that it is easy for us to accept our limitations and capabilities in a sport yet it is soo difficult for many to understand our limitations and capabilities in other areas of life? Find YOUR niche for success!

      Reply

      • January 06, 2014 at 3:48 pm, Dimitrius C said:

        Silverstream here is thing our society always look at the individual image rather what good traits they have. Look at the people who have college degrees who don’t have jobs. Do you just give up and take a low in job no. You make something out of nothing in life. That is the beauty of the human spirit. Look at all the famous people, inventors, political activist, and etc. made when society shut them down they did not give up and listen to the nay sayers they just continue until to reach their goal. There are some short basketball players made it to the pros. I am just like if a person want to go after their goals and dreams let them. You should never short change yourself in life.

        Reply

        • January 07, 2014 at 1:40 pm, Silverstream said:

          There’s a real difference between not having the attributes for a job and not having the determination to do something. Should a blind man be a photographer? Should a dwarf play basketball? While these are extreme examples, they are indicative of the role attributes play in being a success at what you do. One of the keys to success is identifying what you are good and passionate about and honing those talents. It frankly isn’t about short changing yourself, its about personal realization and making the most of what you are given. Time, effort and energy expended on something that you will almost certainly never excel at is better spent on the things that you have a good chance of excelling at.

          Reply

  16. May 19, 2013 at 11:18 pm, milando said:

    Reading this article reminds me of one thing… why I don’t use agencies. I am amazed at some of the true talent they fail to identify. Photographers are always looking to create unique-looking images, and often that means going outside the typical size-zero runway model look. Long live ModelMayhem!

    Reply

  17. May 19, 2013 at 11:07 am, Kate Bartlett said:

    This was a good article, I’m glad I clicked on it. A lot of it was stuff I’d heard before, but the part about fabrics being expensive which is why they make smallest sizes possible was really intriguing. I guess there’s no such thing as bargain bin fabric in high fashion, huh? 😉 It only bugs me that for some agencies it seems like they will hire either the uber tall/ultra thin/very young gals, OR the larger gals who might model for “plus size” clothing…. what about the gals in the middle of that spectrum? What if I am a plain-jane, size 6, 5’5″ average female height? Stuck in the middle, true size Medium with slightly larger hips and thighs but overall, an hourglass shape? Yeah, I guess I can do pin-up or alt modeling or something…but oh well….anyone share my feelings? lol.

    Reply

  18. May 15, 2013 at 6:02 pm, King Truth said:

    That still doesn’t mean that models shouldn’t fill out their stats on their MM profiles!!!!!

    Reply

    • May 21, 2013 at 6:00 pm, Paige Morgan said:

      Agreed. Complete, correct stats are a must, regardless of genre.

      Reply

  19. May 15, 2013 at 12:47 pm, Shawn Afsharpour said:

    What about For males?

    Reply

    • January 06, 2014 at 3:56 pm, Dimitrius C said:

      Shawn it depends there all type of genre for males. Commercial, fitness, acting, print, lifestyle, fashion, and etc. Be versatile in those categories when you have a wide range you will be marketable and just keep at it my friend. 🙂

      Reply

  20. February 18, 2013 at 6:19 pm, Nia said:

    Devon Aoki? one in a million look? C’mon now. Also, it seems like you think that models that are not high fashion get the tasteless work. you mentioned glamour, pin up, fetish, nudes… there’s more than that out in the world of fashion.

    Reply

    • May 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm, Paige Morgan said:

      There’s nothing wrong or tasteless about any of those genres, and it isn’t respectful to any of the amazing ladies that work in them to characterize them as such.

      Reply

  21. January 09, 2013 at 6:51 pm, Serious Amateur said:

    Fashion modeling is more than runway or magazine ads. Realize if you look great in some clothes, it will not matter to some photographers whether you are 5’nothing or 6’something. You images may never be on TV or on the front page of a magazine at the newsstand, but you can model for photographers, and get paid to do so. Whether you can turn that into a career depends on your business sense. Do not count on an agency to find you a booking. You’ll be finding your own jobs. Maybe it is just part time and a second job, but do not let someone say you cannot succeed if you really want it.

    Reply

  22. November 06, 2012 at 7:57 pm, Madeline88 said:

    I’m 6′ tall and weigh 140 pounds, would I need to loose weight in order to start modeling?

    Reply

    • January 06, 2014 at 3:53 pm, Dimitrius C said:

      No Madeline change your body for you stay healthy and fit. Do not do extreme crazy diets just to please agency and people to lose weight. The right people will sign you.

      Reply

  23. October 29, 2012 at 9:17 am, Cammie said:

    Hi all,
    I’m 42 years old, 5’5, 168lbs, size 12 female with no modeling experience. But, I would like to do some modeling. Does anyone have any suggestions?

    Thank you,
    Cammie
    STL

    Reply

  24. July 30, 2012 at 2:20 pm, AnonException said:

    No matter what anyone says or how important or authoritative they think they are on a subject, don’t stop pursuing your passion. Crazy things happen everyday. Hey, if Adrienne Curry can get signed to a well known agency, there’s hope for everyone. If no one is taking chances and knocking on doors, then there will be no exceptions. Maybe you are exactly what an agency is looking for. Sometimes being brave, confident and beautiful is more appealing to the business minds than being “industry standards” with an arrogant “I THINK I know it all” attitude. I have to advise that readers take the information in this article with a grain of salt. ~ One of MANY Exceptions 🙂

    Reply

  25. June 05, 2012 at 2:16 am, Penny Drew said:

    hi I’m 172cm which is 1cm short for height requirements in chadwicks, viviens etc. Can you recommend any other agencies or places that may take me. I’m still happy to do commercial etc

    Reply

  26. May 04, 2012 at 2:15 pm, Jessica said:

    I’m really interested in modeling runway. I am 16 yrs old and its been something i have wanted to do scene i was 13. i think i fit all the criterias. i just was wondering how i would go about getting started?  

    Reply

    • May 16, 2014 at 6:43 am, Guest said:

      Reply

  27. April 09, 2012 at 10:53 am, Lukemccoy55 said:

    what can good looking guys who are 6’5 do?

    Reply

  28. April 08, 2012 at 4:41 pm, Crystal said:

    Shouldn’t a real model have written this?

    Reply

  29. January 25, 2012 at 11:08 pm, Ellie_giddings said:

    Ha…this is a joke, this is so completely wrong I’m almost wetting my pants laughing. There are so many successful short models who make millions.. I guess if you don’t have the look then you just don’t have it.

    Reply

    • January 26, 2012 at 3:49 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      Why not be helpful to your fellow models and provide links? Where are they? Are they signed as commercial or talent(because that’s clearly covered as being a different animal than high fashion in the article)? In what cities?

      Asserting that there are so many short models making millions without providing any evidence is a disservice to your fellow models, as it spreads hearsay/misinformation.

      If you have info to add that is helpful, submit it to EDU…that’s the purpose of the library.

      Reply

  30. January 22, 2012 at 2:28 pm, Polina said:

    so if i am for example a size 4, 17 years old and am 5″7… where would i have the best chance at kick starting a career or at least earning a decent amount?
    i am on the books at a modeling and casting agency but they take everyone who enrolls into classes so its not the same, also most thing i get are as an extra in ads or promo work for shops or movie premiers. And i know better agencies wouldnt like me being signed on with 3 different ones..

    So how do i know which agecy would acctualy get me legitimate modeling/runway work?

    Reply

    • January 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      For individual questions, please PM/Email me 🙂

      Reply

  31. January 21, 2012 at 3:34 am, Mswitit said:

    Let’s not forget that commercial models are some of the highest paid models in the industry and you don’t have to be famous to make a good living in this sector of modeling.

    Reply

    • January 23, 2012 at 5:17 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      This is true. Commercial modeling can be very lucrative.

      Reply

  32. January 20, 2012 at 6:15 pm, Dita Divine said:

    I LOL’d, this is a great article.

    Reply

  33. January 19, 2012 at 7:53 pm, Anonymous said:

    I’m 5″3″ and flat as a board…but I still book lots of work! It’s all about finding a niche you fit into…of course I’m not going to get any high fashion work, but I still make a few bucks here and there and I have a TON of fun!

    Reply

    • January 19, 2012 at 10:26 pm, Jlmiller said:

      MY advice would be to remove the implied images and listing if you have it. Most photogs looking for nude models will pass by anyone that does not list nude or implied, also remove erotic if you have it selected. I’ve seen models tick everything and wonder why they are offered nude work. Be specific to what you will and will not do.. state it if you have to.

      Reply

    • January 19, 2012 at 10:41 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      I’m glad you’ve found a path that’s working for you! 🙂 So many good examples of ladies who’ve found their niche in this thread. 🙂

      Reply

    • January 20, 2012 at 6:13 am, Helencamara2 said:

      thanks for ur information, i think those dudes are trying to let us down.

      Reply

    • January 25, 2012 at 11:10 pm, Ellie_giddings said:

      I am the same height as you!!! 🙂
      I get so much work also, and most of it is paid. I’ve been getting found by people on facebook and model mayhem asking me to model for their clothing brands and I have done so much commercial work. This article is the biggest joke!

      Reply

    • January 25, 2012 at 11:11 pm, Ellie_giddings said:

      I am the same height as you!!! 🙂
      I get so much work also, and most of it is paid. I’ve been getting found by people on facebook and model mayhem asking me to model for their clothing brands and I have done so much commercial work. This article is the biggest joke!

      Reply

      • January 26, 2012 at 3:59 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

        Commercial work and acting work isn’t high fashion. Local small designers are not couture, as is made pretty clear in the article. Those are all valid niches, and part of the reason you’re actively working is you’re devoting your time to acting and commercial lifestyle, instead of trying to convince the bookers in a major fashion city that they should sign a model a half a foot shorter than the rest of their roster.

        You’ve clearly missed the point of the post….if you don’t fit fashion standards, don’t pout…work your ass off in the niches you do fit, and have fun.

        The point of the article isn’t shorter models can’t find success, it’s that if you don’t meet high fashion standards, they’re are lots of areas in which you can succeed

        Reply

  34. January 19, 2012 at 4:59 pm, guest said:

    I am interested in fit/fitness, glamour and hair modeling. How do I get into that. The offers that I get are for nude shoots and my page states not nudity. I do not mind doing some implied depending on the assignment, but I am not willing to do nudity. How do I get the offers I want?

    Reply

    • January 19, 2012 at 5:06 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      Hi there…if you want specific advice please inbox me here on Mayhem 🙂

      Reply

  35. January 19, 2012 at 3:16 pm, Mschristinhooten said:

    Im 5’6 n weight 110, and am deaf i have extrememly talents that been told by many and ive a exotic look like marylin moore and i m also deaf thats make much harder for me to be able enter fashion and another kind of agency how do this work.. i would like to break the record since i cant hear but have alot attractive toward modeling and shooting where my talents have shown out loud. where photographers fallen in love with their work i ve help them with. whats the advice?

    Reply

    • January 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      If you’re asking for advice specific to you, please inbox me

      Reply

  36. January 19, 2012 at 12:24 pm, Vickityler said:

    PS if anyone is interested my port on model mayhem is http://www.modelmayhem.com/138047 x

    Reply

  37. January 19, 2012 at 12:23 pm, Vickityler said:

    I am currently looking to commerical/catalougue work and im nearly 31. Im sure they still have older models who model for the likes of Next, Very, M and S and Top Shop and what better way to promote skin care products etc too being in the 30s but still looking like you’re in your 20s. I really want to know the best agencies to go to to find work. I am in the current process of paying a fair amount for a new portfolio and have been told not to spend money on one. Any advice on this and agencies would be much appreciated. Vicki

    Reply

    • January 19, 2012 at 3:55 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      Please inbox me and I’ll do my best to help 🙂

      Reply

  38. January 19, 2012 at 11:04 am, Emilio said:

    I’m always looking for models who are precisely NOT fit for fashion (i.e. not fatally thin, and who have a real figure; see my friends list). It’s a scary thought that many women (and men) will take a nose dive with their health just to model

    Reply

    • January 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      Thin doesn’t always equate to unhealthy, and that’s a bit unfair to the slim ladies. No need to promote one body type by bashing another shape size.

      Individual photographers can cast according to their visual preferences, agencies cast for what will sell best.

      Reply

      • January 21, 2012 at 7:11 pm, randee42 said:

        I don’t think Emilio was bashing anyone. He expressly stated “fatally thin” which I would find anyone hard pressed to say that was a good state to be in. Many do trash their health in order to stay rail thin. What you consider slim, many would consider (wrongly of course) overweight.

        Reply

        • January 25, 2012 at 8:55 pm, Abigail Grogan said:

          I would say I’m fatally thin and I’m healthy as can be.

          Reply

          • May 16, 2014 at 6:16 am, Guest said:

            I eat literally everything but have an extremely fast metabolism. Sometimes tall and thin is just a body type.

          • November 23, 2014 at 8:55 pm, CaraFnParrish said:

            Abigail, do you understand what fatally means? It is impossibly by definition to be so thin it is fatal and to also be healthy. Fatal means causing death……

  39. January 19, 2012 at 10:35 am, Tanya said:

    Hi! Thank you for such a helpful article! My question is, how do you find the agencies that want alternative models?

    Reply

    • January 19, 2012 at 3:54 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      In the US there aren’t really alt agencies (though there are a few in the UK). Most alt work here in the states is booked freelance.

      Reply

  40. January 19, 2012 at 9:11 am, :D said:

    Modeling is probaly one of the hardest careers in the world! I myself am a signed high fashion model and fit all of the requirements…Dont think it makes it a piece of cake! In this industry there is always going to be something wrong with you, and someone to make you feel bad!! There is so much more to modeling then people see… I look at my portfolio and think of all the time and hardwork I have spent!!! I get so many girls asking me for advice on how to start up there modeling career and I am definitly going to tell them to read this!! Great Job!

    Reply

  41. January 19, 2012 at 8:07 am, Marcomarcusmark said:

    I am a singer and a songwriter. I do acting and modeling and almost everything I could. I am a male and I think it’s easier for males to find jobs as there are lesser males than girls in the modeling industry.

    Reply

    • January 19, 2012 at 9:17 am, Lukemccoy55 said:

      really?please tell me where you are at and what agency? i am having no luck here in atlanta,however i am also 6’5

      Reply

  42. January 19, 2012 at 5:10 am, Brittany nicole said:

    Thank you for this article, I was stressing over this awhile ago because I am 5’2″ and round about 145-150 area. I figured i should just give up because i fit none of the requirements for print modeling, again thank you i needed to know wha options could be open for me

    Brittany Nicole

    Reply

    • January 19, 2012 at 5:18 am, Paige Morgan said:

      Hi Brittany!

      Don’t stress the genres you don’t fit, and redirect that effort to the ones you do. Much happier in the end 🙂

      Good luck!

      Reply

  43. January 19, 2012 at 4:15 am, Debra Ann said:

    I had some success as a high fashion model in my earlier years, as i fit the height, and and weight requirements. I was told i was “too commercial.” by the major agencies. Now, I am 43, and work mainly doing pin up, nude, or lingerie shoots. i am curvier now, and more confident. Model mayhem is what got me started. I am one of the few over 40 “cougars on the site, which has become an asset, rather than a hinderance. I get so many wonderful comments by people who are amazed, or inspired by my age, and the fact that women in thir 40’s can be amazingly sexy!
    I have found so many men are attracted to curves, and my age group. I make a fairly steady living, and have lots of fun modeling on Model mayhem. I plan to find an agent that supports my look ASAP. Thanks to all the paid shoots from MM work, i have a variety of photos to show for my book. I love MM. I have my passion back, and am hotter than ever. just stay positive!
    xoxo Debra Ann

    Reply

    • January 19, 2012 at 5:17 am, Paige Morgan said:

      There’s a whole lot more to life than high fashion, as lots of ladies in this thread have shown 🙂

      Best of luck to you!

      Reply

  44. January 19, 2012 at 3:16 am, SoInLove said:

    Love this article…ive been telling aspiring models this for years. Some people cant handle reality and being combative with the truth will leave you broke, old and still unsigned.

    Reply

  45. January 19, 2012 at 1:34 am, Naps29683 said:

    Miss Paige, I think you’ve hit the nail on the head, on both side of the view. I’ve been shooting Glamour & Fashion, Magazine level, since the 80’s and you speak the truth. If you’re the lucky one to make a good living, great. You’ll have a better chance if you figure out your asset and desires. Would be models read this twice.
    I got a dozen cookies for you misspaige. What’s your favorite flavor?

    Reply

    • January 19, 2012 at 2:01 am, Paige Morgan said:

      I like peanut butter, also oatmeal raisin…really not fussy….. I just like cookies 😀

      Reply

  46. January 19, 2012 at 12:58 am, TP said:

    i know someone signed with Ford and they are 5 2

    Reply

    • January 19, 2012 at 1:02 am, Paige Morgan said:

      Exceptions happen, but often have very specific circumstances behind them. 🙂 Would you be so kind as to provide a link so as to be helpful to others? 🙂

      (e.g she’s signed as talent or for a specific market etc.)

      Reply

  47. January 18, 2012 at 11:30 pm, Jlmiller said:

    I have to agree with bentprism, all models should have a read.

    Reply

  48. January 18, 2012 at 10:48 pm, Sean Tiernan said:

    A great article that everyone should read. I’ve reposted a link from my blog to this.

    Reply

  49. January 18, 2012 at 10:16 pm, Joshuahuyck said:

    I think it is not only sad, but rude to gear this whole article on women and clearly singling men out. I expected better work and a much more open mind from a site like yours… Too bad!

    Reply

    • January 18, 2012 at 11:09 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      Josh,

      I’m not as familiar with the male market, and don’t have to deal with their standards/niches as a woman. 😀 I’ve asked repeatedly in this thread for the EDU team to perhaps find a working male model to help 🙂

      Reply

      • January 19, 2012 at 1:28 am, MM Edu said:

        We’re working on it!

        Reply

        • January 19, 2012 at 2:01 am, Paige Morgan said:

          Sweet! Thanks for letting everyone know 🙂

          Reply

  50. January 18, 2012 at 9:24 pm, Melissa Honeybee said:

    Very well written article.

    Reply

  51. January 18, 2012 at 9:04 pm, missd said:

    thank god for this! yes agreed anyone wanting to join an agency or model should read this! theres so many young aspiring models- given false hope/taken down completely the wrong path, or thinking promo is ‘fashion’. Once they’ve gone down that street theres just no way I could use them. Fashion modelling is about selling a product with your look and I think without the right guidance it’s unfortunate to see girls getting false hope and putting themselves in the category of a promo girl.

    Reply

  52. January 18, 2012 at 8:46 pm, Carl Wicker said:

    Hmmm, are these images really neccessary for this article?

    Reply

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:59 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      The EDU team chose the images, as they prefer to run photos. I had originally submitted this piece as pure text. 🙂

      Reply

  53. January 18, 2012 at 8:28 pm, Magdalenasalva said:

    A model has many options too ,i started at 23 and now that i am 26 i am making more money and having more castings…..many times big and famous agencys has loads of model and do not care about some and as they have signed a contract can not leave the agency……and there agencys wich are more comercial and accepted you too….and have very good clients ,so just send your book to many agencies and wait for one to call you , i know for sure you will have many offers ..have a great year!!

    Reply

    • January 18, 2012 at 11:12 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      It’s always good to utilize as many options as you can. 🙂 If you don’t fit one genre…try the plethora of other choices. Much success to you too! 😀

      Reply

    • February 03, 2012 at 12:38 am, Georgette Chantal Estive said:

      Hi, I am going to be 23. I have always wanted to be a model but I don’t have the experience. Do you think I can still learn? How do you recommend I learn to pose?

      Reply

      • June 11, 2013 at 5:09 am, JC Cavanaugh said:

        You are only 23! Why couldn’t you get started now?

        Get going on this. I know models in their 60’s. Age, height and weight are no longer excuses for not succeeding in modeling.

        Reply

        • July 11, 2015 at 9:52 pm, Marquesha Takenomessfromanybod said:

          I can attest to this JC Cavanaugh.

          Reply

      • February 21, 2015 at 3:44 pm, Sandra said:

        I want to start modeling right now too I turned 23 recently. I need to make a portfolio with my pictures. But I don’t know which agencies to submit my pictures too.

        Reply

    • March 06, 2015 at 5:19 pm, yuuplol said:

      I am 23 now and just trying to start out. I need to get an agency etc.
      Ok So I’m 23 (but I look very very young, people always assume I’m in
      high school. even other high schoolers assume i’m their age) BUT I’m
      only 5’5. I have perfect proportions and a high fashion body, only
      problem is I’m short. i live in a small town and have not had the
      opportunity to peruse modeling like i want but i will be graduating soon
      and moving to Atlanta, a bigger city with hopefully more opportunities.
      I have like a victoria secret fashion show body, but only problem is my
      height. Is there any hope for me or am I kidding myself? I know I may
      not be able to do high fashion editorial, but is it realistic that any
      type of modeing could become a career for me? Please, anyone with
      experience or insider knowedge please help me out. Tips? Advice?
      Anything
      Thanks!
      Modeling has always been my dream and I have to
      pursue it, I just don’t know how. But if I go on with life without at
      least trying I will regret it forever. I have a perfect high fashion
      body and a good face and I’m good at taking pictures. I just don’t have
      anything professional under my belt

      Reply

  54. January 18, 2012 at 8:06 pm, Lukemccoy55 said:

    can anybody please answer my question. Is there any agency anywhere that would give a male model 29 who is 6’5 a shot? maybe they cater towards big and tall or whatever. I am constantly told i should model i have a good look as for the face my body is in decent shape but i am not super cut or roided up. any help or direction would be great,thankyou.

    Reply

  55. January 18, 2012 at 8:01 pm, Marleen Vonk said:

    Interesting Article!

    Reply

  56. January 18, 2012 at 8:00 pm, Chrislanston said:

    There is only one way to tell this and it is in truth , and that is what you did here. Im a makeup artist in NYC and work with all the major models and agencies and some celebs and its all fact. Ive been asked a million times by the short girl if i can “hook her up”… UM NO , I CANT. Im gonna refer them to this…
    Thanks for the email.

    Chris Lanston

    Reply

    • January 20, 2012 at 7:16 pm, Ninasmoan said:

      So what would be your advice to a 40-something female model who wants to tell the truth about her age? I’ve been working off and on professionally in NYC for about 15 years, mostly in commercial print. My working age range is 20s and no one second guesses. I want to tell my true age and let that be my platform. (Also I’ve left NYC and am in a small market. I want to do more print and move into more tv.) I’d really appreciate your honest advice Chrislanston.

      Reply

  57. January 18, 2012 at 7:59 pm, Payton said:

    There is one exception to the age rule when it comes to ethnic models. Many ethnic models do not look their age and can start later and last longer in the modeling business. However many ethnic models cannot get down to the size requirements for fashion and are considered to curvy. Agencies also don’t see the benefit in signing many ethnic models unless their clients demand more models of color in their campaigns.

    Reply

    • October 08, 2014 at 6:21 pm, Andrani said:

      There are many other factors other than curves as well as to why models of color are so few and far in between. Stereotypical African features such as a wide nose, for example. In my case, I was directly told by a major agency that my nose was the only reason they did not sign me and that “everything else was perfect”. I met (and still meet) all the requirements for high fashion. I was 16 then. And there are so many girls like me. So it’s more to it that they don’t tell you upfront. And people prefer to stick their heads in the sand when it’s so blatant. I think it’s more that they don’t see the benefit in signing ethic models. They have to be forced to.

      Reply

  58. January 18, 2012 at 7:55 pm, April Hunter said:

    I’ve been modeling since I was 14. I started with catalog. This article is dead accurate. I opted to do pinup/fitness/centerfold after being told at 5’8 1/2 I’m too short for anything else (and perhaps don’t have the look) but I’ve been able to do what many have not…and that is earn a living.

    I’m grateful, but I also get frustrated with the those I see on MM who will do anything to call themselves “professional models”. This isn’t a job that anyone can do if they just ‘want it bad enough’. It’s also not an easy career.
    It’s pretty simple…if you’re not getting paid to shoot, you’re not a professional model.

    Reply

  59. January 18, 2012 at 7:49 pm, Lukemccoy55 said:

    I wish they would address male modeling in this article,what about if you are a 6’5 29 year old guy with a handsome face?any hope for us? lol

    Reply

    • January 18, 2012 at 8:54 pm, Radolgc said:

      Hey Luke, I am sure you can model at any age…it is much much easier for guys, eventhough the standarts has changed a bit and they started hiring little boys, but I am 39 and I am modelling much more now than when i was younger;) You are still very very young…and if you are at last 185 cm(sorry, but not faliliar with the other way of measurements) tall then you can give it a shot…just try to find somebody who can help you build a portfolio…often models pay for that…this is a part of my job as a photographer…it is not true what they say that id somebody makes you pay, it is a scam…no, if you pay to a photographer to take some good photos of you, it is well justified…or if you can not afford it, then simply ask a friend to do it

      Reply

      • January 20, 2012 at 8:47 am, Lukemccoy55 said:

        hey thanks for the advice,i feel like i have a decent portfolio,you can check my page and see for yourself,i think i just need to find the right market and agency and i am having a hard time with that,maybe i should just move to a bigger city like ny,la,or miami.

        Reply

    • January 18, 2012 at 11:13 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      I’m not as familiar with the male side of the market. I’ve asked the EDU team repeatedly in this thread to consider drafting some working male models to help on that score. 🙂

      Reply

  60. January 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm, Slaterlaura231089 said:

    Really great article 🙂 really do highlight the fact models shpuld focus on what they can do instead of what they cant do, lets face it high fashion/runway is so competative. I knew i wouldnt be a high fashion model as was too curvy, have boobs and bum, so just used that to create gorgeous aet nude shots, headshots,beauty shots and glamour shots. Xxx

    Reply

  61. January 18, 2012 at 7:47 pm, Kasha said:

    I have a question. I am 6’3 185 athletic build. I wear a size 12-14 in dress and jeans. I love modeling always have. Where would I fit in? I “look” to small for plus size because of the height and I am to big for high fashion. I am open to any criticisms my MM number is #2334114. Thanks ahead of time!

    Reply

  62. January 18, 2012 at 7:39 pm, Noki said:

    Become your own agency and personal brand! The future of modeling will change! Be an innovator in the industry and no one can hold you back
    Differentiate in another way!

    Reply

    • January 18, 2012 at 9:57 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      Freelancing is always an option, and agencies aren’t a good fit for everyone(even those whom meet their requirements) 🙂 Nothing wrong with rocking it out on your own…just be prepared to work hard. 🙂

      Reply

  63. January 18, 2012 at 7:39 pm, Spiralgemzz said:

    Wow, very informative…thank you!

    Reply

  64. January 16, 2012 at 8:46 am, yu said:

    how do u know if you are high fashion?

    Reply

    • January 18, 2012 at 3:12 am, Meetmisspaige said:

      If you meet the basic physical/sizing requirements….the best step after that is to start hitting the open calls for the agencies in the major market closest to you. The specific looks and trends change rapidly from season to season

      Reply

      • January 19, 2012 at 10:18 pm, yu said:

        thank you!

        Reply

  65. January 16, 2012 at 2:43 am, Gwendolyn Eve Hill said:

    Well said. I am not a full time model because I know I’m not fashion material and there are limitations on what I CAN do. My nitch is fetish modeling. I don’t feel it makes me any less of a model and I am very realistic when I set goals for what I am trying to accomplish. That doesn’t mean I don’t put 100% into my work but really, how many Masuimi Max’s are there? There’s nothing wrong with reaching for the stars. I just think success means different things to different people and I don’t have to sign with Elite or Ford for me to feel successful. I learned about my genre of modeling, the big names in the industry, studied the best of the best and learned how to network and get work. I don’t think I’ve reached the height of my game yet and I can see the shift taking place where I’m spending more time modeling and less at a “real job.” Will I ever be able to quit and model full time? That would be great. But I’m not a tall, 16 year old, 100 lb girl and I know there is a big possibility that will never happen. It is what it is. I’m just happy to do my part.

    Reply

    • January 16, 2012 at 3:33 am, Meetmisspaige said:

      Half of being happy, successful and working when one doesn’t fit the fashion mold is doing exactly what you just described. Fit your niche, work your ass off and network, network, network.

      I’m glad to hear you’re doing well and hope you have continued success in the future, however you personally define that word.

      🙂

      Reply

  66. January 14, 2012 at 11:47 pm, Azrael Sanchez said:

    I just recently developed an interest in the “family business” of modeling (both my parents were magazine models) at the age of 25. I am also a 22/24 plus size….and tattooed…a lot. I understand I am not going to walk down the runway in Milan or anything. I am more interested in plus size alternative pinup work. I have checked it out and my height (yep, I’m 5’5″ also), weight, and look are pretty standard for that style. I have a side business making accessories that I use for my main source of income. Right now, I am working on building a great portfolio. I hate to say this, but I also use my MS as sort of a “gimmick”. It’s my way of being unique and turning a negative into a positive =D I really appreciate this article because it presents the truth of modeling without discouraging anyone from getting into it. Even if it’s just working with some local businesses or small-time magazines, it’s still a confidence-booster!

    Reply

    • January 15, 2012 at 10:54 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      You’re another one that seems to have a solid head on her shoulders and a generally positive outlook. Much success to you in the future 🙂

      Reply

  67. January 12, 2012 at 8:38 pm, Jennifer Bardsley said:

    At the ripe young age of 42 🙂 and about 8 months into this; I am absolutely EXHAUSTED due to the amount of requests and interest but, I am building an amazing portfolio and am enjoying every second of it! I agree on the “Unique” factor and feel that the response I’ve received is indicative of that. Maturity is a wonderful thing and while I may never be (nor have any plans to be) a fashion model; I have no doubt that I have laid the right foundation and will be succesful at it. I hope other models (particularly the younger generation) can find, perfect and accept where “they fit” and be successful at it.

    Reply

    • January 12, 2012 at 9:26 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      Sounds like your head is in the right place and you’re off to a great start! Best of luck to you 🙂

      Reply

    • December 12, 2014 at 6:37 pm, NoTime4Bimbos said:

      It was refreshing to hear you mention your age. I know a lady who’s in her 50’s and graduated from a well-known modeling school and when she graduated they told her that she’d never do runway modeling due to her height (5’4 3/4″). She was devastated. She still looks very young and I think she may still like modeling, but I’m not sure. You know it would be great if someone opened up an agency for older ladies. Heck they have plus-size models, etc. So why not? Good luck to you and everyone else in your endeavors!

      Reply

  68. January 12, 2012 at 8:12 pm, Raqia said:

    does the same rules apply for male models as well?

    Reply

    • January 12, 2012 at 8:40 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      As stated below, this article is for the ladies, as I’m not as well versed in the male side of the industry 😀 Ask the EDU staff and perhaps we can have a working male model break it down for the guys 🙂

      Reply

  69. January 12, 2012 at 7:01 pm, Chris Hurtado said:

    Can you update this for male models? i would like to know if im getting in to late…

    Reply

    • January 12, 2012 at 7:09 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      Being a girl, I rarely deal with the male side of the industry and its standards, I’m sorry . Perhaps EDU can find some working male models to expand on the topic? 🙂

      Reply

  70. January 12, 2012 at 6:35 pm, Autumnone said:

    I think the modeling world is going to ruin a lot of girls making them think the only way you can be seen in nice clothing is if you’re a 00, but as soon as you land a hit record and you’re a size 14 pants then everyone wants you to model. It shouldn’t work like that, girls should have an opportunity to do what Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell did and thats live out your dream and be comfortable.

    Reply

    • January 12, 2012 at 7:08 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      There are modeling genres and niches for a wide variety of types. Not being a fit for high fashion doesn’t mean you can’t model or aren’t beautiful, you just end up modeling for a different segment of the market. The majority of modeling ISN’T high fashion, but that’s the genre that receives the most media attention.

      Reply

      • May 14, 2012 at 9:20 pm, Autumnone said:

        I totaly agree but I also feel as if every girl should have a chance in high fashion not every garment looks good on a stick thin girl, and not every garment looks good on a very plump thick girl. But the modeling world is picking girls who all look the same, same bone structure, hair color, etc when there are girls out here who really have the ‘look’ but not the ‘size’.

        Reply

  71. January 12, 2012 at 4:34 am, Catsolomon said:

    This is the best written Way to explain the modelling industry to newly aspiring girls and young men who wish to be models! its the hard truth followed by years of evidence

    Reply

    • January 12, 2012 at 6:48 am, Paige Morgan said:

      I don’t really go into the male market in this article, just the ladies….perhaps EDU can find some male models who can help explain the guy’s side of the coin? 🙂

      Reply

  72. January 11, 2012 at 11:46 pm, Kimberley Bianca said:

    LOL i have no interest in modeling for an agency or for commercial work. however I am asked all the bloody time! I will get nakey and do dangerous stuff though for ART!

    Reply

    • January 12, 2012 at 1:16 am, Paige Morgan said:

      Art modeling is just as valid as any other genre. If anything, you have to be more adroit at certain skills, just because the killer shot isn’t always created in a cozy studio 😀

      Reply

  73. January 11, 2012 at 6:48 am, Re-use said:

    If there’s a will there’s a way!!!!

    Reply

    • January 11, 2012 at 8:24 am, Paige Morgan said:

      The trick is applying your will to the way that best suits your look 🙂

      Reply

  74. January 10, 2012 at 8:52 pm, Annoula Dritsas said:

    I totally agree with this. A lot of people think it’s easy to become a model, but actually it’s A LOT of work. I am a professional plus size model and in between a size 14/16 and the first year is a slow process, you must TEST as much as possible and just be patient! be confident in your looks and poses and be versatile. The first year is always the hardest because you think you will get overnight success, and sometimes it just doesn’t happen that way. you must stay focused.. i go to the gym every day and eat healthy.. it’s no joke. being passionate about modeling is about heart and dedication, but most importantly, personality. If you’re a little diva, no one will want to work with you.

    Reply

    • January 10, 2012 at 10:02 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      Indeed. Even for those that fit the requirements, getting signed is only the first step. There’s still a lot of work to be done once that hurdle is crossed.

      Reply

  75. January 10, 2012 at 8:19 pm, Marilynl992002 said:

    Thank you so much, Paige.

    This was really informative and helped me a lot. Thank you for sharing your expertise. Will you be having a series of this in the future where you give advise?

    Reply

    • January 10, 2012 at 10:03 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      I don’t know if there will be a series (most likely not), but I’ve been doing my best to answer questions via private messages, Facebook and email 🙂

      Reply

      • January 10, 2012 at 10:53 pm, MM Edu said:

        That said, we’d love to have more of your industry insights here. 😉

        Reply

  76. January 10, 2012 at 6:28 pm, ModelconstanceW said:

    Great article. I do have a question though about ‘lifestyle’ modeling or ‘mature’ modeling.. I have been told there is a demand for this but I am having difficulty finding any reputable agencies near where I live…

    Reply

    • January 10, 2012 at 10:05 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      Lifestyle and mature modeling would be a niche under the commercial umbrella, so look for the agencies and casting directors that work in that field, or that also cast “real people”

      Reply

  77. January 10, 2012 at 6:26 pm, Karri said:

    Awww I’m a size 5… =/ And am a TWIN. And have a unique look/smile. And am 5’10. And work particularly well with cameras. And have experience! AND have an AMAZING motivational background story to tell the world, about rowing up in foster care and rising above the odds. I only wanted an opportunity to get signed and do something big.

    …I had hoped

    Reply

    • January 10, 2012 at 9:59 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      You can still model, and you can still make an effort to get your story out there to inspire others! As the article states, there are a LOT of niches and genres and paths 🙂

      Reply

  78. January 10, 2012 at 5:36 pm, corey said:

    thank you for this helpful article!!!

    Reply

  79. January 10, 2012 at 3:59 am, -Catherine- said:

    Nice post I like the way you explain the fact. Even if I can do fashion it’s also hard to be consider as a commercial model when you have an agency that dosen’t really promote you and your 5,2. Even if I’m photogenic, young , slim and passionate I’M NOT TALL 🙁

    Reply

  80. January 10, 2012 at 3:18 am, Bazookabubbles8 said:

    I will make it!! someway somehow, unique wins.

    Reply

  81. January 10, 2012 at 2:04 am, Joshua J. Mark said:

    Very well written piece and some excellent advice. Great work. Bravo!

    Reply

  82. January 09, 2012 at 11:03 pm, Bootz1989 said:

    Its pretty much something for strong minded people that want it and is confident enough to keep going and know that they are a model and noone can tell them different.. If you fit the qualifications go for it and keep trucking cause everyone has a spot somewhere you just have to show them that they want you

    Reply

  83. January 09, 2012 at 10:33 pm, Mthomas8984 said:

    great adcice thank you

    Reply

  84. January 09, 2012 at 9:11 pm, Lynn_docherty said:

    I love this Paige. It’s honest, realistic, to the point an clears any misunderstandings about the model industry. Fashion modelling is brutal and like you said, in the majority of cases – for the very very young..

    Reply

  85. January 08, 2012 at 7:39 am, Anonymous said:

    Paige…you are so talented…not only are you a fantastic model, but also a talented writer. Cheers!! I really enjoyed reading this…very informative, and everyone on Mayhem should read it. Kudos!!

    Reply

  86. January 08, 2012 at 3:57 am, Janos Kid said:

    I normally do not agree with most of these MM messages, but must say. This is one of the best ones that is in regards to the business. More of these new members who signup and think they can model should read this.

    Reply

  87. January 07, 2012 at 6:52 pm, Demarivisyth said:

    Like anything it’s about finding your niche… finding what is suitable for your look and style. It is best to be realistic and honest with yourself, then you can find what really interests you and where your strengths lie.

    Reply

    • January 07, 2012 at 7:09 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      That is precisely the point I was trying to make. Thank you for taking the piece in it’s intended spirit

      Reply

  88. January 07, 2012 at 4:30 pm, Rob Mulligan said:

    I’ve shot several models who are as beautiful as any in the magazines, but they’re short. Someone from inside the fashion world has to tell them. I’m glad you did, and like the last poster said, this should be required reading for all the new models on MM. It doesn’t mean that they won’t have a career, just not with Victoria’s Secret or Chanel.

    Reply

  89. January 07, 2012 at 5:56 am, Black_foxx said:

    Yup…love the way you broke it smooth down. Very helpful for models and shooters alike. Precisely what both need to know when building their books.

    Reply

  90. January 07, 2012 at 12:57 am, bentprism photography said:

    Every new model on MM should be required to read this, if only to give them a realistic perspective about what it takes to be a model. The number of profiles I’ve read that say “it’s my dream”, “I’ll do what it takes to succeed”, etc., only to see their profiles disappear a few months later or they never login again…well, I don’t think I can count that high.

    Reply

    • June 11, 2013 at 5:07 am, JC Cavanaugh said:

      I couldn’t agree with you more!
      Aspiring models speak of their dreams of becoming a successful model but then immediately begin making as many excuses as they can as to why they won’t succeed!

      I see and hear it constantly! Drives me insane!
      LOL

      Reply

  91. January 06, 2012 at 7:09 pm, Kiana Mari said:

    II am 18 and only 5′ 1″. It’s always been a dream mine to model, but every place I try has turned me down. I suppose maybe I’ve either been looking in all the wrong places, or I just really am too short!

    Reply

    • January 06, 2012 at 8:01 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      It depends on what genres you are comfortable shooting, and which direction you want to head. 5’1″ is too short for fashion sort of stuff, but it’s perfectly fine for glam, beauty, alt, promotions etc. It’s all a matter of picking your battles wisely 🙂

      Reply

      • January 06, 2012 at 11:09 pm, Test said:

        Beauty work, like skincare or cosmetics ads for example, is typically done with agency models who are signed to either the fashion or commercial division. It’s not really a separate genre with a different set of requirements, so you shouldn’t tell short girls they can just be beauty models if they’re too short to interest an agency. Any real client is going to go through an agency.

        Shorter girls can do maxim-style glamour, suicide girls-style “alt” modeling, and they can do alcohol promo at clubs… but I disagree about beauty.

        Reply

        • January 07, 2012 at 12:09 am, Meetmisspaige said:

          Beauty isn’t just cosmetics ads. Hair salons often need models for their style inspiration/guidebooks, before/afters on their websites or for entry into NAHA or other national image competitions. A lot of the “Short Hairstyles” “101 Hairstyles” type of magazines sold on newsstands will also use non agency models.

          Also, hair/make up trade shows are an option (Intercoiffure, IBS,IHS) if you also have a bit of runway experience and are reasonably tall (5’6″-5’7″), as well as instructional videos/classes that larger companies sometimes use for training employees.

          Smaller make up companies and those serving niche markets (Manic Panic, Lime Crime etc.) have also used non agency girls.

          All of them need “beauty” (head/shoulders, focused on the hair/ make up) style shots, and can be a good option for girls whom have strong faces and aren’t opposed to dramatic style changes.

          One can not make a living (or get signed) on beauty style work in and of itself, but it’s a good tool to have in your arsenal as a shorter model.

          Reply

  92. January 06, 2012 at 5:36 pm, Steven Paul Hlavac said:

    Excellent article, especially for those that are new to the business, and have less than a clear understanding of the different categories and divisions of modeling…

    Reply

  93. January 06, 2012 at 3:32 pm, Fed_up_with_prejudice said:

    There are many agencies that hire models of all sorts. in both print & fashion and also promotional modeling. You have to know the genre you fit into. Many print models are very famous for what they do and make oodles more than their coat hanger cousins of the runway/fashion. promo models make a good living the majority of them are 5-0 – 5-6 sz0-14 print models are of all shapes, sizes and age. Can I submit a photo to AARP of a 20 yr old? or a sz 0 to weight watcher magazine?
    There is enough work for the attractive models on this site so you don’t need to discourage the competition.

    Reply

    • January 06, 2012 at 4:08 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      As discussed, in the article itself, not everyone is a fit for high fashion, that that fact has nothing to do with not being beautiful, and there are tons of other niches/markets to choose from, in which you can be successful

      I also make note of plus models and commercial models having different criteria than couture runway ladies, as well as being able to work far longer.

      Promotional modeling is a nice way to boost income, but has very different job duties than any other type of modeling, and requires a different skill set.

      The point is not get so caught up on high fashion or getting signed(even if you might not be the best fit for what they’re looking for), that you miss out on a plethora of other niches you could be doing splendidly in.

      As stated in the article bio and on my MM page, I myself am short/curvy by fashion standards, (a 5’7″ size 8).

      Reply

  94. January 06, 2012 at 2:27 am, Sweet Annie Marie said:

    Thanks for the information. I’m on the edge of deciding whether to bother seeking representation or not. I get paid work (very little, but hey, there it is!). It is true that the model has to fit the sample size in fashion work. On the other end of the spectrum, I have been a fitting model for a line of shirts aimed at large-busted, non-plus-sized women. I wear a size 6-8 pant, but even size 10-12 shirts are a disaster for business wear. With the advent of etsy and specialized websites, even top or bottom heavy models can find fashion work if they look diligently. I’ve also modeled with tires for a local shop who just wanted a ‘hot’ chick. Age? Size? Meh. They just liked my ample assets. I have a lot of fun doing this as a side gig and as a middle finger to people who think women expire at 25. Mainly, I do this for the fun.

    You’re so right about knowing what your strong areas are. If female models could stop hating on themselves and marketing their best assets, they’d do much better in getting TF and paid gigs. I NEVER dreamed at my age someone would pay me to pose.

    I will issue one tiny quibble. Pinup is freaking expensive to get into. You have to supply your own costuming, and you will absolutely have to pay to get pro pinup pics for your port–unless you are a well-known burlesque dancer/pinup. Believe me. I adore pinup…ouch. And I have a professional career.

    Reply

    • January 06, 2012 at 3:08 am, Meetmisspaige said:

      Modeling for clothing lines is possible for non standard ladies, but it’s for local designers, specialty lines (like the specialty line you’ve mentioned for curvier girls that you yourself have worked for), and those are slightly different animals than the high fashion, NYC/Paris/Milan couture.

      Pin up isn’t that expensive, for the basics. A good lingerie set, a garter belt/thigh highs and heels can work perfectly nicely, as well as certain styles of swim suit (high wasted bikinis, halter malliots with pretty detailing).

      A lot of it is getting the period appropriate feel via the clothing/hair/make up…though a custom corset or other expensivepiece can’t hurt, they aren’t strictly necessary 🙂

      Reply

      • January 06, 2012 at 3:54 am, Sweet Annie Marie said:

        Let’s just say I have expensive taste when I comes to pinup! Especially the historically-accurate 1940s-1950s stuff. I can do the makeup, but I have decided that my hair is best left to a pro.

        This is why I love what I consider modern pinup (implied). It’s the pinupstyle of today. I have some classic pin-up in my port, but without the hair stylist…never would have worked.

        Then again, my idol is my dance teacher Coco Lectric.

        A good sexy lingerie shoot always works for me! Super cheap, too. It’s surprising what a cheap pair of painful peep-toe heels, crappy thigh-highs, and cute undies can do with a good photographer!

        Reply

  95. January 05, 2012 at 7:49 pm, Legacy UK said:

    There are many alternative Agencies out there which do not look for strict guidelines and with the ever increase in new fashion like steampunk, alternative, gothic models who do not fit the above can have a healthy successful career in this field.

    Reply

    • January 05, 2012 at 8:26 pm, Meetmisspaige said:

      The only one I know of is Ugly UK. I’m sure all of the lovely alt models out there would be pleased if you can provide some other options. 🙂 (I know there are also glamour specific agencies in the UK, which is something we don’t have much of in the states.)

      Reply

    • January 06, 2012 at 7:27 pm, Pop Antique said:

      Personally I find it super annoying when girls go, “I can’t be a fashion model? I’m an ALT MODEL!”
      …alternative modeling is not just about being too short for fashion. It’s also a lifestyle thing.
      The nice thing is, though, specialty fashion designers and their market are far less particular about models having fashion stats.
      The downside is, these designers very often use their very talented friends to model their garments so it is sometimes hard to break in with them. The more popular the line, the harder it is to get in because everybody is clamoring to be a part of their world.

      Reply

      • January 07, 2012 at 2:41 am, Meetmisspaige said:

        “Alt” covers a wide field. Goth,punk,rockabilly,metal,cyber,steampunk, fetish, the body modification community…..a lot of subcultures contribute to the visual vocabulary of alternative fashion and alternative modeling…so I’m not sure that I agree that alt as a broad catergory is a lifestyle choice. “Alt” tend to be an umbrella term for modeling that showcases subcultures/lifestyle choices outside of the mainstream, but which one any given girl identifies with varies. 🙂

        Reply

  96. January 05, 2012 at 7:34 pm, Khend said:

    Lovely article, and very informative, thanks. 🙂
    There are a lot of different modeling jobs out there, so dont beat ourself down even if high-end fashion is out of your reach.

    Reply

    • January 06, 2012 at 3:13 am, Paige Morgan said:

      Thanks! You took it in precisely the spirit in which it was intended 🙂

      Reply

      • January 07, 2012 at 12:12 am, Asgquark said:

        Excelent article. It even helps the amateur photographers like me…

        Reply

        • January 17, 2012 at 12:52 pm, Jakjuju said:

          hi there could someone let me know if there is a place for a 5.10 36 year woman looking to do topless modelling???? its something ive thought about for years and would love to do, im not sure where to start and would like abit of advice please…

          Reply

          • May 16, 2014 at 6:56 am, Jane O'Hannigan said:

            I am very interested in modeling. I am 5’9″ and about 110 lbs, as well as 15 years old. A lot of people have wanted to be models for a while. i am one one of them. lol. How would I get started?

  97. January 05, 2012 at 5:58 pm, Brian Morris said:

    Way to put it up and Knock it down…Fashion is an industry of NO, so get used to it.

    Agencies dont have time for drama so be professional and stand tall.

    Reply

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