Forums > Model Colloquy > Why Does Height Matter?


Fotografica Gregor

Posts: 4126

Alexandria, Virginia, US

Height matters in the fashion industry because the people who pay the bills say it does. 

They ultimately pay the bills, and the client is always right.

Agencies who want to supply models to the clientele need to take their wishes into account.

Photographers who want to work for these clients also need to develop a portfolio that shows their work with models of the sort that the client would want to use.

So its simple really -  follow the money.

Feb 05 13 07:35 am Link



Posts: 4226

Jacksonville, Florida, US


"Why Does Height Matter?"

At least a century of marketing research indicates a human preference for head height to overall body height as well as "sample dress size".  The range of those height ratios for overall heights of 5'9"-to-5'11" (for females) in printed images and runway shows has also been researched and shown to sell the most product.

The height ratio range (above) seems to be a human species genetic imprint similar to the "Golden Rectangle" ratio preference.

That ratio preference does not seem to apply to glamour and celebrity modeling.


Feb 05 13 02:31 pm Link


Melodye Joy

Posts: 545

Rancho Cucamonga, California, US

Samantha Schiumo wrote:
Just Curious...

Why does Height matter in this industry????

I'm 5'4 & 130lbs (mostly all muscle)

I've been told by MANY photographers that "You're too muscular to do editorial" "You're too short for fashion" "You're too fat to even model"
Just like EVERY model in this modeling world, I've heard every critique in the book. Now, it doesn't get under my skin anymore...except the height issue.

I know there are petite agencies out there but, I believe there isn't enough compared to the high fashion world. For years I've been trying to get represented either in the fitness, commercial or petite field but, the majorirty of agencies all focus on the beautiful 5'8 & up models. I feel like us "little people" deserve more credit than we recieve. Why are we..well..neglected compared to the "tall models?" We breathe the same air so, why can't we walk the same walk or pose the same pose?
I'm pretty sure if you put a $10,000 diamond necklace piece on a 5'8 model, it'll look just as good if a 5'4 model wears it.
I'm pretty sure if a 5'8 model struts her stuff on the runway wearing Victoria Secret lingerie, it'll look just as sexy if a 5'4 model does her diva walk.
What do "tall models" have that "We" don't? Just longer legs or am I missing something? I don't get it.

For example, I met with an agent yesterday & she was shocked to hear I was 5'4. She said in my photos I looked 5'8...Also, not trying to toot my own horn but a few years ago I did a runway show & it was me & another petite model surrounded by five other tall beautiful skyscrapping woman! After the show the owner of the fashion line pulled me aside & said I was the best walker! Ofcourse hearing these compliments build my confidence yet I can't help but it go through one ear & out the other because my height will never take me to "new heights!"

I believe all models are equal yet unique in their own way! We're not perfect but we do share the same passion! We have our strengths & weaknesses! I just don't understand why popular agencies are strict regarding height..No matter what size we are, we all deserve to prove our talent is one of a kind smile

**And please don't misinterpret my message into thinking I have grudges against "tall people!" I'm just honestly & sincerely curious on who made this "rule book" on why it seems like the taller you are, the further you succeed in modeling.**

God Bless!!!! smile

Height matters because of the cut, shape, style of the dress. Im not going to fit well in this...though it was fun to do that shoot and a fantastic experience, the dress was dragging the ground , as you can see. The right side of the dress is puckering at the shoulder as well. It worked well for print work but if that were a runway, boy would I be in a mess!

Another reason height matters is the illusion of a grand fantasy rarely reached, same as how we view celebrities. They are not unattainable, but we certainly like to hold them in high regard.

Commercial work may or may not be your thing, where it CAN incorporate various aspects of modeling (fashion included) but it will be rare to find (fashion) unless its local.

God bless and just enjoy the ride while you can!
Never know what will happen, as fashion and modeling changes almost daily!

Feb 07 13 03:25 pm Link


M Pandolfo Photography

Posts: 12117

Tampa, Florida, US

I agree with the OP. The modeling world is unreasonably strict. Instead of only a select few, every pretty girl who is 5'0 and taller should be allowed to model.

But then the ugly, 4'10" girls would be complaining. Hmm...ok, they can model too.

Feb 07 13 03:36 pm Link


Alivia Autumn

Posts: 610

Seattle, Washington, US

Another one!!

Feb 07 13 03:37 pm Link



Posts: 727

Englishtown, New Jersey, US

WOW my post is old...I get it/got it smile

Feb 07 13 05:48 pm Link


Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7337

New York, New York, US

Amanda_G wrote:
Simply put, clothing hangs better on tall models.  Designers want their fashions to be seen, and seen well.  Tall models have a presence on the runway that short models simply do not. 

I'm not saying that shorter models aren't as pretty, or can't pose as well, etc...that's not the case.  That's a moot point.

But in short, that's why height matters.

Large bill boards that

Feb 07 13 07:53 pm Link


Courtney L Cameron

Posts: 72

Miami Beach, Florida, US

Depends on the agency. I have known a few girls to get signed on at 5'7 but they had very interesting looks. The point of a models height is often times to showcase clothes... They tend to look more flattering on a taller figure!

Feb 12 13 03:01 pm Link