Forums > Model Colloquy > Should I Lie About My Age?

Model

io

Posts: 2353

New York, New York, US

I've always been one of those people who believed that withholding or lying about one's age is ridiculous. I always thought it was far better to be a well-maintained 30something than a somewhat ragged 20something. That said, having just turned 30, I've begun running into some things that make me question whether or not I should (on paper) lie about my age when it comes to modeling jobs.

It started when I was called in for a casting asking for women in their late 20's to early 30's. Upon seeing me in person they did not believe my age (until I showed my ID) and then they said my look was far too young and that I should apply to castings for the under-25 set. I was flattered, but I also lost a great paying job and hours of my time.

Now at a point in my career where I'm relying heavily on modeling for supplemental income, I don't want to miss potential opportunities because people think I will look older than I actually do. What should I do?

Feel free to look at my portfolio (especially the main profile page with the very recent behind-the-scenes and makeup-free shots), and help me out. Suggestions for or against, or how young I should advertise myself as being able to depict would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Mar 21 13 01:06 pm Link

Photographer

L2Photography net

Posts: 2539

University City, Missouri, US

NO.. Oh well if you want to say 29.. You have very strong port and if someone is looking for a young 21 year old you would not get it, but if they are looking for a model with a strong port your would and age would not matter. To me any way.
L2

Mar 21 13 01:12 pm Link

Photographer

DAN CRUIKSHANK

Posts: 1786

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

No, you should not lie about your age.

Mar 21 13 01:14 pm Link

Model

Rose Valentina

Posts: 67

London, England, United Kingdom

Personally, I don't believe in lying about age even if you do look younger. You might have to show ID anyway so you'd get found out..

Mar 21 13 01:19 pm Link

Photographer

Nico Simon Princely

Posts: 1889

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

You are only as old as you look and feel and act.

In modeling and acting your age can be a detriment. Which is why actresses and actors often say my age range is X to X i.e.  25-30.

If you can truly pull off 24 I would not say you are 30 as on sites like MM you might just get filtered out of searches.  In person I would say the age range or put it in the bio.

Unfortunately people are judged way too  much on their age and really it means very little. I have met people in their 20s that look in their 30's and people in their late 30's that look in their 20's.

If you a person under 18 you should definitely not lie about that as that could have seriously legal ramifications depending on the type of shoot especially any nudity.

But older over 18 claiming younger when they look it. Not a big deal as long as you state it properly.

Mar 21 13 01:19 pm Link

Photographer

Yan Tan Tethera

Posts: 4184

Biggleswade, England, United Kingdom

This thread will be on the Internet for ever.

Just saying.

Mar 21 13 01:20 pm Link

Model

Less Than Two

Posts: 23401

Ann Arbor, Michigan, US

I'd say that you could still do castings for a younger age range (provided you're being realistic about it), because if they like your look, it won't likely matter. But you probably don't need to lie about your age.

Mar 21 13 01:21 pm Link

Photographer

PDF IMAGES PHOTOGRAPHY

Posts: 4603

Jacksonville, Florida, US

NO lying will only come back to bite you in the long run...JMHO smile

Mar 21 13 01:22 pm Link

Photographer

Marin Photography NYC

Posts: 7249

New York, New York, US

Judging by your port and your look, your age hardly matters. You rock! Don't lie about it, be proud of it!....

Mar 21 13 01:28 pm Link

Photographer

DougBPhoto

Posts: 38616

Portland, Oregon, US

If it helps you get included in casting/searches that you feel you may be missing out on, go ahead and fudge a little.

At 30, I don't think anyone is going to give a damn if you're 29 or 31, it is not like you're 42 or something and still trying to claim 29.

The only issue would be if there are any modeling jobs that you could get as a 30 year-old but you would be EXCLUDED if you were 29, but I'm not aware of any such situations.

Mar 21 13 01:32 pm Link

Model

JoJo

Posts: 25558

Clearwater, Florida, US

io wrote:
I've always been one of those people who believed that withholding or lying about one's age is ridiculous. I always thought it was far better to be a well-maintained 30something than a somewhat ragged 20something. That said, having just turned 30, I've begun running into some things that make me question whether or not I should (on paper) lie about my age when it comes to modeling jobs.

It started when I was called in for a casting asking for women in their late 20's to early 30's. Upon seeing me in person they did not believe my age (until I showed my ID) and then they said my look was far too young and that I should apply to castings for the under-25 set. I was flattered, but I also lost a great paying job and hours of my time.

Now at a point in my career where I'm relying heavily on modeling for supplemental income, I don't want to miss potential opportunities because people thing I will look older than I actually do. What should I do?

Feel free to look at my portfolio (especially the main profile page with the very recent behind-the-scenes and makeup-free shots), and help me out. Suggestions for or against, or how young I should advertise myself as being able to depict would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Lie, as in attempt to fraudulently represent yourself as something you are not – no.

Lie, as in the same manner that many photographers claim ‘professional’ status, 20 years experience, numerous publication credits (aka exaggerate the truth) – with great caution.

Not tell the full gospel truth about your chronological age, as in saying you’re a “mid 20s-ish model” – yes, provided you are indeed a “mid 20s-ish model” that just happens to be 30-something years old.

Mar 21 13 01:38 pm Link

Photographer

Garry k

Posts: 27267

Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

I used to think that in the fashion llamaling world there was a strict expectation that llamas  be honest about their ages

but then a 26 yr old ( asian ) llama friend of mine got signed with one of my citys top agencies - which then proceeded to market her as a 19 yr new comer

the sense I got from that was that its more about how old you look than actually are

Mar 21 13 01:39 pm Link

Model

K I C K H A M

Posts: 14636

Los Angeles, California, US

Honestly, I think I'll get flamed for this, but yes, lie.

For most girls I'd say "no," because EVERYONE thinks they look younger than they are. But you are an experienced model, and you probably know your age range pretty well. Definitely shoot at the higher end than the lower-- no reason to put yourself up against 20 year olds. If you pass for 23-26 as your age range, I'd say pick 25 or 26. Don't pick an age that makes people question.

The fact is, people will come here and tell you not to lie, but I've done the SAME THING and gone to castings wasting my time, being told, "Honey, you aren't old enough for this job."

And young mom in LA can make BANK, so I'm not really dreading the time that I start fitting in.

Mar 21 13 01:44 pm Link

Model

Danielle Hieronimi

Posts: 238

Chicago, Illinois, US

It is typical to state your age in a range.

i.e.

"I'm a model for girls aged 14-20."

instead of

"I'm an 18-year-old model."

On MM, your real age is fine. But in the industry, always give a range.

Mar 21 13 01:50 pm Link

Model

Danielle Hieronimi

Posts: 238

Chicago, Illinois, US

K I C K H A M wrote:
Honestly, I think I'll get flamed for this, but yes, lie.

For most girls I'd say "no," because EVERYONE thinks they look younger than they are. But you are an experienced model, and you probably know your age range pretty well. Definitely shoot at the higher end than the lower-- no reason to put yourself up against 20 year olds. If you pass for 23-26 as your age range, I'd say pick 25 or 26. Don't pick an age that makes people question.

The fact is, people will come here and tell you not to lie, but I've done the SAME THING and gone to castings wasting my time, being told, "Honey, you aren't old enough for this job."

And young mom in LA can make BANK, so I'm not really dreading the time that I start fitting in.

+1

Mar 21 13 01:50 pm Link

Model

K I C K H A M

Posts: 14636

Los Angeles, California, US

For the people saying, "You're so awesome! Your age doesn't matter!"

False. It does.

You get called in for castings and auditions based on your look, which includes your age.

I've been sold as my own age, and I've been sold as younger. Half the time I show up for castings for my own age, I am turned away, because I don't have the "look" they need.

When my agency sells me as younger, I go on castings that are closed off to anyone over 22. So, yes, if they didn't lie about my age, it WOULD matter, and I would waste all my time going for jobs I don't fit the part of.

You can say it doesn't matter all you want, but when a girl comes in and says she is losing work, money, and her livelihood because she's going out for jobs she doesn't fit the description of, it quite clearly does matter.

Oh, and so far as getting found out, most clients don't search the bazillion girls they are calling in on MM, and once you're in the door, THAT's when your age doesn't matter anymore. But getting in the door for a job for a 25 year old when you're 30 is tough, no matter what your photos look like.

Mar 21 13 01:53 pm Link

Photographer

Nico Simon Princely

Posts: 1889

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

K I C K H A M wrote:
For the people saying, "You're so awesome! Your age doesn't matter!"

False. It does.

You get called in for castings and auditions based on your look, which includes your age.

I've been sold as my own age, and I've been sold as younger. Half the time I show up for castings for my own age, I am turned away, because I don't have the "look" they need.

When my agency sells me as younger, I go on castings that are closed off to anyone over 22. So, yes, if they didn't lie about my age, it WOULD matter, and I would waste all my time going for jobs I don't fit the part of.

You can say it doesn't matter all you want, but when a girl comes in and says she is losing work, money, and her livelihood because she's going out for jobs she doesn't fit the description of, it quite clearly does matter.

Oh, and so far as getting found out, most clients don't search the bazillion girls they are calling in on MM, and once you're in the door, THAT's when your age doesn't matter anymore. But getting in the door for a job for a 25 year old when you're 30 is tough, no matter what your photos look like.

+1 100% True. And look of Age is variable from person to person  unlike clothing and shoe sizes.

Mar 21 13 01:57 pm Link

Photographer

Tim Media

Posts: 95

Columbia, Missouri, US

Nico Simon Princely wrote:
You are only as old as you look and feel and act.

In modeling and acting your age can be a detriment. Which is why actresses and actors often say my age range is X to X i.e.  25-30.

If you can truly pull off 24 I would not say you are 30 as on sites like MM you might just get filtered out of searches.  In person I would say the age range or put it in the bio.

Unfortunately people are judged way too  much on their age and really it means very little. I have met people in their 20s that look in their 30's and people in their late 30's that look in their 20's.

If you a person under 18 you should definitely not lie about that as that could have seriously legal ramifications depending on the type of shoot especially any nudity.

But older over 18 claiming younger when they look it. Not a big deal as long as you state it properly.

+10

The real fact of the matter is, everyone lies about something.  From the government down to your local pastor.  Some for good reasons, some for bad.  No one on this thread should be saying "don't lie", if they have lied before.

Mar 21 13 02:07 pm Link

Photographer

Nico Simon Princely

Posts: 1889

Las Vegas, Nevada, US

One more note.

I'm not advocating dishonesty. I'm one of those brutally honest people, that even self-corrects when I'm not being accurate.

But age is truly relative from person to person. I don't tell my age for a many reasons and have found that I create greater rapport with people because I'm not being judged upfront by a number.

People automatically place all of the judgments associated with an age on your as soon as you tell them even if at an unconscious level.

Mar 21 13 02:14 pm Link

Model

Joanna Chamberlain

Posts: 1

London, England, United Kingdom

I came into this completely naive and put my real age, then found out that others my age put they are 45, I was cross at the time that I had been so honest and couldn't change it but now I am glad as most of my work comes from being over 50! So its swings and roundabouts I suppose

Mar 21 13 02:20 pm Link

Photographer

Looknsee Photography

Posts: 21687

Portland, Oregon, US

I'm 20 years old (and have been for the past 40 years).

Your look is more important than your age. 

Lots of people think they can pass for being younger.  Only some of them are right.  Similarly, lots of people tell the truth about their age, but they will always look older.

But it is kinda a sin to say your are 25 and show up to a shoot looking like you are 35.

Okay -- I really am older than 20, and I guess I don't know what I'm saying any more. 

What was the question?

Mar 21 13 02:39 pm Link

Model

IDiivil

Posts: 4127

Los Angeles, California, US

As far as I am aware, agency models are often expected to hide their age and instead speak in what age-range their look can pass off for.

That isn't such an easy option for MM, but from my personal experience in speaking and seeing other models and how they work, it is best to try and follow the agency model rule in that regard. Some models just list themselves as 100 and over on their MM profile. Others choose an age they feel their look fits.

Your call in that regard.

Mar 21 13 02:44 pm Link

Model

Laura UnBound

Posts: 27373

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I would set your MM age to the age that you think best fits your look, so youre found when people search/cast by age.

it doesnt matter if they later find out youre actually 30...they obviously thought you looked younger or they wouldnt have booked you in the first place.

Mar 21 13 02:57 pm Link

Model

io

Posts: 2353

New York, New York, US

What I mean by "lie" is not to tell them a false age outright if asked, but change my age online to about 26-28 so that I'm not excluded from those younger casting calls or searches because I'm 30. You guys feel me? It seems that at 30, castings begin to get very...well...not my look. I would LOVE if MM and other sites had age ranges, because I'd hit 25-30 every time, but alas, I'm here with my real age which doesn't accurately represent my look.

Mar 21 13 03:06 pm Link

Model

io

Posts: 2353

New York, New York, US

Nico Simon Princely wrote:
You are only as old as you look and feel and act.

In modeling and acting your age can be a detriment. Which is why actresses and actors often say my age range is X to X i.e.  25-30.

If you can truly pull off 24 I would not say you are 30 as on sites like MM you might just get filtered out of searches.  In person I would say the age range or put it in the bio.

Unfortunately people are judged way too  much on their age and really it means very little. I have met people in their 20s that look in their 30's and people in their late 30's that look in their 20's.

If you a person under 18 you should definitely not lie about that as that could have seriously legal ramifications depending on the type of shoot especially any nudity.

But older over 18 claiming younger when they look it. Not a big deal as long as you state it properly.

Thank you!!! Exactly, this is mainly for filtered searches, I would state actual age in my bio.

Mar 21 13 03:08 pm Link

Model

io

Posts: 2353

New York, New York, US

K I C K H A M wrote:
Honestly, I think I'll get flamed for this, but yes, lie.

For most girls I'd say "no," because EVERYONE thinks they look younger than they are. But you are an experienced model, and you probably know your age range pretty well. Definitely shoot at the higher end than the lower-- no reason to put yourself up against 20 year olds. If you pass for 23-26 as your age range, I'd say pick 25 or 26. Don't pick an age that makes people question.

The fact is, people will come here and tell you not to lie, but I've done the SAME THING and gone to castings wasting my time, being told, "Honey, you aren't old enough for this job."

And young mom in LA can make BANK, so I'm not really dreading the time that I start fitting in.

Exactly! Thank you. And yeah, I'd never claim younger than 26, though some have said 25 -- stills makes me edgy.

Mar 21 13 03:10 pm Link

Photographer

Cherrystone

Posts: 36719

Columbus, Ohio, US

If you really look younger, and want to do it for purposes of folks who enter age into the search, why not?

Keep in mind some folks don't look as young as they'd like to think. In other words, I wouldn't make an ass of myself. 29 seems to be a sticking point with some, when it's obvious to a blind man they're no more 29, than I'm 29. (my offspring are over 29)

One model in particular I worked with many times.....you'd never guess her true age in a million years. For purposes of attracting paid shoots from people who are anal about using age in the search engine, I strongly suggested she list herself as 20-22, when she asked for my opinion.

Frankly, I don't care about age with the exception of a narrow group of people. It's about how I think you look.

You look good. smile

Mar 21 13 03:11 pm Link

Model

io

Posts: 2353

New York, New York, US

Small Fruit Pits wrote:
If you really look younger, and want to do it for purposes of folks who enter age into the search, why not?

Keep in mind some folks don't look as young as they'd like to think. In other words, I wouldn't make an ass of myself. 29 seems to be a sticking point with some, when it's obvious to a blind man they're no more 29, than I'm 29. (my offspring are over 29)

One model in particular I worked with many times.....you'd never guess her true age in a million years. For purposes of attracting paid shoots from people who are anal about using age in the search engine, I strongly suggested she list herself as 20-22, when she asked for my opinion.

Frankly, I don't care about age with the exception of a narrow group of people. It's about how I think you look.

You look good. smile

Thank you for that! For the sake of honestly, I make my age range and real age clear in my bio, but for search purposes I am 26. I would not list being 25 or under. This is strictly so that I'm not filtered, as I can't tell you how much work I've gotten for casting calls on Craigslist and FaceBook which wanted women 24-26 and for which I applied on looks alone (not stating my age).

Mar 21 13 03:18 pm Link

Model

Sierra McKenzie

Posts: 711

Seattle, Washington, US

Agency models are told to lie about their age all the time.

If most of the castings in your area are looking for people under 30 I'd feel free to knock it down a few years.

But I'd also respond to castings of a younger age bracket if you look the age. Especially with email castings where age isn't the first thing they look at anyway. I've been hired to play anywhere from a 14 year old (young adult book trailer) to late twenties. So yeah, don't miss out on opportunities just because of your number age.

Mar 23 13 09:51 pm Link

Model

io

Posts: 2353

New York, New York, US

Sierra McKenzie wrote:
Agency models are told to lie about their age all the time.

If most of the castings in your area are looking for people under 30 I'd feel free to knock it down a few years.

But I'd also respond to castings of a younger age bracket if you look the age. Especially with email castings where age isn't the first thing they look at anyway. I've been hired to play anywhere from a 14 year old (young adult book trailer) to late twenties. So yeah, don't miss out on opportunities just because of your number age.

Wow, though looking at your port, I could definitely buy you as a teen. Alas, I fear the youngest possible I could ever get away with is 22....my bone structure is way too hard otherwise.

Mar 23 13 10:29 pm Link

Model

Sierra McKenzie

Posts: 711

Seattle, Washington, US

io wrote:

Wow, though looking at your port, I could definitely buy you as a teen. Alas, I fear the youngest possible I could ever get away with is 22....my bone structure is way too hard otherwise.

But that is great for most castings!

You MAY even think about trying to do a photo of yourself that DOES look a bit older. And use it as a headshot when replying to commercial castings that are looking for 30+. (Most of my commercial castings are not on mm, and so I attach headshots through email). Many of the castings I see are looking for people that look older and respectable (things like commercials for banks and such). If you can pull off the mature business-woman sort of look for a headshot, you might be able to open up the range you're getting work for even more! If you can get castings from 22-32 year olds, you've got a huge chunk of the work out there!

But yeah I never would have guessed you were 30!

Mar 23 13 10:41 pm Link

Model

Stormee

Posts: 2463

San Antonio, Texas, US

Mar 23 13 10:56 pm Link

Photographer

Bare Essential Photos

Posts: 3409

Upland, California, US

I would hesitate to do a shoot with a model who is insecure with herself because it will come across in the image. A confident model always has an advantage over one who doubts herself.

You may want to check out Russian Katerina's #104269 portfolio. She exudes confidence!

Mar 23 13 11:11 pm Link

Photographer

Ken Marcus Studios

Posts: 8494

Los Angeles, California, US

You can lie all you want . . . but before I can pick up my camera, I'll have to see two  forms of your ID, including a government issued picture ID

What good will it do for you to be known as someone that lies ?

KM

Mar 23 13 11:19 pm Link

Photographer

faltered

Posts: 285

Los Angeles, California, US

Agencies will list you at the youngest age they think you can actually pull off at a casting. The big money is in the juniors market and agencies will fake your age for as long as they can as long as you're still booking jobs in that age bracket. Bookers tell their older models all the time to lie about their age. Sure when it comes W-9 time the client will find out but they don't care if they got the shot they wanted. It's not so much that the client is insistent that the model really be that age, they just put that in the casting call to basically say "make sure the girls you send to the casting can pull off that age range". Lie Lie Lie.

Mar 23 13 11:27 pm Link

Photographer

Will Snizek Photography

Posts: 1387

Beckley, West Virginia, US

Lies can be beneficial at times, but can come back to bite you.  It's always my policy to be honest regardless of the outcome.

Mar 24 13 03:17 am Link

Photographer

photo212grapher

Posts: 1550

Saint Louis, Missouri, US

io wrote:

Thank you!!! Exactly, this is mainly for filtered searches, I would state actual age in my bio.

+1. Do this! If someone running a filtered search absolutely needs a particular age range, it is up to them to read your profile in detail before contacting you and for them to state to you in the contact the particular requirements for the shoot.

Mar 24 13 04:55 am Link

Model

Kelleth

Posts: 2528

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

This is why I prefer when casting companies ask you to list your age range and not your actual age. What ages you could pull off are so much more relevant than your actual age in most cases.

Mar 24 13 09:45 am Link

Photographer

Rich Burroughs

Posts: 3259

Portland, Oregon, US

Ken Marcus Studios wrote:
You can lie all you want . . . but before I can pick up my camera, I'll have to see two  forms of your ID, including a government issued picture ID

What good will it do for you to be known as someone that lies ?

I wouldn't hold it against a model, lying about their age. If their look fits the project I really couldn't care less. I'm 47 and people typically guess my age at least 10 years younger, so I totally understand the situation. It's nice looking young but I know I wouldn't be cast to play a 47 year old business man.

I really would not guess the OP is 30.

Mar 24 13 09:54 am Link

Photographer

Art Silva

Posts: 9460

Santa Barbara, California, US

It's amazing how many models lie about their age and how some post 100+ on their MM profile. Not my place to ask why but it happens.

I never really care about age (except making sure they are 18+), I just require current photos in their portfolio without lots of airbrushing. As long as they have the look I'm looking for, that's all I care about.

I recently shot a 40 y/o and I was blown away by her figure and skin, better than some 20 something's.

Mar 24 13 12:13 pm Link