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Model
Samxiam
Posts: 678
Englishtown, New Jersey, US


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
Jan 12 12 01:01 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Room157
Posts: 961
Raleigh, North Carolina, US


I didn’t read all that…

Height matters because designers cut their samples to fit a certain type model. They don’t waste time cutting samples to fit models of all height and weight etc.

Agencies hire models with a specific height and build to fit those samples.
Jan 12 12 01:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Paige Morgan
Posts: 4,058
New York, New York, US


Jan 12 12 01:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Amanda_G
Posts: 234
Los Angeles, California, US


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.
Jan 12 12 01:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Fifi
Posts: 58,133
Annapolis, Maryland, US


As a sewer myself, clothes (especially a lot of couture) look better on taller people. They have longer lines and clothes just drape better. After all, fashion models are essentially clothes hangers. That's also why they want models with as little curves as possible. They don't want anything to take your eye away from the clothing/presentation. Also, at a fashion show, a 5'2 model would barely be visible to people in the back row.

It may seem absurd as to why they do it, but there is a method to their madness.
Jan 12 12 01:08 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Connor Photography
Posts: 6,462
Elkton, Maryland, US


You are very pretty, no doubt.  But when it comes to modeling, everything is matter down to their toenail.  Whoever pays the bill calls the shot.
Jan 12 12 01:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
DBIphotography Toronto
Posts: 3,198
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Paige Morgan wrote:
Because it's very long to type over:

http://www.modelmayhem.com/education/mo … -an-agency

Also:

www.newmodels.com

+1

Thanks for that, Paige smile  I couldn't remember the second link off-hand tongue

~Danny
http://dbiphotography.co.cc
http://www.modelinsider.com/8040

Jan 12 12 01:15 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
dave phoenix
Posts: 1,299
Phoenix, Arizona, US


if the clients want taller models, the agencies will represent taller models... so they can make money.

it's nice that you think there should be more agencies that represent shorter girls, but if the clients don't want to hire shorter girls, then the agency wouldn't make any money.

that's like saying you think there should be a store that sells only green tank tops with pink stripes. that's a fine idea, but if there isn't a demand for that product, then the store will go out of business. you can talk as much as you want about how great pink stripes are, and how you think that a store like that should exist. but if there's no demand, then it won't make money.
Jan 12 12 01:18 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 15,308
Orlando, Florida, US


Because that's the way it is.

Let's assume I have an amazing 3-point jumpshot.  I put it in 98% of the time.  The NBA is not interested in me because I'm 5'9". 

Being successful in modeling is half about knowing where you fit in.  The standards aren't going to change for you, or anyone else.  But there's a place for you.  And if you're completely amazing in one area of modeling, it's not unheard of to venture into other areas.

There are lots of short "models" in magazines.  Most of them are actors.  Or really famous people.  Because the goal of an advertisement is to sell product.  Natalie Portman is 5'3", but she could model because she's Natalie Portman.  If you're 5'3" and NOT Natalie Portman, you probably can't.

This is a very old argument and nothing is going to change because you would like it to.
Jan 12 12 01:19 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Al Cooley Photography
Posts: 450
Allendale, Michigan, US


Fifi wrote:
As a sewer myself, clothes (especially a lot of couture) look better on taller people. They have longer lines and clothes just drape better. After all, fashion models are essentially clothes hangers. That's also why they want models with as little curves as possible. They don't want anything to take your eye away from the clothing/presentation. Also, at a fashion show, a 5'2 model would barely be visible to people in the back row.

It may seem absurd as to why they do it, but there is a method to their madness.

+1

Jan 12 12 01:22 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Jay Hooker Images
Posts: 258
Charleston, South Carolina, US


I think it depends on what your modeling and who your modeling for. Height matters most for fashion for the reasons that other people have mentioned. However for glamour, art, fetish, etc. Its not a big deal. Just find a niche and go with it. Don't try to be something you'r not.
Jan 12 12 01:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Paige Morgan
Posts: 4,058
New York, New York, US


DBIphotography Toronto wrote:

+1

Thanks for that, Paige smile  I couldn't remember the second link off-hand tongue

~Danny
http://dbiphotography.co.cc
http://www.modelinsider.com/8040

LOL ;D No problem.

Jan 12 12 01:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
AJ_In_Atlanta
Posts: 12,662
Atlanta, Georgia, US


Room157 wrote:
I didn’t read all that…

Height matters because designers cut their samples to fit a certain type model. They don’t waste time cutting samples to fit models of all height and weight etc.

Agencies hire models with a specific height and build to fit those samples.

+1 to all of that smile

Jan 12 12 01:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
P I X I E
Posts: 35,308
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Because that's the way it is.
Jan 12 12 01:24 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Steve Korn
Posts: 318
Seattle, Washington, US


Good Egg Productions wrote:
Because that's the way it is.

Let's assume I have an amazing 3-point jumpshot.  I put it in 98% of the time.  The NBA is not interested in me because I'm 5'9". 

Being successful in modeling is half about knowing where you fit in.  The standards aren't going to change for you, or anyone else.  But there's a place for you.  And if you're completely amazing in one area of modeling, it's not unheard of to venture into other areas.

There are lots of short "models" in magazines.  Most of them are actors.  Or really famous people.  Because the goal of an advertisement is to sell product.  Natalie Portman is 5'3", but she could model because she's Natalie Portman.  If you're 5'3" and NOT Natalie Portman, you probably can't.

uhh...Spud Webb?

Jan 12 12 01:32 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 15,308
Orlando, Florida, US


Steve Korn wrote:
uhh...Spud Webb?

Uh... Kate Moss.


There will always be extreme outlayers in any group of data of a certain size.  How many NBA players have there been in the last 60 years?

Jan 12 12 01:35 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Photographer
Rays Fine Art
Posts: 6,065
New York, New York, US


You're probably going to hate this, but even in the glamour and/or pinup or fine art worlds, the body proportions often just don't work for the pictures.

Short people tend to be wider in the hips, shoulders and chests than tall slim ones.  Their thighs tend to be heavier and they are more prone to cellulite, at least in my observation. 

Now before everybody starts to scream that it ain't necessarily so, please note that I said "tends".  While these things are often true, they are often not as well, but they are sufficiently common that the photographers often just don't want to go to the extra effort to shoot them and shoot them well.

I love short models because I only have a 7.5 foot ceiling height in my little basement studio, but getting my 74-year-old, arthritic body up and down from the floor 50 to 100 times in a shoot to give the model a little bit longer leg gets to be wearing after a while.

I do it because that's all the height I have to work with so we're pretty much in the same boat.  The only thing we can do is to learn all the little tricks we can to even out the playing field and be grateful for the people who do work with us while ignoring the ones that don't.

All IMHO, as always.
Jan 12 12 01:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Steve Korn
Posts: 318
Seattle, Washington, US


I was joking I agree with you.
Jan 12 12 01:35 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Christopher Hartman
Posts: 54,068
Buena Park, California, US


tall ugly models need jobs.  If height didn't matter, all that would get hired are the much cuter short models.


big_smile
Jan 12 12 01:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
TallPix
Posts: 222
Miami Springs, Florida, US


depends on the assignment.  I use models from 4'9 thru 6'2.  The height and body shape have to fit the content being shot.

yes a slightly built short person can be made to look any size by a good photographer (as long as there are no objects on known size) and perspective.

someone of medium height and muscular build can be goood for some fitness-type shoots, but not for fashion

its more the limitation of imagination of the photographer that would be holding you back.  I make shots fit the person and assignment, if possible
Jan 12 12 01:49 pm  Link  Quote 
guide forum
Model
Damianne
Posts: 15,973
Austin, Texas, US


Proportions.

Also, there aren't petite modeling agencies.
Jan 12 12 01:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Naomi Jay
Posts: 1,436
New York, New York, US


You act and dance PLUS you are attractive. You don't need to do fashion.

If you ever go to a live fashion show, you'll see why you cannot be short to do fashion.

Clothing just looks better.
Jan 12 12 01:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Svetlana Muerte
Posts: 905
Austin, Texas, US


Christopher Hartman wrote:
tall ugly models need jobs.  If height didn't matter, all that would get hired are the much cuter short models.


big_smile

Hahhahahhha!  But seriously, sometimes I will look at a fashion model and wonder if she got hit by the ugly stick.

Not usually, but an occasional one will be very distractingly unattractive. I don't limit this problem to models. I was watching PBS with my husband, and he asked, "What would happen if a walrus and a bear mated?"

It would make a very furry economist without tusks.

The guy across from him looked like Dr. Evil with some whacko mustache and beard thing going on. I couldn't get past their facial hair to listen to their whatever the hell it was they were talking about.

I think the short answer is that fashion designers don't have time to make samples of different sizes. Why they choose very thin, tall women over busty Playboy gals? Dunno. I do know, after having been a fitting model for busty women that it is way harder to get the fit right on a curvy figure than a more lithe figure.

Standardization makes the whole process easier.

Jan 12 12 01:58 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
liddellphoto
Posts: 1,800
London, England, United Kingdom


The proportions short people have are almost always different to that of tall people which is why on white seamless with no reference it's still obvious what hight someone is.
Jan 12 12 02:03 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
liindsay ann
Posts: 1,859
Cleveland, Ohio, US


Rays Fine Art wrote:
You're probably going to hate this, but even in the glamour and/or pinup or fine art worlds, the body proportions often just don't work for the pictures.

Short people tend to be wider in the hips, shoulders and chests than tall slim ones.  Their thighs tend to be heavier and they are more prone to cellulite, at least in my observation. 

Now before everybody starts to scream that it ain't necessarily so, please note that I said "tends".  While these things are often true, they are often not as well, but they are sufficiently common that the photographers often just don't want to go to the extra effort to shoot them and shoot them well.

I love short models because I only have a 7.5 foot ceiling height in my little basement studio, but getting my 74-year-old, arthritic body up and down from the floor 50 to 100 times in a shoot to give the model a little bit longer leg gets to be wearing after a while.

I do it because that's all the height I have to work with so we're pretty much in the same boat.  The only thing we can do is to learn all the little tricks we can to even out the playing field and be grateful for the people who do work with us while ignoring the ones that don't.

All IMHO, as always.

Shorter models are not wider in the hips, and shoulders.. my measurements are the same of a fashion model.. BUT you are correct that we photograph bigger in the hips and shoulders.

Jan 12 12 02:05 pm  Link  Quote 
Photographer
Good Egg Productions
Posts: 15,308
Orlando, Florida, US


liindsay ann wrote:
Shorter models are not wider in the hips, and shoulders.. my measurements are the same of a fashion model.. BUT you are correct that we photograph bigger in the hips and shoulders.

ummm... yes.  That's the point.

33-24-34 looks WAY different on someone who's 5'11" than someone who's 5'1"

But who cares... I'd shoot you in a half heartbeat.  Just not fashion.

Jan 12 12 02:06 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Samxiam
Posts: 678
Englishtown, New Jersey, US


WOAH!!! thanks for all the feed back...& once again, I created this forum for discussion! Not for a heated debate haha..

I agree with most of you to a certain extent..yes, shorter models are curvier & have thicker thighs compared to tall models. I admitt my thighs are thick, they aren't twigs. Regarding cellulite, no matter what height or size you're, you can get it! Luckily for me I have none but I have a few friends who are extremly skinny & tall & they have cellulite & stretch marks. Its all genetics & can be caused by diet too...Now regarding fashion designers, I understand that certain clothes fit better or are more appealing on taller models but..clothes look just as good on short people haha I'm just saying there should be a fashion designer out there that should base their designs only for us "short people" because petite models can look just as good as tall models.. im pretty sure there are clothes that look better on short people than tall people..Same thing about boob sizes, some clothes look better on flat chested woman than large chested woman, & visa versa..

With all due respect, I just think this modeling world is becoming unreasonably strict without taking certain aspects into consideration.

God Bless.
Jan 12 12 02:10 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Fifi
Posts: 58,133
Annapolis, Maryland, US


Samantha Schiumo wrote:
WOAH!!! thanks for all the feed back...& once again, I created this forum for discussion! Not for a heated debate haha..

I agree with most of you to a certain extent..yes, shorter models are curvier & have thicker thighs compared to tall models. I admitt my thighs are thick, they aren't twigs. Regarding cellulite, no matter what height or size you're, you can get it! Luckily for me I have none but I have a few friends who are extremly skinny & tall & they have cellulite & stretch marks. Its all genetics & can be caused by diet too...Now regarding fashion designers, I understand that certain clothes fit better or are more appealing on taller models but..clothes look just as good on short people haha I'm just saying there should be a fashion designer out there that should base their designs only for us "short people" because petite models can look just as good as tall models.. im pretty sure there are clothes that look better on short people than tall people..Same thing about boob sizes, some clothes look better on flat chested woman than large chested woman, & visa versa..

With all due respect, I just think this modeling world is becoming unreasonably strict without taking certain aspects into consideration.

God Bless.

The modeling world has always had this standards... I don't know where you're getting that they are just now becoming strict.

And, you're right, some clothes look better on curvier models... they're called lingerie/swimsuit models. But, they are still agency standard height (Victoria's Secret/Sports Illustrated).

Their are niches for shorter models already... glamour, art, fetish, porn. You aren't left out of modeling, you just don't qualify for certain genres.


And, I absolutely disagree with you... if I was a designer, I would not use short models. Period. Yes, short people look good in clothes, but it's not about how they look. It's about showcasing my clothes in the best possible way, and no matter how much you pout or stomp your feet, taller people have better and longer lines.

Jan 12 12 02:14 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Fifi
Posts: 58,133
Annapolis, Maryland, US


Some examples of what we mean...

Look at the draping and detail on these gowns... showcasing them wouldn't be as affective on a 5'2 person...
http://www.weddinginspirasi.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/fashion_desinger_couture_runway.jpg

http://www.elle.com/var/ezflow_site/storage/images/elle/runway/haute-couture/spring-2010-haute-couture/elie-saab/elie-saab/elie-saab-spring-2010-haute-couture/24-haute-couture-runway-elie-saab/4136396-1-eng-US/24-Haute-Couture-Runway-Elie-Saab_runway.jpg

http://www.weddinginspirasi.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/zuhair-murad-2011-couture-mullet-dress.jpg

Honestly, it's not about how cute you think you are, because a fashion show isn't about you, it's about showcasing the clothing in the best possible way.
Jan 12 12 02:23 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
U N I C O R N S
Posts: 383
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Damianne wrote:
Proportions.

Also, there aren't petite modeling agencies.

Yes there are, they dont advertise it, they dont let it be known so much, but there are agencies with a petite divison, this is due to many designers bringing out "petite" lines due to the annoyance for these petite customers not been able to buy sample sizes smile

Jan 12 12 02:44 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Fifi
Posts: 58,133
Annapolis, Maryland, US


Little Miss Meerkat  wrote:

Yes there are, they dont advertise it, they dont let it be known so much, but there are agencies with a petite divison, this is due to many designers bringing out "petite" lines due to the annoyance for these petite customers not been able to buy sample sizes smile

Care to share such agencies?

Jan 12 12 02:46 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
P I X I E
Posts: 35,308
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Little Miss Meerkat  wrote:

Yes there are, they dont advertise it, they dont let it be known so much, but there are agencies with a petite divison, this is due to many designers bringing out "petite" lines due to the annoyance for these petite customers not been able to buy sample sizes smile

hmm

Jan 12 12 02:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
U N I C O R N S
Posts: 383
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


To answer your question though it is due to sample sizing - Iv been given the tip a few times though that if you can make yourself look as proportioned as a taller model in the legs ect SOMETIMES they make a very small exception - Besides you can always freelance and try and get work from companies and labels via networking - Thats how I do it here in Australia and I sit on around 3 paid jobs per week whilst working full time in law smile

also check out www.BellaPetite.com smile
Jan 12 12 02:49 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Paige Morgan
Posts: 4,058
New York, New York, US


Little Miss Meerkat  wrote:
To answer your question though it is due to sample sizing - Iv been given the tip a few times though that if you can make yourself look as proportioned as a taller model in the legs ect SOMETIMES they make a very small exception - Besides you can always freelance and try and get work from companies and labels via networking - Thats how I do it here in Australia and I sit on around 3 paid jobs per week whilst working full time in law smile

also check out www.BellaPetite.com smile

Bella Petite is full of bitterness and bad advice.

Jan 12 12 02:51 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Fifi
Posts: 58,133
Annapolis, Maryland, US


Paige Morgan wrote:

Bella Petite is full of bitterness and bad advice.

Sooo much of this. I wouldn't recommend that site to anyone. And, you will often notice that the "petite models" they feature are more often than not already celebrities (actresses, singers, etc.).

Jan 12 12 02:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Nedah Oyin
Posts: 11,826
Chicago, Illinois, US


oh, boy.. smh..
Jan 12 12 02:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
U N I C O R N S
Posts: 383
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Fifi wrote:
Care to share such agencies?

Elite takes on shorter models, not in all of their branches but they do sometimes make an exception for a stunning look and a very strong port to match (they also warn you prior that you will not fit as many assignments though)
I was also emailing Kelly Kreye from AGENCY model management just yesterday asking about the petite divison agencies and her exact reply was

"Contrary to most peoples belief there is numerous agencies which have a petite division, my advice to you if you were looking to move to NY and your organized test shoot with Elite doesn't come through as you'd like is to apply to them all regardless, the worst they can do is say no, but our agency has also had jobs come through requiring smaller models for designers petite lines - its not impossible, just don't expect as much work as an agency standard model"

Im not here to argue - this is her thread, im just trying to help another model and if you choose to believe that there is nowhere that takes on shorter models, so be it smile

Jan 12 12 02:55 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
P I X I E
Posts: 35,308
Toronto, Ontario, Canada


Nedah Oyin wrote:
oh, boy.. smh..

+1

Jan 12 12 02:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
U N I C O R N S
Posts: 383
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


Fifi wrote:

Sooo much of this. I wouldn't recommend that site to anyone. And, you will often notice that the "petite models" they feature are more often than not already celebrities (actresses, singers, etc.).

Oh really? I only stumbled accross it yesterday, thats a shame sad

Jan 12 12 02:56 pm  Link  Quote 
Model
Fifi
Posts: 58,133
Annapolis, Maryland, US


Little Miss Meerkat  wrote:

Elite takes on shorter models, not in all of their branches but they do sometimes make an exception for a stunning look and a very strong port to match (they also warn you prior that you will not fit as many assignments though)
I was also emailing Kelly Kreye from AGENCY model management just yesterday asking about the petite divison agencies and her exact reply was

" Contrary to most peoples belief there is numerous agencies which have a petite divison, my advice to you if you were looking to move to NY and your organised test shoot with Elite doesnt come through as youd like is to apply to them all regardless, the worst they can do is say no, but our agency has also had jobs come through requiring smaller models for designers petite lines - its not impossible, just dont expect as much work as an agency standard model"

Sweetheart... Petite doesn't mean what you think it does. You being 5'7 have a chance of being signed as a commercial model... someone who is 5'2 does not.

Read and be educated:
http://www.newmodels.com/height.html

Jan 12 12 02:58 pm  Link  Quote 
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