One of the most useful questions that you can ask yourself is what kind of model you are. Whether you are early on in your modelling career, not even started yet, or a seasoned professional, this can still be important. There are many niches which a model can fit into. Knowing your niche is a key part of success. If you can market yourself to that niche, you are more likely to get work on a steady basis.
It is not as simple as just picking what you would like to do, however. Each section of the modelling industry has its own requirements. Some are more strict than others. In some cases, you may simply not have the right physical attributes to enter a certain sphere. That is unfortunate - but it does not mean that there is not another sphere which would be perfect for you.
It is worth noting at this point that there are always exceptions to every rule. If you have enough charm and a unique look, you may be able to make it, even if you do not fit the requirements. We have seen trends change over time. Sometimes, one stand out girl is enough to cause a ripple of change - or sometimes politics demands healthier standards, as we have seen before. If you are determined to make it, then get your head down and work hard. This guide will simply tell you where you are more likely to fit.
If you are suited to editorial work, then you most likely fit
a very specific set of measurements. You stand at between 5’8” and 6’2”,
without your heels (and without standing on tiptoes!). Some agencies and
casting directors may be even stricter with their height requirements. Your bust
will be between 32” and 34”, your waist between 23” and 25”, and your hips
between 33” and 35”. But that’s not all you will need. The current trend, which
only shifts a small amount over time, is for sharp facial features and high
cheekbones. Wide set or large eyes and big lips are also in demand. You will
get a bonus if you have a quirky feature like a tooth gap, thanks to the
success of models such as Lara Stone.
Runway models are all about the same kind of measurements as
editorial models, though you are more likely to see a cut off point at 5”9’ as
runway girls need to be tall. You need to be hard working and ready to do a long
day of hard work with the walk at the end of it, or several walks throughout. Life
as a runway model can be tough; you might not be supplied with adequate food or
refreshments, you may be paid little, and you might even end up just being
given clothes as compensation. More and more models are combining runway and
editorial work in order to make a living. As for your specific look, this may
depend on the designer and what their vision requires.
Shorter girls can get in on commercial action, as 5’7” tends
to be the lower end of the scale in this area. Commercial models are likely to
shoot adverts, whether in print or on video. Your other measurements will once
again need to be around the same, however, and you will need to be a dress size
in the UK between 4 and 10. The same applies for European and American models,
though you will need to convert the sizes to your own system.
Here you have a little leeway. While it is preferred that
you are still tall with the usual measurements, you can get away with being a
little too tall or more busty, and even with having a little more weight. You
should have an unusual look – and tattoos and piercings are also welcomed. Don’t
be fooled by the likes of Cara Delevingne, who can afford to get tattoos due to
already having star status – most commercial or editorial models will see the
work offered to them narrow after getting a tattoo.
You should be aged between 18 and 30, and to put it bluntly,
willing to bare all. You should have a large chest but a thin frame – which is
why this genre has a reputation for plastic surgery: it is difficult to achieve
the right measurements naturally. You should also have girl next door or
traditional good looks. An unusual or alternative face or hair style is not as
well received here.
You should be very lean and fit, with less than 15% body fat
mass, to qualify for work in this category. You will often need to be tall as
well, and have more traditional good looks rather than unusual features. This line
of work requires constant upkeep and delicate balance: getting too muscular
could shift the type of clients who look to work with you, while failing to
check in at the gym on a regular basis could spell the end of your career.
Plus Sized Model
Most people assume that plus sized modelling just means
being fat. This is not the case at all. Plus sizes can start from a UK size 10.
The normal band is from size 12 to 16, though sizes 18 and 20 may also be in
demand in a small number of cases. You should be between 5’8” and 6’0”, and you
need to look after yourself well. While you should of course maintain your
dress size, you still need to be toned – particularly for swimwear and lingerie
modelling. You also need to be well balanced – not top heavy or bottom heavy.
Just about anyone can be an art model, regardless of your
size, shape, or looks. But that does not mean it will be easy. You will have to
be completely nude in the majority of cases, so you have to be comfortable with
that. It is also a physically demanding line of work, as you have to sit perfectly still for hours on
end. The pay is not always great, particularly if you are not able to get a
regular class role.
If you want further help with developing your skills as a model, and with realising your niche, then you can book in for my model tuition programme. I have three different packages available to give different levels of tuition depending on what you need - and I also have a referral programme if you need to bring the prices down.