How to Become a Model

If you admire those beautiful people who make the big bucks on the catwalk and magazine covers, you may be wondering how to become a model.

Physical Characteristics

First of all, you should be aware that you have to have certain physical characteristics. If you are a woman, you’ll need to be at least 5 feet 7 inches tall and wear a dress size no bigger than a 6. Most female models weigh between 105 and 125 pounds are are between the ages of 15 and 22. Male models are usually a little bit older–between 18 and 25. As a male model, you’ll have to be at least 5 feet 11 inches tall and weigh in the range of 140 to 165 pounds. You need to be fit and healthy, but you don’t have to have bulging muscles.

You should also have straight, white teeth, skin with no blemishes and a healthy head of hair. Distinctive features like dimples or beauty marks (like Cindy Crawford’s) can set you apart from other models and give you a competitive edge.

Portfolio

If you meet all the physical requirements, you should then spend some time and money creating a professional portfolio. You need to make sure you include high quality photos that flatter you and accentuate your best features. Place these pictures in a nice photo album. Consider carefully how you want to organize them–perhaps chronologically or by theme. Have a few friends and family members look over your portfolio and give you feedback. Listen carefully to what they say and be willing to add, remove or rearrange pictures if necessary. Also, have some of the best ones printed as 8x10’s you can leave with modeling agents and prospective employers.

Job Search

Once you have a portfolio you are happy with, start looking for an agent. The right one can help you build your portfolio and get you “seen” by all the right people. Just make sure you find a reputable one that wants to help you get work rather than one who just wants to take your money and provide no real services to you. Contact local modeling agencies, and set up interviews with agents. Check out their credentials, and ask for references from former clients. Make sure you contact these people and get their feedback about the agent. You can also contact the Better Business Bureau to see if any complaints have been filed about the modeling agency or against the agent you are considering hiring.

Once you have an agent, don’t just sit back and wait for him to find you a job. Be proactive. Start looking for castings, “go sees,” and any modeling job opportunities in your area. Many car and boat shows are looking for models. Audition for everything you possibly can. One helpful website with information about casting calls and job announcements is www.ModelMayhem.com

Personality Traits

Even though modeling seems like a glamorous job that will make you rich, the field is extremely competitive. To have the best chance of succeeding, you will need to have a great deal of self-confidence, especially since people will be constantly criticizing your “look.” You’ll have to be able to handle rejection well and have a great deal of perseverance. Most models are ambitious and enjoy traveling. You'll also need to be someone who knows how to manage your money since models don’t generally get a steady paycheck. Once you start getting work, it’s extremely important to be punctual, dependable, accommodating and professional so that you will gain the reputation of being easy to work with, someone people would rehire.