FACTSHEET: Modelling Styles
It is a misconception that the only types of models are those who are very tall and wafer thin. On the contrary, the modelling industry employs every body type, shape and size. It is also open to different age groups. Another misconception is that if you happen to be beautiful, then you can automatically model. But it actually takes a certain kind of person to do this job. It is what it is … a job and if you want it to be, a career. Like all jobs, to be successful in it you need to have the characteristics and talents required to do it. In the case of modelling, two major factors are confidence and self-belief. There are many other qualities that will help you succeed as a model, such as perseverance and energy but these you will find out about if you go into the world of modelling.
This piece is about the different types of models and modelling jobs there are out there and we will explore each of them briefly to give you some idea as a starting point.
Mail order companies and all the major chain shops have catalogues and need models. Unlike the big fashion houses, these catalogues want models with average looks and their requirements are nearer those in the real world.
Catwalk (Runway) Modelling
Working the catwalk is also considered to be glamorous and can provide a great deal of positive exposure. Like the fashion modelling, it requires a certain height and certain body type in order to be employed in this area. The starting age is 14 but there are not many girls of that age who have the confidence and knowledge to do this work.
Commercial modelling is promoting products from across a very wide range. You could be modelling hand cream to cars, chocolate to holiday’s abroad. These can be featured on the TV, in newspapers, magazines, on billboards or even in underground trains. Because the commercial world is so diverse, so are their requirements for models.
This is a very popular kind of modelling at the moment and it covers a wide spectrum of work, from the newspaper industry (such as page 3 in the Sun) to those magazines that are usually positioned on the ‘top shelf’. Much of this work is suggestive sex, rather than full on, such as wearing skimpy bikinis or wet or transparent T shirts and not much else.
This covers a wide range of work, including editorials and front covers for fashion magazines as well as advertising campaigns for commercial clients. The work can span new labels to top brands.
Fashion modelling is seen as being glamorous, which in many respects it is. However, it is not easy to get in to and is hard work. There are only a few models that actually make it to the very top.
To be a fashion model you do have to be a certain height, between 5’9″ and 6’ tall (175 cm to 183 cm) or even taller. You also have to be pretty thin, 32-36″ (81-91 cm) bust, 22-25″ (56-64 cm) waist and 33-36″ (84-91 cm) hips. There is no telling what makes a successful fashion model and the demands and requirements change all of the time. What is popular one year can alter the next. Certain looks are in one season and not the next.
This is modelling in articles and covers for magazines. They can often be fashion magazines but not exclusively. This type of modelling can get you some very good exposure and is popular amongst models. It is usually well paid, often hard work and not always easy to get into. This work can be worth the effort though for its publicity value.
Most modelling jobs have some element of nudity, even if very small. Most models are considered to be OK with this. If you are not, then you need to make this very clear with the photographer before you even begin a photo-shoot. Always discuss with the photographer in advance what you are expected to do.
There are fine art nudes or simply body, which are described as artistic interpretations of the human body. These jobs range from being very innocent to being extremely explicit. It all depends on what the photographer or artist is looking for in a model and wants to achieve in their work. Then there are other types of nude work; adult, hardcore and continental. There is modelling for lad magazines (middle shelf), men’s magazines (adult – top shelf), girl/girl, which refers to a shoot involving two female models. Again, this can range from fashion to explicit adult. Another is boy/girl and the same applies to this. If you are considering this type of work, it is best to discuss with the photographer in advance and in detail what you are expected to do.
Freelance modelling is not a type but a career choice. The Internet is a great way to advertise services, often through one of the larger and more respected models’ sites.
Working with one of these is probably a safer and easier way to get out there.
As a freelance model, you could cover all types of modelling jobs and be flexible in what you take on. It has many advantages but it also has some drawbacks, so you would need to know what these are.