Do You have what it takes to be a Model?
It’s funny, cos I was on the beach in Greece the other day (now back home, I’m sat wearing 3 layers, hugging a mug of tea) (rooibos if you must know) and looking around, admiring all the beautiful women on the beach. Women with incredible bodies, their toned yet curvy bodies a deep mahogany tan, moving on the sand and in the sea with grace and confidence.
Those beautiful, sexy women wouldn’t make good fashion models. Gorgeous to look at in the flesh, yes, but their looks wouldn’t translate onto film to industry standards. The only girl on the beach that I could see who would make a proper fashion model was the incredibly pale ginger girl, who was cowering in the shade of the brolly, clinging desperately on to her Factor 50+. She was never going to be viewed as the prettiest girl at school. I doubt any men on the beach would have singled her out as ‘hot’. But her alien otherworldliness, her lankiness and the shapes she effortlessly and unknowingly made with her long legs made her perfect for a fashion shoot.
There’s this myth that models are the prettiest girl at school. They’re not…Actually, the word most frequently used about New Faces is ‘alien’. Girls who are scouted stand out for their eye-catching qualities – not necessarily even beautiful – the set of their eyes and the extreme height to lankiness ratio. Look at Erin O-Conner and her large nose or Lily Cole with her tiny mouth. Both make arrestingly beautiful images, yet both are proudly unconventional in regards to their allure. Sarah Doukas, founder Storm, which is of one of the huge agencies in London summed it up brilliantly:
“Models come from an orchid house with some very delicate and strange blooms in it. For that reason the best ones often don’t come forward. People who think they are right are often not right, and people who think they are the last ones who should be doing this are probably exactly what we are looking for.”
I certainly experienced this surprise when I was scouted – I attended a girl’s school, and, while I didn’t experience anything terrible, I did feel a bit of a backlash when I started modelling. People couldn’t believe I had been scouted when there were far more beautiful girls in our year! Now, I bet you think I am being falsely modest here? Yep? Well let’s see a picture of me in my school uniform when I was younger…
Alien! The size of those lips! Enormous eyes! A huge nose!….On a weirdly tiny head, that seems much smaller than my massive hands! What’s interesting, though, is that most people (including me) guffaw at this picture. But people in the modelling world? They always say I look beautiful here. I was certainly no Britney Spears, who was clearly a pretty girl from birth – but scouts can see the potential in my picture to make a good model in the future.
So there you have it. Most girls who dream of being a model might be sorely disappointed – but it’s not because they’re not beautiful enough. It’s because they’re too beautiful! They haven’t got the right ‘look’ and the look, though ultimately indefinable, is a mix of pretty, ethereal, alien…and more than a little bit odd.
I’ll be writing many more posts on how to get into modelling, but if you think you have the look, check out whether your criteria fit. It’s best to be under 21, a size 10 or below (unless of course you’re after doing plus size modelling, in which case – many agencies on the AMA now have a plus size department you should contact) and 5”7 or above. Always check out agencies on the AMA (list available here)