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How to Get Into Male Modeling

Being a male model doesn't mean getting a free ride to the best parties 
in town. It takes hard work to be a male model, as well as long hours, 
and sometimes, little payoff. That being said, breaking into the modeling 
industry as a male is a bit easier than it is for women, because male 
models don't have to meet the same rigid physical requirements all the
time and can work for many years -- some of them working well into 
their fifties. If you want to know if you've got whatit takes to be a male 
model, just follow along.

Meet the industry standards.  
Though male models have a bit more flexibility in terms of their looks than female models, there are still some general standards that you should meet if you want to be a male model. But if you don't meet all of these standards, don't be too discouraged; if you've really got "the look," then you may be able to find work even if you're below the average height or above the average weight for male models. Here are some points to consider as you decide whether or not you should get in to male modeling:
  • Industry standards are between 5’11” and 6’2” in height.
  • Unlike female models, who are mostly out of work by the age of 25, male models can find work well into their 50s.
  • Men from 15 to 25 make up the “young men’s” market.
  • Men from 25 to 35 are the “adult men’s” market.
  • A typical weight for men is between 140 and 165, but this will depend on your Body Mass Index.
  • Average measurements are 40 regular to 42 long.
  • Typically, the modeling industry doesn't go for overly hairy men in the chest and arm region. Be prepared to do some waxing before you pursue your career.
Decide what kind of modeling you are interested in pursuing.  
The type of modeling you do can influence the way you look for work, the type of photos you take to get work, and the approach you take as you start off in your modeling career. For example, you will have to meet different standards to look like a runway model instead of a catalogue model, who is supposed to offer a more realistic view of men. Here are the types of modeling that you may pursue:
  • Fashion models promote clothing and apparel.
  • High fashion models work with the famous fashion houses or designers.
  • Editorial models only work for certain publications.
  • Runway models work at fashion shows.
  • Showroom models display clothing at fashion parties or boutiques.
  • Commercial print models are photographed for magazines, newspapers, billboards and other print ad materials.
  • Catalogue models are hired to appear in catalogues.
  • Promotional models work in conventions or trade shows.
  • Specialty models specialize one part of their body such as hands, legs, neck, hair or feet.
  • Character models are used to portray ordinary people.
  • Glamour modeling focuses more on the model than the actual product.
Get some exposure.  
Though you can skip this step and move right on to trying to sign with an agent, it couldn't hurt to have your face out there and to have some modeling experience so you have something to point to when you approach agencies. Try to appear in local newspaper ads, TV shows, magazines, or even fashion shows. You might get the attention of the right people without even appealing to an agent directly.
  • However, this does not mean that you should get absolutely any work you can. Remember that you're trying to build and maintain your image, so don't do present photographs that are not taken by a real photographer, or which doesn't represent who you are at all.
  • Don't shoot nude unless it's for a professional, reputable, and established company. If you take nudes with sketchy photographers, who knows where they will end up.
  • However, A good diverse model should be flexible in what you are capable of doing, the more genres you can show in your portfolio, the more likely you will get work. Nudity is not the kiss of death that will kill your career, more and more mainstream publications and well known advertisers are showing more flesh than in the past. 

Get some professional photos taken.  
Though you'll be able to develop your portfolio after you sign with an agency, getting some professional photos taken beforehand will make you look professional and will give you something to point to if you catch the eye of someone in the industry. Don't just get your photo taken by someone with a cheap camera who only has experience taking yearbook photos; get your photo snapped by an above-average photographer so that you look, well, above average.
  • Make sure you get a Model Release form signed by every photographer you work with. This will ensure that you know exactly what happens to the photos that are taken of you.
  • Don't waste your time with a "portrait" photographer. You want to take modeling shots, not your senior year photo.
  • Make sure that you have a standard headshot and multiple full body shots.
  • Because people needing your services will probably want to see what your body type looks like, include a full body shot in shorts or underwear and a tank top.
  • Include an additional shot in casual clothing, and a third shot in business casual or a full suit.
  • Get black-and-white and color photos.
Avoid scams.  
Unfortunately, scams are all too present in the modeling agency. You can get scammed during pretty much any step along the way, from being tricked into taking expensive photos from a shady photographer or getting "signed" with a fake or disreputable agent. Here are some things to be wary about as you move forward:
  • Photographers who charge ridiculous rates for getting your portfolio together. Once you sign up with an agency, you'll be able to fully develop your portfolio, so avoid the pushy photographers who offer to sell you a portfolio for thousands of dollars, claiming it's the only way for you to approach an agent.
  • Agencies who charge exorbitant up-front fees. If an agent asks you for a large registration or portfolio fee, run for the hills. Agents shouldn't profit until they get you a gig and get a cut of your profit. These untrustworthy agencies will typically not have many clients, be new in the industry, and won't have the connections necessary to get you work.
  • Expensive modeling schools. Keep in mind that there are no certified schools for modeling. Sure, they can help you learn how to walk, pose, and manage your facial expressions, but you may be better off learning these skills online or from reading a book. These schools may claim to get you work, but don't get sucked in to them unless they can really prove that they have helped other models get work.
  • People who approach you out of the blue. Sure, the occasional model has a story about being randomly approached at an event or even at a nightclub being told that he has "the look," but most of the time, this is done by shady characters who think they can get money just by stroking your ego.  If these men ask for shady methods of payment, this is even more of an indicator that you should stop contact with them. Of course, if these men prove to have real connections, then you just got lucky.
  • People who offer you money for your personal information online. Avoid any online sites, such as Model Mayhem, where people may offer you money in exchange for your credit card information and other personal information. This makes you a target for identity theft.
Consider moving to a big city.  
If you're really serious about being a male model, then you can't live in a town with only two traffic lights forever. You should move to one of the big modeling cities, such as New York City, Los Angeles, London, Milan or Paris. You might also find regional work in other cities such as Chicago or Miami. Don't feel like you can't be a model if you can't afford the move right away; try looking up model searches in your area or contact agencies directly from home (more on that later).



Physical Requirements to Become a Model

modeling is all about your body, there are certain physical requirements 
you should be aware of when you’re considering whether not you want to 
become a model. First of all we’re going to tell you the classic body 
requirements or a fashion model. We do not want you to become 
discouraged. In fact we can guarantee that 9 out of 10 people 
will not fit into these basic physical requirements.

If these do not apply to most models, why should you know these?
Because we want you to first become aware of the classic requirements and demonstrate to you how limited these requirements are for most people. After that, we want to show you the huge variety of modeling opportunities available to people who do not fit into that stringent definition.

Aspiring models often think very narrowly. If their only measure of success is walking the runway in Fashion weeks, they are almost always doomed to failure. In the same sense, it would be like an aspiring movie director saying that he or she will stand for nothing less than becoming the next Steven Spielberg. A nice goal to shoot for, yes, but one must be open to other possibilities.

The 60/20/20 Rule
The 60/20/20 Rule is quite simple. 20% of aspiring models go on to become models. Of that 20%, only 10% will reach that noteworthy level of modeling on the catwalks of Cape town & Joburg fashion week, South African Fashion Week, and Africa Fashion week, for top designers such as Craig Port or Terrence Bray. Aim for the top. But understand that modeling, just like all other professions on Earth, have varying levels of success.

A Model Height
Taller is better. 1.78 inches tall for girls & 1.80 inches for guys is about the minimum height than a model can have for top fashion modeling careers in Jo’burg Fashion week, South African fashion week or Cape town fashion week. In reality, supermodels are taller than at—6 feet or more. No, there is no discrimination at work here. The simple fact of the matter is that taller models display clothes better than shorter models. Fashion designers can cut larger articles of clothing for larger people, resulting in a better display of their product on the small screen or in small magazine pictures.

Body Types the Modeling Industry Prefers
Weight is a very touchy subject for most models. In general, models need to be quite slim in proportion to their height in order to fit into the types of clothing that designers want them to wear. Think: about 5 or 15 kg less than recommended weight for your height. 35 inches is about the maximum for hip measurements, and then take it down another 10 inches for waist measurement. For adult females, breasts also not large, unless the type of modeling you are intending to do depends on an ample bosom. Do not go out and begin to lose weight to become a model.

Ultra-Skinny? The Tide is Turning
For decades, “the skinnier, the better” was the motto. Aspiring models would do anything to lose weight—even endangering their health with extreme dieting, bulimia, or anorexia. But slowly attitudes are changing. The fashion industry has begun to come to grips with the notion that not all women are 6 feet tall and 102 pounds. Not only that, but in 2006 Spain made the shocking declaration that it would no longer allow overly thin models on the catwalk. The pronouncement from the government of Spain caused the modeling industry to re-examine its direction and its goals. Now, “ultra skinny” is no longer the exclusive body type preferred in the fashion world.

Preferred Model Clothing Sizes
Fashion models should be no less than a women’s size two to no larger than women’s size six.

Model Age Range
For high fashion (i.e., the “catwalk ” type of fashion), the typical age range for fashion models tends to be from age 16 to 28, with the majority of the models being around 16 are 22 years old.

Model Hair and Skin
The two most important aspects for any model—supermodel or not—is the hair and skin.
It is hard for us to overstate this fact. In case you aren’t understanding us, let us repeat: Hair and skin! Your hair must be flawless and impeccable. Your skin must be flawless and impeccable. No, there is no preferred skin type or color. But whatever your type and color, your skin must be smooth, dry, free of flaws, and taut. Hair must be shiny, healthy-looking, and not overly long.






Signing with an Manager / Agent


  • 1
    Attend an open call.  
    An open call is when a modeling agency lets anyone come in to their office to audition. You'll have to wait in line with many other models until you're called into a room individually to have the agents take a look at you and see if you've got what they're looking for. Often, you can wait for hours just to be seen for less than a minute. This may be a bit nerve-wracking, but hey, it's what you're signing up for.
  • 2
    Go to a model search.  
    A model search is like an open call except it is held by agencies that travel to small towns searching for models. Since they do make the effort to travel to your location, you will have to pay a small fee to be seen, which should cost somewhere around $25 dollars. This is a great option if you live in a smaller town where there are less modeling opportunities. Just like a modeling call, your chances of getting selected aren't high, but you could make some valuable connections.
  • 3
    Enter a modeling competition.  
    Though these are hard to win, if you do manage to win a modeling competition, it really can jump start your modeling career. Make sure it's a reputable contest run by a reputable establishment, and that you don't have to pay a ridiculous entry fee. Many of these competitions will even get you signed with an agency if you win. And even if you don't win, it'll be another way to put yourself out there.
    • Make sure you look in to the specific requirements necessary for entering a modeling competition. It's likely that you'll need to be prepared with a set of pictures.
  • 4
    Go to modeling conventions.  
    This is a perfect way to get some exposure as well as to meet other professional models and agents. Unfortunately, it can get pretty expensive to attend one of these conventions (typically around $200 - $4000) so if you do, you have to make the most of it by acting professional and meeting as many people as possible.
  • 5
    Do it yourself.  
    That's right. Another way to get signed by an agency is to get in touch with them yourself. Search the Internet for lists of reputable modeling agencies, such as Elite or Major Management, and get their email addresses. Then, send them a professional email with some professional photos of yourself in a variety of poses. Though this will require you to build a portfolio beforehand, it can pay off.
  • 6
    Sign up with a scouting company.  
    This is a good and relatively cheap way of putting yourself out there and not having to do all of the advertising work yourself. Find a reputable company, such as  and , and pay them from between $60 - $150 dollars to help you find work. You'll have to submit your profile to them and they will forward your information to major agencies.
  • 7
    Sign up with an agent.  
    Once you've jumped through the hoops and found an agent who likes your look, it'll be time to sign your contract. Again, make sure the agent doesn't ask for any money up front. A real agent should only make money after he or she makes you money. And even if the agent seems legitimate, make sure you have an attorney go over the contract with you to ensure that you're making a fair agreement.
    • When you're speaking with the agent, you can ask about any unions you're allowed to join and also ask if you can take modeling jobs on the side.
    • If you've signed with a top agent and have a chance of making some serious money, you can also think about meeting with an accountant to talk about how you will track your earnings.


Living the Life of a Male Model


  • 1
    Start looking for work.  
    Once you've signed with an agent, you will build your portfolio, which will help you get hired. The agencies will help you get the chance to go to modeling interviews, which are also known as go-sees. So, start going to the go-sees, act professional, and don't get frustrated if you don't get a gig right away.


    • Have perseverance. You won't get a gig with Calvin Klein on your first go-see, despite what you may hear.
    • The agency can't guarantee you work; but a good agent wouldn't take you on if he or she didn't think you had a solid chance at finding some great work.
  • 2
    Stay professional.  
    Whether you've made it big or are just starting out, you don't want to develop a reputation for being ungrateful, rude, or even late. If you want to last in the industry, here are some things you'll have to do to meet the standards of the profession, just as you would with any other career:
    • Be prompt to appointments.
    • Be courteous and professional to everyone you come in contact with.
    • Consider investing in a personal trainer to help you stay on a balanced diet and to attain exercise goals for optimal muscle tone.
    • Take a meticulous approach to your grooming and skin care regimen.
    • Retire for the evenings early on the nights before you have to work. Plenty of sleep will help you avoid dark circles under your eyes and give you a more rested and healthier appearance to those you are working for.
  • 3
    Keep your day job.  
    Though everyone hears the story about the male model who was discovered on a Russian cargo ship or just when he was hanging out at a bar in Vegas at three in the morning, the fact of the matter is that most male models don't just instantly get discovered and have to keep working hard even after they sign with an agent. This means that unless you are among the very few lucky male models who can solely survive on their modeling income, you'll need to keep your day job or find another source of income to keep you going.
    • If your day job is too much work, just find another source of income that works for you. Many male models are part-time waiters or bartenders.
  • 4
    Stay physically and mentally healthy.  
    Though the male modeling industry is slightly less grueling than the female modeling industries, male models fall victim to the same problems that plague female models, such as having a low self-esteem, feeling deeply insecure, or worse, having an eating disorder. Here are some things to keep in mind as you try to stay healthy during your career as a male model:
    • Make sure you continue to eat healthy, get exercise, and remind yourself that you're a worthy person; don't let the modeling lifestyle get you down.
    • Rejection is part of the game and if you're already prone to insecurity and self-loathing, then male modeling may not be the best path for you.
    • Though part of the modeling lifestyle may require you to go to parties and schmooze with lots of people, don't become addicted to drugs or alcohol. Not only will this cause great pain for you mentally and physically, but it will have a negative effect on your physical appearance.