Do I Have What it Takes?
Story & Photos by: Keith Foster
This is the question that I am asked quite often by young women. Being a super model or even just making a living having your picture taken, with your likeness being seen all over the world or even in your region is a dream
come true for many young women. The idea of being recognized as you walk down the street of your hometown
with people asking for your autograph or to have their picture taken with you is very appealing to many.
The average person assumes the life of a model is glamorous and fun. I mean, how hard can it be to stand there,
look pretty and have your picture taken, right?
But let me get back to the original question. Can YOU become a model? The truthful answer is maybe, it depends.
One of the things that makes this hard to answer is there are so many types of modeling. Modeling has spread
to nearly every part of the world cultures. The number of models shot on any given day is huge. Models no longer just appear on the runway or catalogs. The genres of modeling have increased to the point we could fill an
issue of Simply Elevate just by listing them all.
Every genre of modeling has characteristics the art director, designer or photographer is looking for. Some of
those genres have fairly wide variations in what they want the model to look like in terms of height, weight,
looks, body build etc. However, some of them have very strict limitations on what they want the model to look
like in order to be hired for a project.
For now, let’s just talk about runway and fashion modeling. These are the models that become widely known,
make above average salaries and make the connections to have a career after modeling.
Runway and fashion modeling is also the type of modeling many young women are asking about when they ask
about a career in modeling. Unfortunately runway and fashion modeling have the most restrictive limitations for
the look they demand.
Fashion models have very particular age, height, and measurement standards. The typical age is 16-21. Some
models have been younger than this, but many agencies will require models to be at least 16. Likewise, models
can be older but agencies and clients tend to like their models to look younger. Height is between 5’9”-6”, bust
is between 32”-36”, waist is between 22”-26”, and hips should be between 33”-35”.
They also must have excellent skin, great hair and a unique beauty. These requirements are bad news for many
aspiring models. The vast majority of young women aren’t built like this, don’t look like this and never will. It is a
fact of life.
I am not going to talk about the fairness or validity of the requirements in this article but I’ll save that for another
Sometimes there are exceptions and people are very quick to point out the exceptions. I would never try to
convince someone to not pursue their dream. If being a runway model is your dream then I encourage you to go
for it. Just go into the journey with a strong sense of your limitations. If you are willing to work harder, network
better and devote your life to pursuing your dream then you may just be the next exception. Go for it.
But after hearing how strict the requirements are for runway modeling and you don’t even get close, do you just
give up? Absolutely not! Remember, I said the types of modeling are varied and numerous. There are other alternatives and you may be exactly what they are looking for.
The final and definitive answer on the question of you becoming a model is, it depends. If you are willing to