Fashion models: dream job or utopia?

Fashion models: dream job or utopia?

Is Modelling made for everyone?

We probably all know someone we find charismatic and charming. We probably thought or asked this person why not try some modelling jobs? In fact we tend to think modelling is an easy job to do and open to anyone good-looking. But is it a job made for the general public? Is it a real dream job to get or just a profound and true utopia?


Criterias of beauty from the industry

Fashion Models are known for being tall, thin, good looking and young. These are the most known criterias for the industry from the general public. Everytime we see someone matching these, we automatically think or hear someone say: “you should apply for being a model”, or related quotes. 

All of these come from a sad reality: the beauty standards of the fashion industry. Models are selected on the behalf of physical criterias and norms. Considering this, we tend to forget everything apart from that to be a model. Also, it reduces the number of potential participants and the list for being considered. 

Also, we believe that it is just necessary to be good looking and tall to be a model. We see the job as being pretty and that’s it. But being a model is way more than that and it requires a lot of effort and work. It is not just about fame, fashion, brands and photographs. That is what we imagine when we talk about the profession but that is not the reality. 

@dmcasting on Instagram
@bethmodelafrica on Instagram

Being strong enough and self-confident to accept the critics

In fact, one of the realities of being a model is that you have to be strong enough. Castings, fashion directors, managers, and many people involved have no filters and will not hesitate to tell you what they think about you. You have to be grown and strong enough to accept the critics. Most of them will be based on what you look like and on your physique. 

For a young person or someone fragile or naive, this can be very damaging and lead to a self-esteem lack as well as an eating disorder in the worst case. 

You have to detach yourself from the critics and this world to understand that you just are not what they are looking for. The fashion industry is not clever and can be very brutal if you come in with high expectations and the perfect idea you build about it. The reality is sadly different. 

woman statue
Photo by Zack Jarosz on

Hard job to take: time consuming

One of the clichés we have about modelling jobs and the fashion industry is that it is not a ‘real’ job. We think that it is only about posing, being pretty and being photographed. Also, we have this idea of parties, fashion shows and non-stop events that comes with the ‘job’. 

Actually, modelling is way more than that. A part of it is true, but that is just the visible part. Modelling means to be hired by brands. For that it is a lot of casting to go to, a lot of work to find the right one, in the right place and making sure you fit the demand of brands. Also, it is time consuming to go to a photo shoot and pose for several hours. We do not have to talk about the discomfort of some poses, clothes and so on. 

There is a huge competition in the industry, and you have to make sure to be at the right place at the right time. It also means that you always have to be the best version of yourself, to spend hours waiting, walking, posing and standing. From early in the morning to late at night. Because yes, models go to some parties, but that is to be seen and hired by some fashion influent actors such as directors, creative people and so on. There are a lot of public appearances and relationships. Most of the time models have agents, but they have to be really good and sometimes do more to succeed in this industry. 

people holding their phones
Photo by fauxels on

A lot of investments and efforts 

The fashion industry is a fastgrowing and moving industry. Trends come and go really quickly. And so models do! To be always desirable and fit in the old school and ridiculous criterias of the industry, you have to work on your body. Because yes, modelling is just a physique job. You are getting paid for your body and what you look like. It is all about image. But this image needs to be constant and always perfect, no matter the season. That is why it is a lot of investment in yourself. 

Models usually spend a lot of time at the gym, to work out and keep their body in a good shape. Also, they spend a lot of money on food to get you the best things possible. Finally, you have to invest money and time on self care, skin care routines and so on. It is important to take care of your health, your body and everything. 

More than just a ‘physical investment’, modelling is a financial, and expensive job as well. Taking care of yourself is quite expensive. Plus, most of the modelling jobs are in the Big 4 (New York, London, Paris, Milan). These fashion capitals are expensive and you need a big budget to afford to live there. You also have to pay for your travels, clothes and more. You spend a lot of time on casting and trying to get a job but sometimes you will not get one. So the ratio of time spent trying versus the salary you get from a job can easily be not worthy or enough to live on.

That is why, most models struggle to pay for everything and usually do modelling as part of another job or as a second option, while working part time for a company and being employed. 

@devonlevesque on Instagram, working out
@vogue on YouTube, “Top Model Ludwig Wilsdorff Gets Runway Ready”, Dairy of a Model

Models are bodies and physicals 

As we previously explained, being a model means being judged on your physics. This is a job you can get only for what you look like and your image. There is no real chance for you to show chat you are capable of, your thoughts or your other skills. 

The industry is still closed and far behind when it comes to inclusivity and body diversity which can also be problematic. There are some features and body types more liked than others such as ‘unique’ bodies (vitiligo, spaced-apart teeth, large foreheads, etc.). These body features make it easier to get into the job and the fashion world. Otherwise, models are being judged and recruited on the basis of height, weight, sizes criterias and even though you look great or you are really charismatic / photogenic, it will be really hard to get into it. 

Modelling is an old-school job, in the sense that you are completely judged and recruited on what you look like and on the basis of old and very restrictive criterias. If you think you can get a chance because you are naturally photogenic and at ease with cameras, it will help you but not be sufficient to get into the fashion models world. 

Vogue on YouTube, “9 Models on the Pressure to Lose Weight and Body Image”, The Models

Supermodels not super naturals

Supermodels are the one we think of when talking about fashion. Naomi Campbell, the Hadid sisters and many more. But these supermodels are famous and very bankable. Before getting there, as a normal human being, there is a lot of work and investments as we said. Also, having contacts in the industry helps a lot as well as being already a bit famous. 

Supermodels, if you look closer, are the only one walking during fashion weeks, they are the one we see everywhere and most of them are brand representatives. Which means, there is not that much space and opportunities for new entrants. 

However, they can be a source of inspiration, from their career, to look at performing at work. You can learn how to pose, to walk and more just by looking at what they do. For inspiration they are great. But there are some points you should be aware of and keep in mind to not idolise them completely. The major point is that they are not natural. Yes, sorry to disappoint you but most of them stopped at the surgery step at least once. From Bella Hadid to others. Another point is that they work-out very hard to keep their body and they also are constrained by the efforts we listed before. It means they also invest a lot of time, effort and money on their body to look like what you can see. 

Finally, let’s not forget the Photoshop process of the content created with these celebrities. From photos to videos and social media content. Every appearance or use of their images is modified and ‘improved’. Even plus curved models have a specific plan, schedule, diet, work-out routine to follow. 

We know that the industry is trying to be more authentic. But the change is very slow and the majority of supermodels are not as real as you can be. Do not take their public image and what the world can see as the truth and their real life. You cannot know someone until you have not talked to this person. 

@vogue on Instagram
@vogue on Instagram

True Beauty

Being a model is not just a dream and an easy job to get. It is not meant for everyone and can be very damaging if you are not prepared or strong enough for the vicious industry. 

True and real beauty is about authenticity and yourself. You do not need to be a model to be amazing as well as it is not because you are wonderful that you need to be a model. 

If you consider a career in modelling and in the fashion industry, you need to be aware and prepared before starting to build it and putting some effort into it. We really hope this article has helped you if you were questioning yourself or just gave you some insight of what the fashion industry truly is. Even though times are changing and flying by, it is still a far behind industry and not really healthy. Modelling is not just about fun and not working, it is hard, vicious and requires you to put a lot of your energy into it. 

However, we still like fashion and the creativity around it. We are always happy and excited when we see brands trying to change that and taking the lead to a better future and an improvement of the industry. 

Vogue on YouTube, “8 Models on the Realities of Modeling Today”, The Models

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