What to Know Before Becoming a Male Model

There are a few things you should be aware of when starting a career in modelling. Let’s look at seven important qualities of becoming a male model

Are you constantly getting told you should be a model? It’s quite the compliment, but it might also be something you’re seriously considering. If so, there are a number of things you should know before getting started.

With this in mind, let’s take a look at seven key aspects of being a male model:

Where to live

Modeling gigs can be found in most major cities. But if you want plenty of options and the chance to advance, you’ll need to relocate to New York, Los Angeles, London, Paris, or Milan. These are the fashion capitals of the world. They’re also cities where aspiring fashion models can find part-time work as background performers across multiple forms of media, such as film, television, and theater. Those interested in modeling may soon find themselves landing speaking roles in commercials, TV shows, and movies. But that all depends on where you live and work.

General height requirements

There is no set height requirement for male models. But generally speaking, most male models are between 5’11 and 6’2. That’s mostly due to this range representing the ideal adult male height; any shorter or taller and you’re deviating from the perceived norm. With that said, men who are shorter or taller still have a shot at modeling gigs. It ultimately depends on the nature of the gig; full-body images are typically reserved for men within the preferred height range. But when only one-half of the body is captured, or the image is limited to hands and feet, those outside the normal height can still find work.

General body fat percentage requirements

Much attention gets paid to the seemingly unrealistic body fat percentages of most models. While fitness models are expected to have a body fat percentage of less than six percent, the limit is higher for fashion models. Generally speaking, male models are expected to have a body fat percentage no higher than 15 percent. However, due to the growing trend of promoting inclusivity, more clothing companies and fashion designers are turning to models with body fat percentages that more closely represent the average person.

Different types of modeling gigs

Most aspiring models envision the job as always being the classic “strike a pose” session. But there are many different types of modeling gigs out there. For instance, you might find yourself modeling no show socks for men, in which only your feet and ankles are visible in the shot. Those interested in pursuing modeling as a career option should be prepared to accept these and other types of secondary gigs as a way to get their foot in the door, so to speak.

Income expectations

The income expectations of the typical working male model are not exactly ideal. While $100 per hour tends to be the most common hourly rate, there’s no guarantee you’ll be working enough to pay the bills. After all, there’s really no such thing as a job where you clock in, model clothes for eight hours, and clock out. Instead, you’re chasing gigs around town, each of which will only involve one or two hours of work. With that said, those who hit their stride and find themselves sought after by photographers rather than the other way around can easily start making as much per year as the average office worker.

Career evaluation

If you have what it takes and work hard at finding gigs, chances are you’ll land a steady stream of modeling jobs. However, at some point, you will need to stop and evaluate your options. If you’re still struggling to pay the bills after three years of chasing gigs, it might be time to think about your next professional move. You can still pursue modeling as a profession, but you might want to make it a secondary line of work in lieu of something that pays better and provides benefits.

Other options

After a few years of working as a fashion model, you may find yourself burned out by the high demands versus the minimal pay. But you’ve also been exposed to many other career options along the way. For instance, maybe you’re more familiar with photography now and find yourself considering a career as a photographer. Or perhaps – as mentioned earlier – you took a few acting jobs and now have a taste for theatrical performance.

Men frequently told to give modeling a try should consider it as an option. However, they should also be aware of the important facts and realities. Doing so will put them in the best position possible to succeed and advance in a difficult industry.

Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys covering topics related to business, fashion, and travel.

Images from MMSCENE PORTRAITS: Pablo Kaestli by Alessandra Huynh  – See the full story here


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