Definitive Guide to Choosing Your Genre in Modeling

Many people perceive modeling to be a profession that only involves beautiful people with fit bodies who walk the runway wearing expensive designer pieces. Well, that may be true, but only for some parts of the whole scope. Modeling is a very broad profession and industry that anybody can be a part of.
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It may seem unreal, but yes, anybody can be a model because the profession is already so diverse and it no longer comes packaged with good looks and slim figures. By definition, anybody who’s made to act or perform to the public with the purpose of promoting a certain product is already a model.

History and Evolution of Modeling

People’s general perception of modeling could be attributed to Parisian Fashion houses where it was first practiced. Models were basically women who were commissioned to show off clothes designed by these houses. This made Paris the birthplace of the profession and of haute couture or high fashion, which is largely associated with the profession.
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The father of Haute Couture, Charles Frederick Worth, was the first person to ask women, particularly his wife, to show off his designs. This was later adapted by many Parisian fashion houses in the mid-1800s.  With the invention of the camera, the profession moved forward towards fashion photography and subsequently moved further with the invention of television and other media. Back then, the industry wasn’t as glamorous as it is now and models were not paid much. Seeing this as a problem, modeling agencies started cropping up to boost, protect and regulate the works of models. From then on, most models were getting paid by the hour and they were paid handsomely and those who do ease up to the Supermodel status. The biggest evolution in modeling came in the 90s where models were largely criticized for their attitude and unhealthy lifestyle and a demand for a more commercial genre was eminent. This started the split between commercial and editorial fashion and introduced a new breed of models. While editorial fashion stuck to the traditional requirements of the profession, commercial fashion broke the norms by employing attractive women who did not fall under the requirements of fashion models. This split was so significant that it gave rise to healthier looking models and even more diverse types of modeling. It also slowly changed people’s common perception that models ought to be a bunch of skinny women who paraded in expensive clothes and lived the high life. This created an even healthier outlook for modeling as a whole.

Genres and Categories of Modeling 

Currently, there are several types of modeling involving different qualifications and we’re giving everyone the overview of each one of them. This will guide aspiring individuals who want to pursue with their dreams in the industry.
  • Fashion Models:  We would like to call this as the traditional type of modeling since it embodies the original idea of the profession. Somehow, this is still made exclusive to men and women who fall within size, weight and height standards. 
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Most female models, according to the Association of Model Agents, should be slender and within the 16-21 year-old age bracket with the height range of 5 ft 9 inches to 6 ft. They have to weigh proportional to their height and be within the 34-24-34 measurement requirement. Male models should be 18 to 25 years old and have to fall within measurement requirements with their waists within the 30 to 32 inches and chest measurements of 36 to 40 inches. They also have to fall within the 5 ft 10 inch- to 6 ft 2 inch-height requirements, and have well-toned bodies. As added requirements, fashion models need to be attractive with healthy skin and hair. Other requirements may vary depending on the specifications of the clothing brand or the designer, especially for size measurements. Fashion models can be booked for magazine editorial spreads, runways, fashion catalogs, and various jobs. For models of the runway, they will need to be extremely good at walking the catwalk as this is the essence of the job.
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These models participate in runway shows and are also featured on magazines and fashion catalogs. The upside is, they are not only limited to these opportunities, as they can model just about any type of product from cosmetics to accessories.
  • Petite Models: Like Plus-sized models, petite models fall under the height requirement of most fashion models, but they have great opportunities on their own. Most of them succeed in print and TV media. Petite models have also done great works at promotional shows, trade shows and conventions.
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  • Commercial Models: These models can work all sorts of modeling jobs from print ads, ad campaigns, TV commercials, niche magazines, and any other aspects of promotion. Unlike fashion models, they don’t have specific height or weight requirements and being very attractive is not necessarily a requirement. 
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Under this category are print models who are targeted specifically for different types of print media. We usually see them on billboards, posters, booklets and magazines. Again, most of these models are attractive and generally pleasant to look at, but the requirements can vary depending on the specifications of the company or campaign. 
  • Promotional Models:  They are targeted towards a vast variety of products and are often seen at shopping malls and stores. Models need to be attractive enough to draw people towards the showcase of the product. Along with that, they will have to provide the consumers information about the product in the hopes of future sales and patronage.
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Spokesmodels are promotional models who associate themselves exclusively to a brand; commonly known as brand ambassadors. Fashion models and celebrities with commercial appeal often get offers to become spokesmodels. Famous spokesmodels are Elizabeth Hurley for Estee Lauder, Halle Berry for Revlon, and Jennifer Lopez for L’Oreal. Trade show models work specifically at trade shows and conventions. Due to the volume of participants during a trade show, companies employ these models to attract attendees. They represent the company, but they’re not directly employed by the company as regular employees. Rather, they aid in the promotion of a company’s booth at the trade show.
  • Parts Models: Some models can be employed for their body parts. Hair, feet, belly and hand models are very much in demand because of the volume of products that are constantly coming out in the market. Compared to other types of modeling jobs, all it requires are attractive body parts and they can be booked for the job. 
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  • Fitness Models: They are models who exude physical fitness in every sense. Being attractive is not necessary, but is a plus. The major requirement for the job is for the model to be in top-shape with good muscle tone and sporty physique. Most of these modeling jobs are offered by sports and fitness brands like Nike, Adidas, and fitness gyms. 
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  • Glamour Models: The Playboy bunnies are the best examples for glamour models. There are no requirements, but the model needs to look very seductive and exude lots of sex appeal. They also need to be at least 18 years old as they can be exposed to modeling jobs wearing lingerie, skimpy bikinis or even wearing nothing.
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Welcoming Diversity into the Business

The rise of these offshoots in the business gave more people chances to chase their dreams of becoming models. They may not attain the fashion model status, but they have definitely garnered spots on TV commercials, ad campaigns and several promotional events that brands conduct.
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This diversity broke the traditions and made it possible for plus-sized and petite models to break into the scene to make names for themselves. More importantly, it sent a message to the general public, especially to those who want to become models that it is fine to not be a size zero or size four and it is alright to eat healthily. In fact, this movement in the industry allowed plus-sized model Ashley Graham to break into the industry and opened plus-sized divisions at Ford Models.  She has made the cover of fashion magazines like Vogue and Glamour and has been part of many Levi’s campaigns. As an inspiration, Ashley continues to speak at conventions for people who do not fall within the norms of being models.

There’s a Lot for Everybody

People like Ashley Graham and many other breakthrough models send out the message that modeling jobs are not limited to women from sizes four to six. They don’t have to be very attractive and slender to fit the bill.
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With this huge demand for different types of models, modeling auditions pop up in large numbers to look for the right person for their campaign. You may be of any race, of any height, or of any body type, but there’s a guaranteed spot waiting for you in the world of modeling.