Guide To Being A Model
Let's face it, you're not a model. You're just someone who is infatuated with the idea of being physically idolized, envied for their glorious lifestyle and enjoy lavish possessions so that feeling of insignificance and insecurity, may somehow be overshadowed with a sense of purpose and success. But there's no need to feel ashamed because you're not alone. Although you think this admittance is the worst part, it's not.
The modeling industry is based on superficiality, it remains sexist, racist, exploits its "talent", it's union-less, non-regulated, it's filled with scams, fueled by rumors, gossip and prejudice, and it only works with a small pool of models, even though the industry is over saturated; This the worst part. I put the word talent in quotations because although models are referred to as talent, they are not. Physically looking a particular way by default is not talent, it's simply genetic lottery.
Regardless, you insist on looking past all these things because, how else are you going to live your life? The money, the traveling, the VIP parties, the prodigious living arrangement, the fame... it's the American dream! You want to know how to get started? It's simple, but before I dive into it, you need to ask yourself a healthy diet of fundamental questions.
Can I deal with rejection on the daily basis? Will I be able to handle the enormous amount of models probably more qualified than me for jobs? Can I sustain a superficial persona while masking how self-conscious I am? Am I willing to wear anything and do whatever necessary for gigs while remaining professional? If you answered yes to all of these, let's get started. If not, save yourself and focus on a real career.
Pictures. You need them. However this is probably the one thing that everyone fucks up. I want to be loud and clear on this too; You do NOT need professional pictures. It's a common mistake most people make. I know, I know, you want to look like a undiscovered superstar when somebody looks at images of you, but there's a reason why modeling agencies state that professional photographs are not necessary when submitting for review.
First off, you probably have a skewed perception of what you think you look like in real life. How you see yourself versus how others see you are almost never the same. Because of this, people inadvertently type-cast themselves in photographs. You see, it's not for you to decide what you should look like, it's the AGENCY that decides what you should look like. They are going to market you how they see fit and it's essential that you present yourself as no-frills as possible. So whatever images you use, it's critical they reflect your most natural state.
So no make-up, no bullshit facial expressions or wearing excessive/loud clothing... and PLEASE kill the sunglasses and jewelry. Everyday thousands of wanna-be models eliminate themselves from consideration by having photographs of themselves wearing utter nonsense.
"So what kind of photographs should I take?" You ask. Simple ones*. A picture of your face, a picture of your body and you can include a profile look (side shot of yourself). That's it. "What should you wear?" fitted clothing with no logos or labels. A swimsuit (a basic one) for your body shot is fine. Following these guidelines will only increase your chances.
*If you want to hire a professional photographer who knows how to shoot you this way, that fine.
THE REAL STEP ONE:
Be physically perfect. I know, you're not, but a little ignorance goes a long way. Also, if you're not from Brazil, some exotic country or European place, the reality is, is that you're probably not going to have the required "look" to be a model (aka "white"). So try not to get too excited. Ethnicity remains scarce in the industry. Even "white" plus sized models have a higher chance of getting representation than a non-white person.
Either way, it's imperative that you present yourself and photograph yourself in the best shape of your life, in the best possible way. This includes grooming. Bad skin, hair and nails are NOT going to pass, so get on it. Again, this will only increase your chances.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION...
I feel the need to mention that EVERYTHING you've seen on television, regarding modeling, is ALL bullshit. What you see on television is made for television, that's it. Those "modeling" shows are about getting viewers and ratings, they have NOTHING to do with the real modeling industry. Yes, all of America's Next Top Model is complete nonsense. None of the models on the show, including the winners, ever work in the industry.
While I'm at it, modeling school is probably the biggest scam in whole industry. Don't waste your time or money... actually, don't pay for anything. ONLY scam agencies/people charge for things. If you've already fallen victim to this trap, don't be bitter, you've been had. Besides, can you really put a price on this life-long dream of yours? Didn't think so.
Okay, so where were we? Ah yes, step two.
Pair your photographs with your physical measurements and contact information because you are going to submit them to the whole world. The idea here, is to get a list of every possible agency that exists and send them your photographs in order to increase your chances of getting seen and obtaining representation as a model. Not sure where to begin? A quick internet search is a start. Go to www.models.com or interrogate models you know or come across for help (be nice). In most cases, agencies have online submissions with the division and/or person to submit your images to for consideration.
Here's what NOT to do. Do not send notes, letters or essays about your dreams or aspirations about being a model, NO ONE CARES. I've heard stories of people so desperate to be a model, they would send agencies bottles of wine, baskets of goodies etc. to bribe them. You know what happened? The agency kept rejecting the person because they didn't want the complimentary extras to stop coming. Don't send anything outside of what is required, which are your photographs, measurements and contact information. Your submission may include something additional to the person to whom you are addressing, if request, of course.
There is no step three, you're done. I told you it was simple. Now, it's just the waiting. Some people like to follow up with phone calls or by submitting more photos to the same places or even maybe doing a decent amount of harassment, but this will more likely ruin your chances.
If you get called in, great! Don't fuck it up by pretending to be a hot shot or something. Keep it simple and be polite. Just be you(gasp!). It's OK to be shy and not know anything (pun intended). In the end, if you have no luck becoming a professional model, there's always Craigslist, Instagram and Model Mayhem. You can join the millions of fake and rejected models still holding on to the dream.
Or, better yet, do something more meaningful and noble with your life.