Guys, if you haven’t heard, the fashion industry is changing. Big things are in motion. Big, good, things that protect you younger models out there. This is great!
The fashion industry is still, well, a bit raunchy, shady, and over-saturated. These are all things I really do think everyone should be aware of before deciding to pursue a career in modeling. While it is a lot safer, I think, and nicer in “hometown” areas like Seattle and Portland, big cities like New York are crawling with less-than-ideal circumstances.
What do I do, then, when a beautiful, smart, young girl looks to me–me!–for modeling advice? About 75 percent of me wants to warn her of all the bad, to steer her away! But look at me. I’m here. I’m doing it. What am I to steer anyone away?
I love what I do. It works for me and my lifestyle. It’s not for everyone, but that’s not for me to decide. If you’re pursuing a career in modeling, I want you to know what you’re getting into and make sure you have your parents backing you up and giving you sound advice.
Glamor, Beauty, and Media
You see ad campaigns and think how beautiful and great that must feel, to be her. Media creates an illusion of what the model and fashion industry is really like.
Shows like America’s Next Top Model tell you something along the lines of, “oh, its rough and competitive” but they don’t ever go into much detail. First of all, these are reality TV shows. They only want you to see the glamorous side, if not ‘dramatic.’ Secondly, it’s not all that glamorous. No, really. It’s not. That’s not why I model.
I model because I love promoting healthy body image, I love being in front of the camera, I love making magic, making art, and I love the thrill of the catwalk. All these things, among others, make it worth it.
Consider Everything First
Okay, your first photoshoot is really exciting! And the second, and the third…. After a while, you realize that modeling is really fun! Yes, it is fun. If you want to consider it as a career though, be cautious and decide what steps to take logically.
Have a back-up plan
Consider other passions. What do you like to do? Writing? Architecture? Or perhaps you want to start a business one day? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. This is a good tip for anything in life. You don’t want to invest in something so much, that you don’t have a plan B or C to fall back on.
I only suggest modeling to someone with a strong, smart head on their shoulders because the fashion industry will topple you over in a second when given the chance.
I suggest college after high school to anyone. Everyone needs a backup plan. The modeling industry isn’t sustaining, unless you suddenly become a one-hit wonder. While I didn’t continue my college degree, I did graduate with my two-year Associates.
Ask yourself, are you prepared to give up all other career options out there for a chance that’s equivalent to winning the lottery? Many models (and actors) are working as part time waiters, brand ambassadors, and working nights at clubs in New York to pay the bills.
I’m 100% freelance, I don’t have a 9am-5pm “J-O-B,” and I make money to support myself from modeling, but that doesn’t mean I don’t make sacrifices. I’ve worked countless jobs that aren’t very fun just to stay on my feet as I work hard on my career. Sometimes even the modeling jobs tend to drag on, if you’re just shooting a line of clothing for a website.
Even if you’re making money with frequent well-paid modeling gigs, the agency may still take ten months or more to pay you what they owe. And they may just charge many mysterious expenses (hundreds of dollars!) to your account to get as much out of you as they can. Many girls end up owing! You want to be assured you can handle these situations, or that you are well on your way to understanding them and being able to handle them.
Pressure to change at All costs
What will you do when your agent asks you to loose 10 pounds? This hasn’t happened to me in Seattle, but definitely in New York. Will you stay healthy? Will you cave under the pressure? You’re not sure? Stick to your guns and stay healthy! Many models go to drugs and bad dieting, sometimes anorexia to loose the pounds quickly for their agency. While that’s the fast fix and makes the agency happy, your body will be screaming at you to stop!
If you need to loose 10 pounds, you’re going to have to stay strong and vigilant. Stay healthy and stay patient. Loosing weight the healthy way takes more time. It could take more than twenty weeks.
I’m not telling you not to model
I’m just telling you to be aware. Be alert and smart. I really only suggest modeling to people with a great support system and a good head. Modeling is fun and rewarding and could potentially be a lucrative career.
This is all stuff that wouldn’t start showing up right away. Of course, you just started. This is fun! You’re in your hometown area… and you’re a model. That’s super exciting. But consider all these things as you become more involved and perhaps your agency wants to send you out to travel, or say you want to move to a big city. That’s when you need to be careful. When you become really involved.
The last thing you want is to end up traveling to a foreign city or country unprepared. Please, please make sure you are prepared! Your parents should help you with this.
Briauna Mariah (: