Friday, August 27, 2010

Overcoming issues with height and modeling agencies

A girl on Facebook recently asked me how overcoming issues with height and modeling agencies:
How would you recommend I handle a situation with an agency where they only hire models that are 5'6" and taller for print and for leg modeling they use models 5'9" and taller? When the agency told me, I immediately let them know that I have a 33 inch inseam (which is similar to what 5'9" models have). I told her that I'm all legs. She still wasn't convinced because her clients request models that are 5'9" and taller for legs. I felt really defeated because my legs are just as long and thin and shapely as a taller model, but she got caught up on the 5'5" thing. I felt like I did at combating her statements with my positives, but it didn't seem to work. What would you have recommended I do in that situation?

My reply might inspire your own pursuits as a model:
I work with print agencies in NYC and often I have been told, attend this casting or hold this date for a shoot, and then the agency will write back and say, nevermind they went with someone taller. So. It happens, it is a part of using what you have to get ahead, sometimes what you have it not what they want. Modeling is a business of rejection, so I would strive to work with agencies that see your assets, know your real height but are willing to work with what you have, and agencies that are able to feel confident in you and themselves enough to market you despite your lack of some inches. The agent probably doesn't feel confident in herself to push you to convince the client you are just as good for the job, this is an agency that doesn't fully believe in you or herself.

An agent puts her own reputation on the line when she markets her models, but it sounds like this agency is very concerned about “sticking to what the client wants” (which is good) but it means that the agency won’t send anything less than what the client desires. This mindset means that sending you would put her at risk, her reputation. Therefore ,I would strive to work another agency, one that understands you are short, but doesn't dwell on height as much as your  other assets.

(And make sure your photos show off your other assets, and if it is your legs, make sure the photos look like ads for products involve legs, skincare ad, shaving ad, shoe ad.)

I am a shorter, the shortest perhaps, leg model ever! Yet my legs have been used in magazines and campaigns, because I showed in my modeling pictures that my legs are an asset for modeling products, shoes, etc….and maybe they were not used in a high end fashion editorial in Vogue but I have modeled shoes and products with my legs for many brands and magazines. Also, it sounds like you are targeting yourself to agencies that only care about height and measurements (fashion agencies) and not the model's other assets...It is tough to change these types of “measurements mean all” I'd keep hunting for another agency (print agencies). ~Isobella

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