Monday, August 1, 2011
Modeling opportunities for shorter models: discovering the avenues with the right mindset
I am sprung to write about the deeper meaning of why short chicks don't rock the runway and how finding avenues means choosing to not be limited.
The runway and Fashion Week might not be having models under 5'9" rocking it, but the high fashion industry isn't everything, infact "change" isn't the only thing to stand-for.
I am not confident that the fashion industry is going to change, to open it's doors to the shorter model anytime soon as a norm. Some fashion brands, stores and chains of all price points are slowly bringing in a "petite" section, and you do see it, but there is not much...yet. And the model used to promote this petite section, is not petite.
So here are my thoughts on why fashion and the short chick are at a battle...really it's our brains that are at conflict.
A lot of girls ask me about finding an agency, or wondering why fashion agencies won't work with them and feeling that their chances are gone because of their lack of height.
Well, there is not a demand in the fashion world for shorter models, therefore why would the high fashion agencies work with them? It would be a waste of time for them. Agencies have to keep a relationship with their clients, they build these relationships by giving the client what they want-more than often tall, lean, fitting certain measurements- and not many fashion agencies are ready to pull for the shorter girl, find them work, push her to clients, and risk their own reputation.
Let's talk about the designer: Designers are not designing enough for petites, curvy sizes and the honest measurements of an average girl/consumer out there so why would the models being used for the ads be an honest average sized model?
(And often if the product is for a certain demographic (luxury) the model you will see will be taller and leaner as well...because let's face it, in our world, sadly, currently, taller and skinny = better and more beautiful or at a higher status. The internal seems not to matter as much as these factors, which is killing our souls. But in the business of selling and pitching product to consumers, the right look, persona is needed or desired. You'll notice for a lifestyle product, a cell phone, jewelry, accessories where the height of the model isn't as important, or for a non-fashion product, you might see a shorter girl or non-fashion model being used, and the model is usually more humanistic, but will still appear proprotioned on camera.)
Back to fashion. Let's remember fashion today is shown often as a fantasy, pushing it to the max, just watch a runway show, it's creative and artistic, beautiful and fun to watch, like a circus would be, but also much we see on the runways is unrealistic...who would wear THAT!...most of it will be tamed down for stores, and sold to a small percent of the population who are rolling in the dough.
Most people out there do not shop for 1,000+ handbags.
Most people out there do not buy $50 lipsticks.
Most people out there are not who these brands are marketing to.
Sure, we see it, our brains are flooded with images of all the high end product out there, but can the masses realistically buy what we see? No.
Fashion modeling agencies work with a select amount of models, taller, leaner, who fit the look and sample size of what these high fashion designers want for their models. The tall, like a gleaming statue. A grazing giraffe. A dream-like creature usually pale. The pretty, with a unique character or unusual are best.
For a shorter girl striving to work as a model, is not about grudging the tall chicks and rolling your eyes at the fashion agencies who won't work with them-that attitude is a waste of time- it's about finding your chance in other areas where you can excell.
The mind and heart work together, and they leads. You might need to do some self-analyzation to notice your assets and what you have beyond height. You will need to have the right model marketing mindset to pursue your goals and you need goals! Your mindset and approach, your introduction, your photos, your presentation- matters.
Dwelling on what you aren't and how the industry won't change isn't going to get you anywhere.
Sure, there has been buzz on the curvy girls, but not the short ones and the fashion side doesn't seem to be moving towards change, because these high end brands need to trust that the consumer wants to see a model that looks more realistic like the consumer, and I doubt this will be the future soon, but you do see this in print modeling.
You might not succeed in working with the agency you want to, and booking the jobs you dream to book, but you can still find opportunities with the right will and try.
Print modeling is the area for a shorter girl to pursue, in that area it is more about your personality than everything, you might not be in the latest fashions and wearing dramatic makeup for the work, but people of all types model lifestyle products within commercial print modeling.
And there are many print modeling agencies and talent agencies out there. Sure, they do not have open calls, and the relationship is different than a fashion agency, but print modeling is more open minded than the fashion side. And of course your own self-promotion, your own self-starter attitude and self-marketing comes into play as well. It is a self-made world so you should be prepared for the go-getter lifestyle.
The shorter model and print model does a lot of hands on work, the behind the scenes, before you create photos, before you pitch the agency your comp cards, before you get in front of the camera even, know yourself, know what you can realistically aim for, aim high but be realistic and true to yourself.
Discovering the avenues for opportunities starts with understanding what makes you a good model and how you can use those skills/assets to get work and model for real brands and work with professional agencies.
It will take a lot of work on your part, time and energy and it is a true self-investment.
Just because the fashion industry might not want to work with you doesn't mean you can't find other work, and actually I don't think the fashion industry is so amazing, it is a small percent of the working models out there, and I'd rather not be limited by my age or measurements, (in print modeling you can model until you are a Grandmother!) when I can use my personality and other assets to book the job.
You are your own manager of your dreams, you are your own cheerleader, and working as a model when you are shorter is about discovering yourself, the avenues that can help to find you opportunities, and being willing to do the work and learn from it all and grow with it.
The fashion industry is not holding you back, not when there are massive amounts of non-fashion brands and products out there. It's not your size or the sample size that is holding you back. Don't limit yourself by only focusing on areas that are limiting...grab your ambition and start preparing your goals and focusing on what you have that products of all types can use to promote their goods. Is it your friendly smile? Your energy, your hair, your bright eyes?
Height isn't everything when you start to notice how what you naturally have can become marketable. Discover the avenues with the right mindset.
...no matter your height, modeling is a tough business to pursue, the more you know yourself, the better.