Short Models

If you’re under 5’6″, and you model, you’re a short model.

I see it so much.  “I’m 5’2″ and I know I can’t do runway, but I can do commercial print, since height doesn’t matter for print, right?  Will I go anywhere as a model?”

The short answer: NO!

Now, I know, I know.  Kate Moss is “short” (technically under agency required height), and if Kate Moss did it, you can too!  After all, she’s short, and you’re short… see where I’m going with this?  Eva from ANTM is short too, and look at her! And sure, there are plenty of other people people mention.  They’re all exceptions.

That’s great.  The answer is still no!  Kate Moss is an exception.  Why?  Because she’s exceptionally beautiful, and wonderfully marketable.  Eva… well, she won a reality TV show.  That’s why she’s an exception.  Let’s note that ANTM changed their height requirements after she won, and hasn’t had a contestant that short since.  Let’s also note that ANTM is not the end-all-be-all of the modeling world.

People need to stop bringing up the exceptions.  The vast majority of the time, the person asking the question is so far from the exception it’s silly.  And so is the false hope the people who “Kate Moss” it give the person.  Seriously.

The long answer: Here you go…

Read Read it like, 10 times.  Then read the rest of the site.  Pound that info into your head.  Consider that website the Bible for modeling.

Once you’ve done that, sit down and reconsider your modeling.  Take the info you’ve learned from and evaluate your stats and location against that info.  Figure that, despite what your mom and your friends say, you’re not “exceptional”.

If your height isn’t at least at the low end of the spectrum when it comes to what agencies are looking for, plan on never getting signed to a reputable modeling agency.  Period.  Don’t think that you’re the exception, because chances are, you’re not. Get over it.

The big-name agencies don’t have commercial divisions that take models under 5’6″.  There’s really no such thing as a petite division of a modeling agency.  I can think of one reputable agency exception, and that’s Ugly NY… but they only represent people in NYC.  There are, surely, smaller agencies in smaller towns that might make exceptions, but that bold statement above?  Learn it.  Live it.

In fact, let’s say it together: I’m not the exception.

Good.  Make it your mantra when it comes to modeling.  Things will be a lot easier for you.

If you still want to model, model as a hobby.  But don’t plan on banking.  In fact, plan on losing money, as you typically do for any other hobby.  But plan on enjoying what you do, and perhaps even making some photos/artwork you’re proud of.

If you can’t enjoy modeling as a hobby, or don’t like the idea of losing money consistently, and you aren’t willing to do what it takes to make money at your height, stop modeling.

FWIW, when you’re shorter, you might be able to do glamour modeling (sexy swimwear and lingerie type stuff, though it’s more marketable if you’re willing to do glamour nudes), parts modeling (legs, feet, hands–but you have to have at least one exceptional part), promotional modeling (car shows, alcohol companies, that kind of stuff), nudes (art nudes, sitting for artists, and glamour nudes), and fetish stuff (some of which doesn’t require nudity at all)… and pretty much whatever you and a hobbyist photographer want to shoot for fun.  But again, don’t plan on being Ms. Exceptional and don’t plan on rolling in money.

Set your expectations low, or don’t have any at all, and you won’t be disappointed should something happen to come your way.

Edit: Let’s note that I’m 5’3″ and that I’ve been a hobbyist model for nearly 3 years now.  I don’t get naked.  I’ve had some great opportunities, and have gotten a few minor tear sheets and some decent paid jobs, but overall, I’ve lost lots of money since I got serious about my hobby, and know that you’ll never see my face (or body) on a billboard, in a major publication, or anywhere else important.

One Comment to “Short Models”

  1. Hmm… looking at this entry over a year after writing it and, well… it’s quite interesting. Much of how I feel remains the same, though Tyra and ANTM *did* do a short cycle (which I tried out for because I was scouted and given an opportunity to bypass all the open call BS). Ugly NY has also closed its doors (though the UK Ugly still remains I believe). I’ve also done more since writing this, and may have an opportunity to be in a magazine sometime soon… but all of that’s been because of who I’ve networked with, and because of the reputation I’ve built for myself over the years.

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