Maybe my art background and my making my living as a graphic designer has helped me with this, but since I’ve been modeling, I’ve never taken rejection and criticism personally. In fact, you can’t.
Sure, modeling can be raw and real–there are some gigs that are extremely emotionally and physically draining. And don’t get me wrong, near constant rejection and criticism can be emotionally draining as well. But if you’re taking it all personally, you’re doing it wrong.
Rejection is the first thing you need to learn how to handle as a model, because it’s what you’ll be faced with the most.
Being a model is all about your look. Your measurements and height, your eye color, hair color and length, your body type, the size of your tits, your skintone, your bone structure… even your flexibility–all of that is extremely important when it comes to modeling. Most of it you can’t change either (yay, genetics) so taking rejection personally is silly. Sure, you can cut and dye your hair or get wigs, get breast implants, buy some colored contacts, tan… you get the idea. You can spend all the money in the world to change your looks, but even if you do all that, you’ll find that there are still photographers and clients out there that don’t like your look and won’t book you. You can’t please everyone, and if you take every rejection or criticism personally, you’re going to wind up being really depressed and bitter, and you’ll burn out super fast. Plus, no one will want to work with you because you’ll be a total drama queen about every little thing people say to you too, which no one likes!
Your best bet (and photographers can learn from this too) is to let the rejections roll off your back and keep working to find someone who likes your look. They’re out there! It might be a challenging road, but if you’re up for it, you’ll find what you’re looking for. Just have fun while looking and it won’t be as hard of a search.
Use the criticism you get along the way to grow. Learn from what people tell you, but don’t let it get to you. Modeling and photography is a creative industry, and critics come with it. It’s just how it is, and it will always be that way. I’ve written about criticism before, but it was a slightly different take on it… though if you haven’t read that entry, it might help make this next part make more sense.
Someone being constructive and offering a critique (especially after you ask for one) is typically being helpful and offering advice, which should be considered. If someone tells you something you don’t like hearing, take a deep breath and ask yourself “that’s their opinion and I don’t have to agree, but is there something I can take away from what they said to make myself better?”. Don’t take every critic’s words as an attack, because usually, that’s not what they’re doing. Think about what’s being said and choose to take the advice and learn from it, or not. It’s up to you.
Those who offer unsolicited critiques of your work should most definitely not be taken personally. But those critiques might also be worth listening to. Consider the source when the critique is unsolicited and realize that sometimes an unsolicited critique should be taken with a grain of salt. Say “thanks for the advice” and (again) choose whether or not you want to take it to heart.
Those who shit all over your work and are stupid and negative and tell you everything they think you did wrong should be ignored, especially if it’s unsolicited. Haters gonna hate, no matter what you do. Learn to laugh at the bitter people who have nothing better to do with their time than hate on your work. It’ll make your life a lot easier.