Models have it all, A beautiful face, a beautiful body, a beautiful skin.
Being adored by the masses, traveling the world, working with creative people, earning a lot of money. Face it… being a model is a dreamjob.
I guess that’s still what most girls think. I don’t really watch commercial television, but I do see the teasers of screaming girls at yet another modeling competition. And there are so many modeling competitions and girls striving for it.
Sometimes I wonder if it really is about being a model, or about getting the confirmation that you are pretty, or maybe it’s about the television fame.
But before you get irritated, this is not another sob story about the horrible downsides modeling has. I just want to tell you about my experiences as a model. Positive and negative.
If you’re a family girl and you experience homesickness while on holidays, then do not pursue a modeling career. Many international modeling contracts force you to stay for at least one month in a different country. Some countries (like Japan) even three months. I was a little bit jealous that I never went to Japan as model (I’m a giant). But now I feel blessed, the stories I heard made me feel quite the opposite.
If you feel insecure about your face and body and this might result in some confusion regarding food. Please do not proceed a model career. The girls that survive this industry in a healthy way are natural skinny and tall girls.
My appearance has been judged everyday. I’ve been put on scales, I’ve seen all the variants of a measuring tape. I’ve had rude rejections from casting directors. I’ve been called fat, I’ve been called too skinny. Basically, I’ve heard so many verdicts about my body saying things that I thought I didn’t even have. I’ve met girls that became unhappy with their own body and took unhealthy measures to keep meeting the requirement. I’ve also felt pretty insecure from time to time, but to not be all down sided. The modeling job also gave me confidence. I went from an ugly duckling to an international fashion model.
The modeling world is a world of extremes. You’ll have to grow up very fast. You’ll need some thick skin. You’ll need to speak English. You’ll need to assemble a radar that notifies you the rotten apples (shady photographers, casting-directors, modeling agents). But you’ll also meet great friends from all over the world, explore cultures, talk with creative masterminds. You’ll just have to be careful. Most model “colleagues” I met were lovely and great people. But you’ll also have the girls that go though great lengths in pursuing a modeling career, and if you are in their way… watch out.
Model life is expensive too! Yes you’ll earn money, but you’ll also have to pay a lot (transport, sedcards, books, housing.) But you can be a bit creative in this area. I’ve met some great people through couchsurfing, which helped me in finding my own apartment in Milan. (My model apartment in Milan was too expensive and with two Polish friends we had a great time. I still feel melancholy when I think about walking all those 345 stairs (at least 4 times a day) to our top floor apartment, with it’s large balcony. And I saved 450 euros every month!
Being a model is just another job. Your body is your product to sell. You might be a good product and earn a nice amount of money. You can be an average product (like me) that did quite okay, but not for the long term. Or you can be the product that did not attract the attention of the customers (casting directors). It’s not unusual for a model to have debts when she (or he) gets back home. You might be popular this season but be forgotten the next. It feels so harsh to write this, but it’s a sad truth. Only 1 in the (273950404??) will establish a solid modeling job. And everybody is a model nowadays.
Don’t make modeling your ultimate dream, know what you’ll do when you return home. You’ll have a mind full of experiences, a suitcase full of memories and a fresh start for a next phase in your life.