It is known that when it comes to female models, there are certain requirements that one needs to fulfill in order to aspire to a career in this field. On top of highly specific requirements that regard size, height and so on (basically a model needs to resemble a mannequin, so that she fits into sample sizes), one must also have a lot of personality, charisma and charm.
When it comes to male models, the requirements are quite different and, surprisingly, not as clear as they are in the women’s world.
Male models don’t need to fulfill rigid physical requirements as women do, which makes it at the same time easier and harder to become a male model. It is easier as things are more subjective and you never know what an agency or model scout is looking for. Also, what you might lack in one department, you can make up in another and still make it as a model. On the other hand, for the same reasons it can be said that it is harder for male models to make it, as you can never actually know whether you will fulfill a standard or what you should work on. Modeling agencies often look for a variety of types of looks and usually if agencies see someone they believe to be really special, they will take them on.
The male model industry is smaller than the female one, but so is the market, so basically it is just as competitive, as both the number of models and of jobs is, while smaller, proportionate to the number of models and jobs from the female model industry.
Generally, male models need to be tall and fit, but not extremely muscular, as large muscles tend to pull on the clothing.
Here are some important elements you should check if you want to become a model:
- Your height is recommended to be between 5’11’’ / 1.8 m and 6’2’’ / 1.87 m, even though there are many models outside this bracket
- Your jacket size should be between 8 and 10 (US) / 40 and 42 (EU) / 12 and 14 (UK), but this is not a strict rule
- Your age is not as important as it is in the female model industry, male models can work even in their 40s or even 50s. Men with ages 15-25 are part of what is called the “young model” market, while men with ages between 26 and up are part of the “adult model” market
- Your weight should be between 140 and 160 lbs / 63,5 and 72,5 kg, but this is a flexible number, your Body Mass Index is what can count more, and that should be average, between 18.5 and 24.9
- Grooming is crucial. For example, other essential requirements are having a clear skin and straight, clean teeth. Also, the industry doesn’t often go for men who have a lot of body hair, so you can work on trimming it down or doing some waxing if you want to pursue a modeling career. If you’re unsure what type of hair looks good on you, you can try cutting your own hair and find which popular men’s haircutyou prefer.
The fashion industry divides models in different categories. Of course, one can go from a category to another or fit in more, but the type of model you want to be can have an influence on the way you look and on the photos you wish to take for your portfolio, which we will discuss a little later.
To give you an example, runway models are generally thin, as they need to fit in small clothes, while catalog models usually have an image that is closer to an average-size guy. Underwear models are usually very fit and editorial models, who work only for certain publications need to represent the aspirational image of the publication.
Here are the various types of modeling one can pursue:
- High fashion models generally work with big brands or designers
- Glamour models usually appear in photos where the focus is on the model and not on the clothes
- Editorial models work only for certain publications
- Runway models walk the runway during a fashion show
- Commercial print models appear in ads, newspapers, billboards and other materials. Of course, they also pose for digital work
- Showroom models display clothes and accessories in boutiques or at fashion parties
- Promotional models work in trade shows or conventions
- Catalog models appear in catalogs and resemble the average man
- Character models are used to either portray ordinary people, or people who have very unordinary features
- Specialty models specialize in one or more parts of their body, such as hands, legs, neck, hair or feet. For example, if you are a hand or feet model, you don’t necessarily need to be very tall
To become a model, you must have a portfolio of pictures that you can present at any time. Of course, this might seem as a vicious circle: how to get jobs to make a portfolio if you don’t have one to show.
While there are more solutions, two main ones are the most used and most practical:
- Take jobs for free. Nobody wants to work for free, but taking free jobs at the beginning of your modeling career will not only help you build a portfolio, but it can also help you get to meet people and work for real brands.
- Hire a photographer. One can always hire a photographer for some shots. However, you really need to be careful and know the industry, as some photographers charge a lot to build a portfolio for you.
Also, if you want to be a model, when you are building your portfolio, you should study some common (and not-so-common) male model poses to see which suit you best.
Also don’t forget to check out these male poses to capture perfect portraits for your next photoshoot.
In a way, it is better to take low-paid or free jobs to have an actual body of work to show, but you should never take any job, take only those that you are sure are legit, otherwise, you risk compromising your image in the industry. The same goes for a hired photographer: don’t go for shady ones and make sure you don’t pose in ways you don’t want to.
Moreover, to get exposure, make sure you always attend casting calls, that you send your resume and photos to agencies and so on. Being in the industry and being seen and known is what the modeling world is all about.
Having someone to represent you or to give pointers is very important too. An agent can tell you not only where and when to go for a job, but also when and how to cut your hair. For example, it is never recommended to cut your hair without someone’s advice, as, who knows, maybe a future job needed you with a hairstyle they were willing to create. The problem with an agent is the same as with your portfolio. If you are not a power player, your agent won’t take much interest in you, so you must find the opportunities yourself.
An agent can also give you ideas of what talent you can work on (as models often also have other talents such as acting), where and how to do it, but the heavy lifting always needs to be done by you.
In general, a successful male model is a man who has strong features, who has a great attitude and who is photogenic. The modeling world is definitely not an easy world to get into and to be relevant, so if you are looking for a career in modeling, you should definitely have a tough skin, patience and a strong work ethic.
Fraquoh and Franchomme
P.S. We want to hear from you! Who is your favorite male model? Why? What do you consider are good, strong features? Share your feedback, questions or thoughts in the comments below! For more articles on style, fashion tips and cultural insights, you can subscribe to Attire Club via e-mail or follow us onFacebook,TwitterorInstagram!