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There is more to the modeling world than the media lets on. If you want to find out what it really takes and how to manage your modeling career, then you've come to the right place! This blog is dedicated to the aspiring and already established models who live to defy the standards and stereotypes in order to make a place for themselves in this crazy industry.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How Old is Too Old to Model?


It’s no secret that the media has made a big deal out of youth. Think about it: how many people have you heard say, “Gosh, I can’t wait to get wrinkles!” Worldwide, selling the idea of youth has made many companies billions of dollars. Without the models, however, they wouldn’t get very far.

So that’s the obvious stuff but what about the question of age and being older in the modeling industry? Well, for starters, if you plan on being in the fashion and runway field, the younger you are the better. The longevity for this type of modeling is extremely short for the majority of models involved. Agencies sign girls as young as 13 years old and tend to hesitate if a model is over 18.

This topic, like the height issue, is a reality of the industry that you don’t have to agree with but you will have to accept or at least get used to. It’s just a plain fact that agencies and their clients can get more work out of youthful models than those who already show the signs of aging. Sadly, this also means that a good number of models who started young will eventually get tossed aside for the next wave of youth as the years go on, unless they are able to maintain their looks that is.

If you are 17-19 (or older) and just getting started in modeling and worry that you won’t be able to get signed, your looks will determine that, not necessarily your age. If your complexion is good and you look young, you’ll get signed so don’t lose sleep over this.

When it comes to youth and modeling it doesn’t make sense to invest time and money in signing a model that is, say, 22 or 23. That particular model may only have a good 2-3 years before they start showing signs of aging like crow’s feet or other fine lines. This means more time devoted to Photoshopping and special lighting. No agency wants to deal with that.

You may be thinking to yourself, “Dania, no, don’t go to the dark side! What happened to that bright optimism you have about the industry?” Well, if you think I’ve flipped the script on you, think again! The great thing about age and modeling is that this is mainly a concern for those in the fashion and runway field. When it comes to getting older, commercial/print will become your best friend.

Now that’s not a free ticket to not care about how you age. Even commercial/print models must maintain good skin and a nice and pleasant complexion. Some fine lines and wrinkles will eventually appear but it won’t set you back as badly for the simple fact that commercial/print models enjoy the longest careers out of the entire industry because they are always in demand.

Companies, products, and ideas need people from all races, sizes, and, yes, ages! Will the competition still be there? Of course. Even middle-aged commercial/print models have to compete against others for the same jobs. The modeling industry wouldn’t be as special or as sought out if there weren’t so many people who wanted to be a part of the action.

So if you’re within the ideal requirements to be a commercial/print model, chances are you’ll enjoy a long career. But it is important to take care of yourself as you get older. That means a good skin care routine, healthy eating habits and exercise. Now if you happen to look younger than your numerical age that will be your secret weapon. Agencies love it when models look younger than they are. In such situations, your numerical age won’t be a hindrance.

On the flip side, older looking male models are highly sought after. So the good news for you fellas is that as long as you take care of yourself and you age gracefully, your modeling career, regardless of what type of modeling you do, will be secure.

61 comments:

Anonymous said...

Don't forget that ethnic and foreign-looking models, especially when they are female, are also sought after because ethnic and foreign-looking people have a tendency to age slower than White North American-looking people.

Dania Denise said...

Great point. Thanks!

Maureen said...

I'm 24 years old and I'm Panamainian. I've been told for most of my life that I could be a model, but I'm only 5'3. Despite my age I look 18. I wonder if I would be any good in the modeling industry?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Maureen! You'll find your answer in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #104." Thanks for reading!

Maureen said...

I'm sorry Ms. Dania, but I didn't find #104 in your blog archive. I hope I'm not missing something.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Maureen! It's okay...the post for your question is actually one of the most recent posts on my blog. Here is the link:

http://amodelsdiary.blogspot.com/2010/12/answering-reader-question-104.html

Right now it appears on the first page of my blog, where the most recent posts are. Hope that helps!

Melissa said...

I have a question - I'm Asian, 24, 5 foot 8 inches at 114 pounds and a light tan skin tone.. I've been told countless times to go for modeling but I don't know where to start. I don't want to throw any money away because I don't really have any to start with...and I'm not sure if I'll get lucky with being discovered in a mall. What would be the best way to start?

Thanks,
Melissa

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Melissa, and thanks for the question! You'll find your answer in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #109." Thanks for reading!

Merivel said...

Hi Dania helpful post btw. I just wanted your opinion on my situation. I just turned 23 a few days ago. I'm 5"7 and want to be a plus size model. Do you think the plus size modeling industry would take someone my age? If so can you give me a few tips on how and where to start. I feel the clock is ticking. Thanks.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Merivel! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #156." Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

I have always wanted to be a model,unfortunely life got in the way. I am now 37 and would really like to do modeling. I have a 17 year old daughter who everyone thinks is my sister, I'm 5'7" about 135lbs and of course have started getting some minimal wrinkles under the eyes. Do you think it is realistic for me to persue a modeling career this late in my life? Thanks so much for your input!!!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #191." Thanks for reading!

Courtney said...

Hi Dania!

I'm 6'2 and about 130 lbs. I'm very thin. I'm very interested in high fashion and runway modeling. Alot of people have told me I should model since a very young age because of my look and especially my height. I never really pursued it because despite what people said I was insecure about being so tall, especially in high school. Now I love my height and am ready to pursue modeling, the only problem is I'm now 23. I still think I look young, and I feel like my height and weight requirements are okay. I'm just worried about my age! Please if you could give me some helpful advice, and if my age isn't an issue could you recommend some agencies that would be a good match for me? I don't know what to do!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Courtney! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #213." Thanks for reading!

Katelyn89 said...

hi! I'm 22 years old, 5'11, about 140 pounds, I'm very fit as I'm a dog walker and eat well. My measurements are 35/27/36.5 I'm fit and pretty www.katelyndawn.com/epk.html (you can see pictures) do i have a shot at modeling? I dont have a 24 inch waist and never will as my bones dont physically go that small lol. I have always wanted to model but my parents never let me and now that I can call my own shots I really want to get into it. What would you suggest I do?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Katelyn89! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #229." Thanks for reading!

ssshhhh ... said...

hate being short!

The Litter's Parents said...

Hello Dania, I just found your blog and thank you!!! Very helpful. I do have a question tho I'm 33, 5'8". I've had 4 children, however i've lost all the baby weight and was wondering if there might be a slim chance for me? When i was 17 I was offered to go to NY, but I turned it down; not that means anything now. Anyway, again thank you!!
Shayla

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Shayla! You'll find the answers to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #262." Thanks for reading!

Yakkilyn said...

I am currently 22 years old and am borderline 5'7". I am constantly told that I look to be about 17 years old due to my biracial ethnicity. I've always wanted to be a model, but have only just recently grown more comfortable in my skin. I am approximately 120-125 lbs. (my weight tends to fluxuate) and I could stand to lose about 5 lbs. I would just like to know that, once all the weight is lost, would it still be possible for someone like me to become a professional model?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Yakkilyn! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #268." Thanks for reading!

Tiny said...

Im 20 im a few days & i'm only 5'1 with long legs.. can I still be a model?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Tiny! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #288." Thanks for reading!

latisha-ashley said...

Dania,
First off, great blog.

My name is Ashley.
I'm 21, five foot ten and within the standard parameters of a model.
I have been told that I look like I am 16. Recently I sent some photos to a reputable agency and received a call back for an "interview".

My concern is, do you think I would still be able to do runway at my age?

It makes me nervous because I know runway is very competitive for african-american females.

Thanks,

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Ashley! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #307." Thanks for reading!

Jenna Gatchell said...

I am so glad I found your blog! Thank you for all of the helpful information. I have always wanted to be a model, and did a very small amount of it when I was 16. After I graduated High School I had thought about getting more involved with the industry but was told I was being "unrealistic" and became a chef instead. I have found over the last few years, that I am not happy in my current career, and would like to finally pursue my dream. I am 24 yrs old, 5' 7" and weigh 125 lbs. I just don't know the proper way to get started. I live in Indiana so there aren't any high end agencies near by, and have been out of touch with modeling for so long that I am not sure the best and most efficient way to get started. Thank you for your help!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Jenna! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #320." Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hi I am 34 year old asian male, well skinny, I have been told I don't look older than 26 years old. I wanted to go for modelling but life got into it's ways, hence now I am thinking about it again. 1) do u think it's to late 2) what is the best way forward if age is not an obstacle

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #335." Thanks for reading!

beatrizg1999 said...

Hi Diana..well i just googled "am i too old to model at 31?" and you link came up and it is very imformative, thank you! so at 31 i am well aware that i am too old to have a successful modeling career but im still holding on to this dream! I am 5'11, 130 lbs, Mexican with very exotic features...Everywhere i go i hear people whisper shes a model, or people come up to me and ask me if im a model and when i say "i wish!" they say well you should be. I am very into fashion, love taking pictures and am very photogenic...How can i go about doing something in the industry? modeling is on my bucket list and life is too short! i need just one run way, one photo shoot!!!!! i NEED it!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, beatrizg1999! You'll find the answer to your question in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #357." Thanks for reading!

Nika said...

Super long question, sorry!!
Hi there! Thanks so much for this blog. I am 35, 5’5” and wear a size 2 dress. I just finally got the guts to pursue modeling. It’s been heavy on my heart for years. I know that my age and height puts me into the commercial lifestyle sphere of things. Problem is, how do I get experience? I started a Model Mayhem account but most of the photographers are fashion or glamour focused. Would it be beneficial to take these jobs just to get comfort and experience in front of the camera? How do I get commercial lifestyle experience?


Also, even though I am small and look great in form fitting and even very little clothing, my body is not exactly swimsuit ready. Does it make sense to send my stuff to agencies now in just leggings (or tight jeans) and a tank? Or should I wait until I’m able to submit swimsuit photos? At my age, I’ll probably play somebody’s mama anyway, not much swimsuit. I’m afraid to wait because right now I’m not employed so it would be a good time to gauge the interest and hopefully get some callbacks. If I wait until October (my body should be tight be then and ready for swimwear) I may be stuck at a full time job again. Also, should I wait to submit photos to agencies before I have experience or do I go ahead and do it now?

Last question! How do I find a photographer that focuses in lifestyle photography so that I can get some composites. How do I get experience in commercial modeling when everyone on model mayhem wants to shoot fashion and glamour? Sorry for the 20 questions but I appreciate you!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Nika! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #445," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hi! I'm a 20 year old (21 in April) 5'10 130 pounds. I have been trying to pursue my dream of modeling since I was 16 years old. After some scams finally got linked up with a good small agency here in NC where I live problem being my agent is mostly focused on her younger girls she can move into the New York market. I am by no means high fashion or a runway model I've always been told I'm very commercial although I have done a few local fashion shows. Thus being said these are my questions!!

1)At this age do I still have a shot?
2)Could I still be signed to a larger agency and travel?
3)If either of these is yes, what is my next step?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #466," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Mary Dyka said...

Hi, Dania, thanks for these informative posts, pls, can u give me some advice, i dream to become a model, famous, i am 15 years old, my measurements are normal, they are good for modeling, but i am only 5'5ft, 167 cm, i would like to be a victorias secret model, is it possible to become one of their angels, if i live in Ukraine? And tnere is also one problem my parents don't let me be a model, it's such a great dream and they ruin it! Am i not too old to start modeling at the age of 18-20? How long can i work as a model is it worth and is it possible to become famous? Also my parents are always saying me that in order to be successful in modeling u have to be a prostitute, is it truth?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Mary Dyka! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #478," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Amanda said...

Hey there!!
I'm 26, I'm 5'8 and I'm 140lbs and I am interested in commercial/print work everyone thinks I'm 21 (I guess it's not that big of a difference haha) but I would love to get started I have done a few shoots for my friends photography business and everyone is telling me I should go for it, and I love it so why not? Any advice? :)

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Amanda! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #484," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Dania!
Great post! It helped boost my confidence a tad bit! :)
As others have done, I'll give you a tidbit about myself in hopes to get your feedback.
A few years back, when I was 16, I went to a model search (which was with a very well-known agency) and gained a callback and was told I had raw potential.
Now that same agency is actually have a "fashion show/homecoming party" in my area and I'm pending on purchasing tickets as you get to meet designers, models, the agency, etc. I guess this is a little bit my way of wanting to be "found" and this time pursue, if able, a career.

As stated, I'm nineteen years old and am approximately 5'7.5". I'm not sure if my age or what not would be the end of this dream or if it's something I should at least give a shot.

Also, would there be any pointers to help me "stand out" if I did go to the fashion show/party?

Thank you!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #499," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

I've always wanted to be a model and people even today tell me that I should become one. Only this is.. I'm 25. Becoming a model would be a dream come true for me but from what I read in your blog, it's too late for me. Is it honestly too late for me to try and follow my dream?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #507," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hello I am 32, 5'11 197lb I'm working very hard and healthy to get back to 180. I was always told when I was younger and I'm still told to this very day that I should've been and should be a model. My question is..... Is 32 to old to model? I'm very intrested in print, editorial and runway modeling. I've read your blog on how old is to old and found out that commercial and ect, would be best. Is there really no hope for me for runway, editorial and print? I am of French creole decent so I have an european look. I'm just curious because I never had the confidence to ask. :-) thanks in advance.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #549," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Vee said...

Hi Dania, I'm 23 and I started modeling at 22. I'm in Boston right now but looking to go to NYC. I look 19 and I'm 5'11. I've been told to model my whole life, but never got around to it because of school/sports/etc. Is it too late for runway?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Vee! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #609," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hi, my name is slim and im 25years old, 5'5 and 91lbs. I always wanted to be a model since my teen years but felt like I was over weight and too short. Was still 5'5 at the time but my weight was 120 to 125. I didnt loss weight until after I had my 4year old daughter a few years ago. Anyways, well, now im interested in modeling again with me being 91lbs now. But im wondering if im too old and too thin? Is it too late for me? do you know any good agenices in california? I think theres still hope for me and would really love to give it another shot! Please help?







Dania Denise said...

Hi, Slim! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #624," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

hi i'm mahsa 18 years old from iran i really want to be a model n also a runway model:)there is no place for f.shows in my country m studying here so i can't leave my country till i be 24y,o is that too late?:"( i'm 5.8 (173)-50 my appearance is ok!actually i don't care in which country i'll start modeling i just wanna BE A MODEL:Dhelp me pls, what can i do!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm 15 and want to get started in the modelling industry. I as wondering if it might to be to late for an Australian company to take me or I might not have the right body shape. I'm 55kilos, and 1.65cm. I want to be a runway model but I don't think I'm tall enough for even a photo model. I've had an agency say yes to taking me but said I was to old for them to take on.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Mahsa! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #628," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #629," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Zoia said...

Thank you so much for your blog! I'm Zoia and I also want to pursue a modeling career and thought that it might be too late for me. I am 24 years old but in fact look no older than 16! I didn't know that this could be a good thing. I am 5'7" but I don't think that will be good enough to be a runway model.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Zoia! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #659," which can be found on my new blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Anonymous said...

Hi Dania!

Since I was in my teens I was either asked if I was a model or told I should. When I was around 16 my mom and I decided I should give it a shot, especially since I live very close to NYC. We had head-shots taken (no make-up, natural hair) and sent them in to countless agencies and never got a response.

I am now nearly 24, still get the same comments/questions, and would love to give it another shot. I've grown and slimmed out since (5'10, 130lbs, hourglass figure). I also don't quite look my age and can easily pass for a few years younger.

The only thing that's been holding me back from perusing is my age. I'm afraid it will get me tossed aside despite how much agencies like my looks. What are your thoughts? Any advice?

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #682," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

trueman741 said...

Hi Dania, So what about us males who are 50+ what chances do we have?
i don't think i am too shabby for my age, black, 5'10, 75lbs, not wrinkly, medium size frame and bald.

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Trueman741! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #720," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

Courtney said...

Hi Dania,

My name is Courtney. I am a 26 year old African American male. I am 6'2 200 pounds with an athletic build. My question is in my age. In reading various opinions and the average age of beginning a modeling career I see the cut off is usually 25. How true is this? Also I am in the process of dropping some weight, as a former athlete this process is usually rapid. In order to be considered for print or non fitness modeling, what weight do you believe would be good for me? I idolize Tyson Beckford, someone who is similar in size to be. Thank you for your help!

Dania Denise said...

Hi, Courtney! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #727," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: http://amodelsdiary-readerquestions.blogspot.com/ and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!