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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.
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.
The good news, however, is that more fashion agencies are starting to up their age maximum for aspiring models. It mainly depends on the market/location but I've seen fashion agencies accept models up to 22 and 23. So if you're new to the industry or have a bit of experience but are getting started a bit later in the fashion/runway game, you don't have to throw in the towel just yet.
If you meet the max age for an agency then submit yourself and see what happens. If they clearly state the age range and you don't meet it, you can still submit for fashion/runway but your chances of getting a response may not be as high so be prepared for that as a possible outcome. Don't see an age range listed anywhere on the site? Then definitely submit! What have you got to lose?
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.