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Modeling and Weight

One of the first things I hear potential models ask is what the weight requirement for modeling is. Sometimes that is the main issue they worry about when it comes to pursuing modeling. Let me tell you right now that weight should NOT be one of those concerns.

Obviously, the height requirement reigns supreme when measuring up to the modeling standards sought out by agencies. If you meet the height requirements--whether it's for fashion and runway or commercial/print--that is the first step towards starting on the path to modeling.

How much you weigh shouldn't be your biggest fear. It is rare that anyone can look at someone and say, "Oh, my gosh, he/she looks like they are 5 pounds over our weight requirement!" It just isn't realistic. If you look at many modeling agency websites, they clearly list the age and height requirements--rarely, if at all do they list any weight restrictions.

The general rule of thumb when it comes to weight is that for models who are 5'8" and taller, the weight range should be somewhere between 105-125 lbs. Can you be a few pounds under or over? Sure, you can! Weight is one of the last things an agency considers.

However, the exception to this rule is in fashion/runway modeling. Because that part of the modeling industry is so size specific in regards to clothes and sample sizes, then yes weight will play a part. It is no secret that agencies have told their models to slim down. However, there are so many other things to pay attention to when you are starting out. Plus-size models also have to meet specific weight requirements.

Commercial/print is less likely to be stringent on the weight factor. So depending on which area you are looking to pursue, approach the weight factor accordingly. Even if you are a fashion/runway model hopeful, stressing about your weight is not going to give you the clear mind you need to get an agent.

Instead, your stress and dieting and worry will more than likely backfire on you--even if you were to get signed, you'll be so self-conscious about your body that you'll constantly be pushing yourself and your health/weight to the limit in order to please your agent. It should never come down to that, no matter what anyone tells you. I'm sure you've all heard enough horror stories of models dropping dead just to make it and honestly, as much as I love this industry and what I do, the day it puts my health in jeopardy is the day that I will walk away from it all.

Preserve your peace of mind and begin your search for an agent when you are completely comfortable with whatever number shows up when you step on the scale.

If your weight bothers you that much or if you are on the heavier side, just know that an agency may point that out. That is what critiques are for. However, it isn't worth your sanity to stress about your weight before even meeting with any agencies. Don't get yourself worked up before you even know what you should be working on.

Instead of worrying about weight requirements and dieting to slim down, seek out casting calls or send in pictures as you are and see what feedback you get. In the meantime, take care of your body and if all else fails, work with what you have. You'd be surprised how much weight doesn't become an issue when the person carries it well and does not let it affect them.

Don't compare yourself to other models or try to strive for their weight or size. Chances are it's going to be physically impossible to have the same body as someone else. Focus on whether you have the skills it takes to be a great model, not how many pounds you need to shed in order to impress an agency. That may be easier said than done, but the sooner you are able to focus on more important things and not solely your weight, the better your spirits will be, as well as your chances for successfully snagging an agent.

As long as you fall somewhere within the weight range I listed above, you should be fine. Do not obsess over this, please. Many people look nothing like what they weigh. Chances are your "extra" pounds don't even show anywhere on your body. We are our own worst critics after all so give yourself a break. Do not let a number dictate what you should change about yourself just to make it in this industry. More than likely, it's all in your head.


Amber said…
It's so refreshing to hear a model like yourself talk so candidly about weight. I'm glad that you are so healthy and are promoting such a healthy body image among models!! You rock Dania Denise!
Anonymous said…
modleing doesn't have weight requirements it's based on measurements I have never been put on a scale at and agency but they pull out that measuring tape every chance they get. Weight doesn't matter measurements do.
Dania Denise said…
Thank you for your comment. You do bring up a very good point. I am very aware that modeling is all about measurements and not weight--unfortunately, not everyone else is aware of what you and I know about the industry. The first thing out of many girls' mouths when they talk about attempting to model is how much they weigh and how they need to lose it, which is why I made this post addressing the weight issue. If it what we knew was such common knowledge to the rest of the young ladies out there, this post and most likely this blog would cease to exist.
Anonymous said…
I know this post is old (well done, BTW!) but I wanted to say I was signed with two fashion agencies in NYC - first a smaller agency then I signed with a VERY major one - and they both weighed me.
Anonymous said…
Hi Dania. I am 21 years old and always wanted to model. Recently I have gained some weight and became a US 6. I used to be 0-2 (and I am naturally supposed to be thin) but due to stress and school gained a bit. I am on track to shaping up. I was wondering, do you still think I should send photos to agencies? I was self conscious that they would write me off right away, but now I'm thinking that I should still try? Thanks!
Dania Denise said…
Hi, Anonymous! You'll find the answer to your questions in its own post, titled "Answering a Reader Question #843," which can be found on my other blog: "Modeling 101 - Answering Readers Questions."

Please visit this link: and you can view your post there. Thanks for reading!

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