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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.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Sorry, Ladies, Heels Don’t Matter
One of the first things that I commonly hear from shorter aspiring models that want to get into fashion and runway is, “Well, it doesn’t matter if I’m short, as long as I can wear really tall heels, right?” I hate to be a buzz kill but the answer is “NO.”
Any time an agency asks for a model’s height they automatically mean “without heels or shoes of any kind.” So the height they desire is the one you are naturally standing in bare feet. It’s kind of hard to fake that. Agencies will measure you so it doesn’t matter if you strut into the offices wearing the cutest pair of heels—when it’s time to take your height, you’ll be asked to step out of your shoes. On many go-sees I’ve been asked my height, and they often add the following words to the question: “without shoes.”
You would think that they would make an exception to the rule for shorter models that can successfully wear 4-inch heels as if they were tennis shoes but as much as I hate to say it, they do have their reasons for taking naturally tall girls (hey, I don’t make the rules…I’m just the messenger).
As far as runway goes, it would be safe to assume that a shorter model who is, for example, normally 5’5” could just wear 4 inch heels to easily become 5’9” right? Well, in runway shows it’s all about uniformity between the models. The audience sits below you so it’s highly likely that they’ll notice that a short model’s shoes will have heels that are obviously much higher and different than the shoes the rest of the models are wearing.
Also, a short model can have the same measurements as a runway model but look different physically. It is possible for shorter girls to have “long legs.” However, their torsos tend to be shorter, unlike a tall model that has both long legs and a long torso. This difference in body type can also cause the sample sizes to not fit right or appear the way it should on a model. While you’d have the height with the help of the heels, appearance-wise, the pros in the fashion and runway industry would see you stick out like a sore thumb.
In fashion, editorial and other print work, natural height is a must for shoots involving more than one model. Again, height accounts for uniformity. The photos would look odd if there were two tall models and one or two short models that barely came up to the taller models’ shoulders (while they do have such shoots, the ones I’m referring to here involve the fashion and editorial industry, which doesn’t allow much for this).
Couldn’t they put heels on the shorter models to make it work? I’m sure they could but there are many instances where this wouldn’t necessarily solve the problem. For example, what about swimwear shoots where the models are barefoot? No one wears heels on the beach in the sand. Or what about a casual shoot where the models are wearing sandals and tennis shoes and are being photographed full body?
It would be odd for the taller models to have regular shoes and the shorter models wearing heels to make up for the height difference. No photographer or client is going to want to spend the extra time and effort to Photoshop a shorter model into a taller one. Why go through that when they can easily just request naturally tall models of a specific height? Do you see where I’m going with this?
In a nutshell, it is more time effective and cost effective to hire models that are naturally tall for fashion, runway and editorial work because there is less the agency and the client has to worry about. I’m sure in some cases, exceptions have been made but again, exceptions are not absolute enough to permanently break the rules and standards originally set by the industry, unfortunately—at least not anytime soon (and I know some of you are probably going to say, “Oh, but I saw this shoot or this runway show that did exactly what you said they wouldn’t do!" Again, there are exceptions to the rule but that’s not what I’m addressing here. I’m talking about the norm).
However, if you are an aspiring model, no matter what height you are, you should make it a point to know how to walk, stand and pose in heels. This includes you shorter ladies. 3 inch heels are a must to learn how to walk in…4 inches is stretching it but it doesn’t hurt to know how to walk in 4 inch heels either.
I hate to burst anyone’s bubble but this post is meant to help explain to the shorter aspiring models (who are usually in denial lol) about why wearing high heels to a fashion and runway agency won’t help them make the cut. Reality bites but the sooner you know the truth, the better.