What It's Really Like to Be a Model: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

There are two kinds of people in this world: those who think being a model is one of the coolest things imaginable, and those who think it’s complete garbage. But what most people don’t realise is that while modelling can be one of the best jobs in the world, it can also be one of the worst — even if you’re only doing it part-time or as your career.

Don't be fooled by social media

Social media can make being a model look like a glamorous and easy job. But the reality is that it's hard work. You have to meet very strict physical criteria, you have to be photogenic, you have to be able to take direction well, and you have to be able to sell whatever it is you're selling. Oh, and you also have to deal with some pretty ugly parts of the industry, like body shaming and unrealistic expectations. It all boils down to this: if you want to become a model, you need to know the reality of what you're getting into, so do your research beyond magazines and social media.

It's physically demanding

Being a model is incredibly physically demanding. You have to be in great shape, no matter your size, and have close-to perfect skin. You have to be able to walk in heels and pose for hours on end. And you have to do all of this while looking good on camera. It's a lot to ask of someone, especially when they're just starting out making it also a mentally draining profession . You need to be able to deal with rejection, and you're going to get rejected a lot. If you have unrealistic expectations of what it means to be a model, then this career will only disappoint you.

You will have little time off

You will have little time off and you will be working long hours. Often, you will have to travel for work and you won't get to see your family and friends as often as you'd like. Also, your schedule will be unpredictable. You may have to cancel plans at the last minute if you get a last-minute booking. Models are busy people and they don't often have time for leisure activities like watching TV or going out with friends. If you're looking to make some extra money on the side, then this is not the career for you. But, being a model can also be a very rewarding experience. You'll get to meet new people, see new places, and learn new things.

Know your rights as a model

As a model, you have certain rights that must be respected by your agency, photographer, or any other individual or company you work with. These rights include the right to privacy, the right to fair pay, and the right to refuse certain types of work. Be sure to read your contract thoroughly so you understand the scope of your work and what your rights are with regards to photos and videos taken of you. If you are not comfortable with some aspect of the contract, it is perfectly acceptable to negotiate with your agent or another party.

There are many varieties of modelling jobs

You could be a high fashion runway model, working for the top designers in the world. Or you could be a commercial model, appearing in ads and catalogues. There are also plus-size models, petite models, and fitness models. And that's just scratching the surface. When it comes to modelling, there is no one path or right way of doing things. That said, there are some pitfalls and challenges that come with any type of modelling career.