Confessions of An Aspiring Model – Part 1

Modeling Myths Debunked!

Followed every series of America’s Next Top Model? Check.
Loving all things fashionable? Check.
Caught every Victoria Secret’s Fashion Show? Check.

I find myself drawn to anything modeling related; scrutinizing each poster I walk pass in the stores, secretly hoping that I were the model plastered over the pillars of Orchard Road.  While the occasional thoughts of being a model danced around in my subconscious, I find myself afraid to accept and entertain this dream of wanting to try out modeling. I was scared. Afraid of what others might think, afraid of being judged and assigned stereotypes by the conservative and unforgiving society we live in.

It took awhile before I plucked the courage to do some digging – what does it take to be a model in Singapore and what is the modeling scene like over here. And hey, there is so much more to modeling than what I had in mind at first.

Stories and myths are often all we have to listen to and believe. The eye opener I have gotten to the modeling landscape sure did surprise me, and what better to do with discoveries than to share them with others.

What comes to your mind when you think, “model”? Let me list some of mine – good-looking, sexy, hot, tall, slim, photogenic and well, lots of money! Not to forget, the possibility of needing to don revealing clothes, show as much skin, everlasting long legs and the abs you possibly have, marrying your attractiveness and some form of “sex appeal” together in order to sell.

It is funny how we hear stories or experience for ourselves, where you get approached by a model agent perhaps at the train station, who tells you about the potential he or she sees in you and would very much like to represent you and contact you for further details.

Boy do I get flattered when I do get approached by a model agent from a seemingly legit top modeling agency. That inner desire to be a model gets its little flame fanned, making me all excited, boosting my ego for a teeny moment before I cut the moment short, extinguishing all hopes with my skeptical self. A moment ago I saw this model agent approaching some other pedestrians – some pretty decent looking, some clearly model material and some not really what I thought will fit the bill. I thought to myself, how could this middle-aged guy be thought to be model material? Is this model agent merely desperate to make numbers with just any candidate? Is this real? Why would the model agent approach people who are not as attractive as I thought models should be? While not a 10 out of 10, I know that I might possibly stand a chance at the “above average” scale. Still, that does not stop me from wondering if I am truly model material or if this opportunity presented is a reliable one.

After a few similar encounters, I got curious – what is going on with these model agents? I whipped out my laptop and began doing some reading up.

Article after article, forum after forum. Soon it became a little clearer. Modeling myths debunked! Good looks are not everything in the modeling scene. There are different types of modeling jobs, different model “looks” that clients seek for, different “looks” that appeal to various audience and the wide array of jobs in the market result in the diversity of models that modeling companies set out to represent and nurture. From the model’s physical appearance to his or her talents, models might find themselves flexible enough to cater to a larger array of audiences and jobs or perhaps specialized in a certain field, like say catalog modeling. If you do follow America’s Next Top Model, you might find the terms “catalog” or “high fashion” pretty familiar. Think along those lines.

To explain this better, let us take a look at some real life applications of a model’s work.

Relive the mornings you spend reading the newspapers. Do you notice the many advertisements in there? Now and then you see pictures of a housewife carrying the freshest fish of the day in XX Supermarket or a businessman donning a retail outlet’s clothing that happens to be on sale for the weekend. Those people you see in these ads, they are models.

Simply said, any human being you see in an advertisement is most likely a model. To take this further, recall that television commercial on a new condominium you saw last night showcasing a happy family enjoying all the condominium’s amenities and the nearby schools and parks? Everyone featured in there is a model – from the grandma to the child.

Models are hired based their appeal to the target audience and the compatibility with the job. Even events present opportunities for models. Top brands often hold posh parties and opening ceremonies, serving canapés and champagne. While some brands make do with the usual servers, there are clients who are particular about the appearance and demeanor of their “brand ambassadors”. Models are often casted for event jobs like beer festivals, corporate and private events, car exhibitions and launches, or even pop up stands or a marketing gimmick.

A little something that caught me by surprise – there are even “hand models”! These hand models or hand talents are casted most often by jewelry or watch stores. Your valentines’ day advertisement with someone “putting a ring on it” was not possible without a model!

Well this mini peek into the modeling world challenged me to prod a little more into what defines a good model and well, what does it mean to model! The idea of models as brand ambassadors or artistes and talents able to deliver the client’s job requests extends beyond the “modeling” we are exposed to everyday.

I still like the glitz and glamour. I still have this soft spot for the thought of fussing over hair and make up, and perhaps one day even doing my runway walk as a Victoria Secret Model! Did you know that there was more to high fashion modeling? Well, now you do!

Next up, get yourself started on becoming a model!

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