Confessions of An Aspiring Model – Part 3

I Want to Model! … But Can I? 

Being a model is an almost untouchable, unreachable, unrealistic dream to many. The idea of glitz, glamour, being fussed over with make up and styling, the continuous flashes from the camera and perhaps paparazzi – who could possibly resist that amount of attention tantamount to that of a Hollywood star? We see top models in their full glory on the front covers of magazines, having full-page spreads, worshipped on billboards and stick-on advertisements in the malls. We want that. We hunger for that attention, having everyone look up to you in adoration. Or maybe, you just enjoy doing such jobs and are comfortable before the camera. There is always more than a mere single reason to be a model.

Nevertheless, the end goal is more or less the same. To be an icon in the fashion industry, to have a reputation as a top model, to get as many good paying modeling jobs as possible and who doesn’t want to be rich?

When I decided to act a little on this unentertained dream of mine, I began with a quick search on the Internet. “How to become a model?” And viola, a ton of search results. I then decided to narrow this down a little, keeping in mind that I am bound to Singapore at the moment. Therefore, “how to become a model in Singapore?” Followed by a ton of other attempts, “modeling in Singapore”, “sign up for modeling”, “modeling opportunities in Singapore”, “top modeling agencies”, “modeling application”, “model jobs”. A whole load of how-tos plastered themselves across my desktop.

Singapore is a pretty good place to start off as a model in my opinion. Like how Singapore aims to be a trading hub, finance hub, services hub, we too, hope to be a fashion hub. Where better to be a model than in an aspiring fashion hub? With our cultural-infused heritage, native English language speakers and an expertise in a variety of languages, the cosmopolitan city is a conducive environment, welcoming a host of modeling jobs as well as modeling talents, or talents complementary to the modeling field or fashion industry.

So let us skip the whole operational part on how to become a model and explore the idea of what it truly takes to be a model.

While being a model is for everyone, not necessarily only the skinny, the tall, the good looking and the young, is not for the faint hearted. It takes a certain tenacity to fuse yourself into the modeling industry or the fashion scene. Regardless of the nature of the modeling job, a model has to carry him or herself professionally and not be a quitter.

Why do I feel so? Firstly, it is of utmost importance that a model, or an aspiring model, is able to accept rejection and failure. A model does not start off being good at everything. While modeling agencies are there to help push their models out for the job, they are unable to guarantee that the job will be awarded to you. More often than not, a model comes face to face with rejection, especially in the early stages where the lack of experience and unfamiliarity with how things work might turn things towards the more disadvantageous end of the spectrum. The key is to take the rejection, churn it into positive energy, pump yourself up and prepare yourself better for the next casting call. It is this never say die attitude that makes a model. A career in modeling will only cause you to end up in a state of depression should you always beat yourself up when you do not land yourself a modeling job or receive harsh remarks from others. In an industry where it is all about molding yourself to marry well with the brand or the client, it is inevitable that sensitive remarks or insults about a model’s physical appearance or personality be thrown around in your presence.

Self confidence and a healthy self esteem is something a model will need to build and guard in his or her pursuit of exceling in a modeling career. You are essentially selling yourself as a package – your look, your personality and your talents, and will need to have confidence in your “product”. Be aware of your strengths and weaknesses; make sure you are strong willed enough not to be swayed by insults or rejection. It is inevitable that models are denied of jobs or roles because of sensitive issues like skin colour.

There are times where casting calls are held for short films, where the producer not only selects the cast by means of their talent in acting, but how much they fit the role as well. If the role is to play a Chinese father, instinctively, if you look to young to pass off as a dad, or too dark skinned to be perceived as a Chinese, your chances of getting the role is low. Models should not be taking these rejections personally.

A great deal of strength, self esteem and efficacy is required in a model to persevere and excel in modeling. Behind all the glamour is a tough fight within a model and amongst models – it is always about staying on top of your game, no?

When top modeling agencies look for models to hire and sign a modeling contract with, they too look out for elements such as these, coupled with the basic soft skills of being able to present, express and carry yourself well. It is not easy to become a model, nor is it a smooth sailing path down the road. Aspiring models should prepare themselves mentally for such challenges ahead in the modeling industry. Give it a thought, pick up that modeling application, get yourself represented by a good modeling agency, befriend your model agents, nail that portfolio, do your research, practice your model poses, walks and self introductions, and hey, you are off to a great start!

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