You Tryna Model?
Here it is... The post to answer 55% of my DMs! I think I'm going to also include a video down the line or something to really talk through my journey. But for now a blog post will do.
Ok, FIRST I need to clear something up for you all.
The following myths are all FALSE or DO NOT happen in the way the public perceives:
Plus Size Modeling Gives Women Confidence
The EXACT opposite happens in the modeling industry, if confidence is something you might lack then this isn't the industry you want to pursue.
You are critiqued in every way imaginable from hair, nails, skin, teeth, ears, scars, toes, shoulders, knees, etc...sometimes to your face while you are working. Sometimes models are hired based solely on how we look. At times you are working with very little input, put into garments and shoes that may be too tight, big, small, short, etc... Flattering or unflattering you are expected to work.
Although the things you hear might not be said with any malice, but sometimes being put under a microscope can become overwhelming for those that are just beginning their journey of self love and awareness. Being secure in yourself allows you to continue working through criticism and conversations about you.
You Don't Have to Work Out as A Plus Size Model and You Can Eat Whatever You Want
Again, the EXACT opposite. A huge part of modeling is about maintaining yourself physically and emotionally, including eating healthy and exercising regularly. What you consume for fuel can manifest as a benefit or hinder your work and performance. Junk and fatty foods will cause acne and aren't a great source of energy. Modeling requires stamina.
In order to keep your energy up and last up to 10 hours in high heels and multiple outfit changes, you need to maintain a level of fitness.
Modeling is EASY
Modeling is work. Like a 9-5, a model is required to be punctual, professional, flexible/adaptable, energetic, welcoming, team player etc... Models have a certain level of a Hustle mentality and motivation to chase jobs... Hauling ass to castings around the country/world for jobs you may not even book. The behind the scenes isn't as glamorous and it's the normal so no one really talks about it.
You Need A Lot of Followers on Social Media to be a Model
A lot of working Models have under 10,000 followers, don't let numbers confuse you. Sometimes people confuse Models for Influencers and vice versa.
Working as a Model, work is work. If you think about it... Do you post you are at work every day? No... Because it's regular and unappealing to you. As a model working with a regular client doing the same thing you do every week isn't really interesting enough for you to discuss or post about.
Models can be Influencers if they have a following but usually don't let the two mix. Take me for instance, I work with a few clients regularly as a model that I may never share... But as an Influencer, I may collaborate a post or two with a company to make sure that if I share a product directly to my audience there would supply to meet demand and I receive compensation for usage of my image. Levels.
You Become Rich from Being a Model
No. Starting out, you put a lot of your own money to finance your travel and test shoots (I'll explain later in this post). If you don't book a client for weeks or months you are losing money.
Background: My Start
From the age of 7 I idolized Tyra Banks, regardless of the difference in size, I always saw myself being her.
In my head I WAS Tyra Banks. I pretty much set a goal of living in Paris and modeling by 17 years old. I even took French my freshman year in High School to prepare for myself for my calling. I started fake modeling at 14 years old, nothing major at all... Just local news segments, few runway shows, and a couple pageants.
I ended up being invited to attend a model casting for an agency and they loved me but basically told me I was too big. I didn't really have a concept of plus size modeling and at that time Google was only really used as an archive of articles, not really a real resource for information. But from the great teachings of Tyra Banks, I knew two things to be true: 1) I shouldn't have to pay any agency to be represented and 2) Any supportive agency will not ask you to drop dress sizes. Those teachings resonated with me throughout my journey.
After being turned down by my dream agency, I continued to live my life, graduated High School, completed some College and in 2014, I decided to revisit the idea of modeling and attended a casting for Style Fashion Week in Los Angeles. I booked the show as their first Plus Size Model and continued modeling... duhhh why else would I be typing this out. Lol
Anyways, shortly after that show I ended up meeting an amazing photographer, Samantha Studio who shot a few looks for my portfolio. Fast forward a few months, I submitted to an agency and ended up signing!
What I Recommend
From my experience and the experiences from many other models, I have learned no two journeys are the same. There might be some similarities but everyone's background is completely different from each other. So my recommendations are only ideas to meet the objective of booking work as a model. So follow along with with that in mind.
If you read through all of my gibberish above and still believe modeling is right for you, IMMEDIATELY start saving money!
You may need at least $3,500 for a successful start that doesn't leave you in a terrible financial bind. Look at this amount as your investment into yourself as a business because you will need it for travel costs and testing with at least 2-3 photographers.
Testing is the term used to refer to paying for photo shoots that will be used in your portfolio. You typically test when you change your look, or just feel like it, however, it can be expensive 3-4 looks with a Hair and Make up artist can run about $900-1,200. So save up!
While you're saving up, acclimate yourself to the industry! Familiarize yourself with other Plus Size Models, Agencies, Clothing Brands, and Style Bloggers! A great resource I always recommend is Plus Model Magazine. They are extremely in-depth in all aspects of Plus Size Modeling and often share casting information that you could potentially pursue as an aspiring model!
Get Your Butt in Front of The Camera!
I don't know where the idea of agencies and clients teaching you everything came from... because literally no one coaches you through anything. For the most part, everything is learned through experience.
So get in front of a camera (your phone, that's in your hand) and practice. Remember those Plus Size Models and bloggers I told you to find and follow? Study their poses and why certain poses work for them.
HUGE thing I notice from working with aspiring models is that you can ALWAYS tell they are new and it can typically bring the energy in a room down along with the confidence in quality of work that will be produced.
The resolution for aspiring models is to practice at home by recording yourself. Prop your phone up in a corner of a room to record yourself in heels slow dancing or pull up a yoga app and do a few poses for 5-10 minutes. Next, review the footage, pay close attention to how you move... how's your posture? What are your hands doing? Are you leaning?... critique yourself, take notes, make adjustments and then start recording yourself hitting poses on a two/three - count beat/pace (count to 2/3) for two minutes. Review the footage and think could any of those poses you hit be pictures?
Keep practicing! A huge part of modeling is just being aware of your body, how you move, your angles and knowing what your images look like before you even see it.
You want to get signed right? You need photos!
Now that you kind of know your angles, have a friend snap a few pics of you wearing something that defines your figure... a pair of solid jeans and a tank top usually does the trick. Make sure you wear little to no make up (mascara and pressed powder to minimize shine) anything more than that is too much. Be sure to snap your pics in natural light with no shadows, standing/posed naturally so agencies can see what you look like.
Get Yourself Out There!
This part is the easiest of your entire model journey.
Submit to agencies and attend open casting calls! Submitting your photos are a 50:50 gamble, you might get a yes or you might not hear anything back at all. But just keep practicing and attend local castings to build your portfolio.
I hope all of this has helped! I'm tired of typing... but if I forget anything or have any other questions comment below and I'll respond!