The concept of male modelling has been around for centuries, even if it wasn’t always a profession. The human form has been used for art and poetry, and muses inspired the ancient Greeks. Beautiful or interesting people have been used in art and photography ever since.
Male models and female models have worked side by side as long as there has been modelling, but it is an industry dominated by women, with the top paid men making substantially less than the highest earning women.
High fashion requires a very specific breed of person, regardless of gender. They are tall, with interesting facial features and strong cheekbones. Male models tend to be around 6’2 to 6’3, but there are always a few exceptions. The clothes are made for a certain build, so it is easier if models don’t need tailoring.
Don’t quite fit that bill? High fashion is only a very small (and pretty exclusive) part of the modelling world so there is still room for you if you’re a few inches shy or not a willowy chap.
There is constant need for models of all heights and builds, and from all walks of life, you may want to become a model.
Whether you are male or female and looking to model on the catwalk or for catalogues, there are no guarantees. Be very cautious of any talent management agency that promises you work. Agencies make money by taking a percentage of your earnings from paid work. The client will have requirements and the agency will try and provide models to fulfil those requirements because it is in their best interest to find you work, but ultimately, only the client can decide if a model is suitable.
The best way to begin a male modelling career is to sign up with a number of talent management agencies. You won’t be able to do this if you have signed a contract with an exclusivity clause, so make sure you read the small print.
For women, it might feel quite natural to be styled and to wear makeup. Even the most modern of men might be uncomfortable with the amount of attention paid to your appearance. You might need a small amount of makeup to counteract the bright lights, but you’ll soon get used to it.
It is really important to be able to relax in front of a camera. Even if you have the right look, you’ll need to be camera ready to win jobs.
Male models face many of the same challenges that women do. There is no guarantee of work, there will a lot of people who look like you, and they might be more experienced. If you get invited to any castings, make sure you give a good impression. Be relaxed, confident, but above all polite.
Speak to a talent management agency to determine which kind of modelling will suit you best, and target your online portfolio accordingly so you appeal to the right kind of people. By keeping your profile up to date and finding your niche, you’ll give yourself the best chance to pick up work.
If you are particularly sporty you can find work as a fitness model, while older men with softer physiques might appear in product adverts as dads or grandfathers. There a lots of types of male modelling, so do a bit of research before approaching a talent management agency. You’ll come across well if you know where you want to go with your modelling career (as long as your look fits the bill!)
There really aren’t very many differences between male and female modelling; at the end of the day it’s all about being confident and comfortable in your own skin. Get that trick down and you’re bound to go far.