Modeling Weight Issues: Perfect is an Illusion

I try to keep it light and fluffy here, but I want to get serious for a quick minute. I get email from girls all over the world who are thinking about coming over, or are here now trying to get work. This week, two girls have written me about their aspirations (yay!) but have also indicated that they are on hard-core programs to drastically transform their bodies or “reduce flaws.”

Listen to me. Don’t do this. Please.

Print work is not about being skinny, it’s about being healthy. You don’t have to be 5’10 and a size zero to book work. You don’t have to have perfect curves, or impeccably toned anything. Most women have enough body issues to deal with. Trying to chase some ever-changing standard is bananas.

You DO have to have energy, personality, and professionalism. You have to like yourself and accept yourself as you are.

I never write about “model diets.” Or “body boot camps.”  I don’t diet. I try to eat healthy, but I also never deprive myself. I’m not “perfectly” proportioned (whatever the heck that means) and it’s never stopped me from working.

Yes, print work is about your look, which in large part, is driven by your personality. You’re an actor in still life form. The clients who book you are not looking for statues. They want real people. So just be real. It’s far more interesting and exponentially more beautiful.

There are so many tricks productions use to beautify photos I can’t even begin to explain. I remember as a little girl, looking at photos in magazines and being just blown away at how perfect the models’ skin was. That’s because it’s an illusion. Computer tricks, lighting, makeup. The internet is awash in how the before and after shots of photo editing. If you have a birthmark, or a scar, or a tattoo, or anything the client wants out of the shot, they can edit the photo. Don’t edit yourself.

I’ve been in front of the camera for nine years now, and any time I get an audition or a go-see, I still feel super lucky. But I get shot down, passed over, and kicked in the teeth every week too. Maybe I’m too short, or too brunette, or too whatever… it doesn’t matter. You can’t take it personally because it’s not about you—it’s about the job. Changing yourself to fit some ideal “look” that changes with every casting is madness. Bring the best version of yourself and see what happens. You’ll be surprised.

Don’t let this industry dictate your body shape. And don’t give anyone the power to make you feel like you should be thinner, harder, or taller. You’re you, and that’s what the clients really want. You should too.

no makeup

If you need any advice, message me here. I’m rooting for you.


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